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Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe



 
 
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  #21  
Old April 17th, 2010, 4:45 am
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgoth View Post
Skies have never been quieter over my place. It's glorious.
I totally second that. Only the occasional coast guard helicopter left.

While it's true that the longer it lasts the more people will suffer economically I see no reason to be fazed any more than if the airports were closed due to a strike.

Eta: The movements of the ash cloud can be followed here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporat...d_plume-v4.gif


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  #22  
Old April 17th, 2010, 8:59 am
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

Alastor - I haven't ever seen a strike that closes airports in half of Europe. This is a lot bigger. I am lucky that I am not affected by this at the moment, but I do depend on flights now and then, so I am somewhat less calm about this than other people.

However, in a way I almost hope that this goes on for long enough that people try to make the European rail system more useable for longer distances. For example, in theory, going from London to Vienna by rail is no longer a completely unpalatable idea - but the booking is almost impossible and train timetables just don't match up as well as they should. All this could be fixed without major infrastructure projects (which are partly under way, or, if they aren't yet, should be).


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  #23  
Old April 17th, 2010, 3:29 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

The Volcanic Death Cloud Of Doom has forced Whitney Houston to use a ferry


Truly....a disaster.


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  #24  
Old April 17th, 2010, 5:45 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

I think we can do without sarcasms here. Not everyone is lucky enough to get a ferry or train ticket. Or even a hotel room where to stay while waiting. For many of those this is a disaster on a personal level. It's not them I'm unfazed about.


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Old April 17th, 2010, 6:48 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

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Not everyone is lucky enough to get a ferry or train ticket. Or even a hotel room where to stay while waiting. For many of those this is a disaster on a personal level.
Much of that problem comes from travel agencies having no "plan B" for travellers. Even if it wasn't a volcano cloud, in the post 9/11 era they should take the time to have some sort of backup in place for them to make temporary arrangements in terms of accomodation for stranded travellers.


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  #26  
Old April 17th, 2010, 6:49 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

The travel insurance companies refusing to pay up because this is considered an Act of God are not helping any, either.


  #27  
Old April 17th, 2010, 7:31 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

The travel agencies should have at least the curtesy to provide stranded people with blankets and drinks, when they can't manage to give them a real bed in a hotel. Travellers within Europe have the advantage that they can take the train or bus, when they really want to get home or to their destination.


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  #28  
Old April 17th, 2010, 7:58 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

Or maybe a more practical solution would be that the airports had those blankets. Nowadays when it's easy to book flights and hotels on the internet I believe that a great part of the stranded passengers haven't bought their travels from an agency.

Unfortunately it seems all trains, buses and ferries are full and simply can't take more passengers. Up here the railways have added as many extra wagons they can to the trains. Ferries can't take more extra passengers than what the life boat and raft capacity allows and extra buses need extra drivers.


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Old April 17th, 2010, 8:03 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

True, it isn't easy as it sounds like, there are many things to consider. I think people have the tendency to get home asap. When they need to wait for one or two days then they freak out.

Actually how does it work with not turning up at work or for a meeting, because of an "Act of God"?

I know from my old work that a company can't be made liable for a delay when it's caused by natural disaster, I guess it's the same for working places.


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Old April 17th, 2010, 8:28 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
I know from my old work that a company can't be made liable for a delay when it's caused by natural disaster, I guess it's the same for working places.
I think it depends not only on local legislation but also on the agreements between workers unions and employers. I guess that some will either not get paid for the time lost or get it deducted from their next vacation.


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  #31  
Old April 17th, 2010, 11:32 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

You can't just plan for an event of this scale. You'd need so much extra capacity ewverywhere for something that mivht never happen!

I was impressed to read that Fankfurt airport was actually turned into some kind of emergency shelter for many (three meals a day and beds, even medical supplies, apparently). That's amazing planning.

There is so much going on all round the world - plenty of people getting into trouble in India, where the government apparently wasn't willing to give visas to people who got stuck in transit, with the result that those people have no chance even to find a decent place to stay for themselves.


Apparently some airlines would have to stop paying their staff fairly soon if this goes on for some time...

The knock-on effects are pretty mindboggling....

and here are some individual stories: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8626852.stm

One thing I like is that apparently, the twitter tag for the Eiyafjallajoekull eruption is #ashtag.


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  #32  
Old April 18th, 2010, 3:07 am
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

From the time this started airlines flying from Australia to affected areas (or not flying) have simply told passengers not to show at an airport unless notified. Simple.

Speaking of which, Qantas has cancelled all flights to and from Europe up to and including Wednesday.


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Last edited by Wab; April 18th, 2010 at 7:48 am.
  #33  
Old April 18th, 2010, 7:50 am
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

May be simple if you are Australian - but it's a nightmare if you are a tourist or business traveller stuck in OZ with the money running out fast. At that stage, even the gloriou weather and a nice beach won't be much of a consolation....

People have tried to make it home in stages, and it seems that the usual 'stopping-over' points such as Hong Kong and Singapore are simply full, too...


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  #34  
Old April 18th, 2010, 10:51 am
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klio View Post
Apparently some airlines would have to stop paying their staff fairly soon if this goes on for some time...
One way to handle it could be sending them home and let them work overhour when the airport opens again. You can bet once the skies are cleared officially all passengers will turn up at the same time, all wanting to fly away with the first plane that starts that day. I guess there will be even more chaos then. And workers are needed to handle the lots of passengers and their complaints. My, possibly wrong, prediction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klio View Post
and here are some individual stories: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8626852.stm
Some of the things people are willing to do to get home at a certain day are mind boggling. To pay 2000 Euro for a taxi ride from France to England? To let your dad drive from England to Austria to pick you up just that you can go to school and to work on time?


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  #35  
Old April 18th, 2010, 11:42 am
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

This story made me smile - though they got the imagery wrong and should have picked them up from Dunkirk.


  #36  
Old April 18th, 2010, 12:16 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

It seems like the stranded people are at the mercy of their travel company. I mentioned before a friend who was going to Egypt, well her trip has been cancelled by the company who are refunding the money. My husband's work friend is stuck in Turkey and has been told to stay at the hotel and had her all inclusive extended. Worth noting this the same big company here in the UK.

I thought insurance companies were no longer allowed to use an act of God as reason not to pay out.



Last edited by beth83; April 18th, 2010 at 12:22 pm.
  #37  
Old April 18th, 2010, 2:42 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klio View Post
People have tried to make it home in stages, and it seems that the usual 'stopping-over' points such as Hong Kong and Singapore are simply full, too...
Which is why airlines are denying passage to people who originally booked a through ticket to Europe and have tried to use the volcano as an excuse to spend more time in Singapore, Bangkok or Hong Kong.

"Flights between Hong Kong and Sydney are currently scheduled to be operating as normal however passengers from Sydney with a connection on to London should not travel to Hong Kong until London flights have reopened."

Virgin Atlantic

"Due to the extremely limited accommodation in our Asian ports as a result of the current UK and Europe airspace closures, we are unable to accept customers for travel unless Asia is their final destination."

Qantas

And so on. The message is the same from all airlines, unless you are flying to Asia or the Middle East or an unaffacted part of Europe, sit tight.

And there are cases of people being booked hotel rooms by the airlines, but still hanging about in the airport.

"Singapore Airlines managed to book hotel rooms for all its passengers in the transit areas.

But some passengers are not taking chances; they are still queuing at the information counter hoping to catch the first available flight. "

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...050959/1/.html


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Last edited by Wab; April 18th, 2010 at 2:45 pm.
  #38  
Old April 18th, 2010, 5:50 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

Looks like aiports in Germany are open again till 8 pm. But flights are restricted depending on destination and route, only flight from and to the North are allowed it seems.


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  #39  
Old April 18th, 2010, 8:08 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

Do they have the right to deny someone who is just using Hong Kong as layover? They bought the ticket.


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  #40  
Old April 18th, 2010, 10:00 pm
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Re: Volcanic Ash from Iceland shuts down airspace in NW-Europe

Leah - they bought the ticket, but if the flight times have to be changed anyway I assume (though I don't know!) that the airline would have the right to tell the person what dates they can re-book to!

Well, by now I have several facebook friends who are in some way affected by this... I am curious for how long this will go on. In any case, radio and TV presenters seem to have decided that it's worth learning how one says Eiyafjallajoekull.




EDIT:
looks like airspace is open again in some continental countries (just hearing it on BBC Radio). Aparently the governments were convinced by test flights which showed no impact.

I have to admit that I am with the 'better safe than sorry' crowd at the moment.... I wouldn't want to fly right now...



Edit 2:

Suddenly it all makes sense:

Vulcanic ash cloud is finale of Lost


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Last edited by Klio; April 19th, 2010 at 1:07 am.
 
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