We live not in rocky, but in volcanic times at the moment! Thousands of people are stranded around the world, unable to reach their destinations, unsure of when they will be able to get home. No one would have imagined this time last week, that a volcano in Iceland would lead to almost all of the main airports in Europe coming to a standstill. Since Friday the 16th of April, nearly all flights across central and northern Europe have been cancelled and the back log of people waiting to travel is building by the day….my mother is one of these people! Because of this I have had full insight into the predicament passengers have found themselves in. My mother was set to start back at work in England today and there is absolutely nothing she can do to get home. She was meant to fly with Lufthansa last Friday and since then she has had to check the internet 3 to 4 times a day to keep abreast of developments. The Lufthansa hotline is permanently engaged, (one queries whether they too have simply stopped accepting calls because they also have no idea when normal flights will resume?!) so there is absolutely no way of getting any information or feedback. And when the airports do finally open up again, how on earth will the airlines prioritise which passengers fly first? Will passengers simply be told that there is no room? And how will the airport staff cope with the number of people rushing in demanding immediate flights? I will be following the developments with great interest…something like this has never occurred in the history of aviation and will indeed spark off a whole new debate.
At the end of the day, us humans are not quite as important as we sometimes think we are, we are still subject to the whims of nature and who knows what natural disasters the future may bring…Incidentally in this volcanic crisis, most of us have quite forgotten that hundreds of people have died in an earthquake in China…where are our priorities? Is it really all that bad that the rat race may have slowed down a little for a few days with the restrictions placed on travelling? Perhaps those who are stuck should simply try and make the best of their predicament and count their lucky stars that they aren’t in Iceland or in China…And as for the pressure the airlines are now putting on the government, I can only pray that people ultimately remember that safety comes first…
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