Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lost in transit

So I was due to be returning to the UK, today.  Notice the word 'was'! 
Due to eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland, I and 149,999 other Britons are stranded in and around Spain and neighbouring countries.

There has been a no-fly ban for the past 5 days and promises that at any minute it will be lifted and normal flights resumed.  Obviously this is not the case.

Aid was due to be coming from the UK in way of HMS Navy ships, 4 of them.  However one of them picked up UK soldiers and left, as for the others they have been sent to 'undisclosed ports', so much for the UK helping its citizens!!

In fact had it not been for SKY News I would be pretty much in the dark as to what was going on, the airports staff claim they know nothing and can only give you the same information they have on their websites.  They are unaware of where the coaches, ferries and trains can be taken, only to say that you have to make your own travel arrangements with them not the airport.  Call me naive, but after all the natural and man made disasters we have had, shouldn't the aid be ready to go at a moments notice, then get it to the people that need it.  
Not make the people have to fend for themselves, fearing or costing them far money than they have to spend unnecessarily.

It would make sense (and perhaps the problem) - for a help desk to be setup at the airport where people can book tickets or better, exchange their tickets, for alternate travel arrangements.
Then from the airport get on a coach to the train station or ferry port.
According to reports Gordon Brown and Mr Zapatero have been working together to help stranded people get home and are using Madrid airport as a 'hub' for them to make other arrangements, this is not true from what I saw.

Well I have re-booked my flight now for next Wednesday 28th the first available flight out!
I must say I am fortunate that I have Sandra and somewhere to go back to, had I given it all up to leave Spain I really would be stuck right now, like the MANY people I saw at the airport today.  More could and should be done to help those that need it.
What annoys people the most is being treated like mushrooms, we know there is a problem and we can accept that, but aid should be more readily available.

The images used are from Reuters website, I claim no ownership of them.


Andytgeezer said...

Ouch. Best of luck getting home matey.

Em said...

The whole Navy rescue debacle is pathetic. Another attempt to look like the government's helping people - just before a general election.

I agree entirely about a helpdesk at airports but, as is always the case with these things, who pays for it? All the airlines, airports and insurance companies are consistently pointing out that natural disasters (or the stupidly archaic Acts of God)are something they simply don't cover, or deal with. Yes, it would be great if governments, companies, whoever, would simply stump up the cash to bail people out of these situations but, from their point of view, they're already losing a fortune because of the no-fly situation, so they're not going to spend more money for something that isn't their fault. I'm not agreeing with them, but you can see the totally unemotional logic of their argument.

Still, you get the unexpected benefit of more time with your family and everyone will be keeping their fingers crossed for the 28th for you.

Unknown said...

It shouldn't be about money - the travel companies are insured against certain losses anyway, besides that they make a fortune as it is; telling us that BA is losing 20 Mil a day, just says how much they earn and one holiday period will make up their losses.

As for Governments they find money to fight BS wars and send to other countries when aid is needed, so they should be prepared to help their own when they need it, afterall its not often we help our own, I would rather taxes get put to proper use rather than fat cat lunches etc.

Thanks Mr Brown - rest assured that you have secured my vote, NOT!

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