Eyjafjallajokull

This un-pronounceable volcano has caused more than a little disruption throughout Europe in the past week.

Six of my friends have suffered from travel woes because of it. One travelled by boat, ferry and train for 20 hours to get to Edinburgh from Dublin, one embarked on a 32hour coach journey from Malaga this morning, one is finally in London having been stuck in Bahrain for four days and the others are still stranded and waiting on flights in the “now cleared” airspace.

I thought that for once we’d struck upon a “disaster” for which no one could be blamed but now of course comes the hunt for a culprit – was the aviation authority too quick to ground everyone? Did the government not step in quick enough? Did airlines fail to assist their customers sufficiently?

Seems to me there can’t be a winner. If they hadn’t closed the skies and something had happened there would have been uproar. Now that they did close the sky, and everyone is alive (though a little tired and skint), there is uproar.

I saw some figures on the BBC News site which said that there are usually 28 000 flights in European airspace – could this by any chance be the problem? It’s a very messed up system where internal flights of an hour or two are now the norm. We don’t want to pay higher prices for less reliable train services, so we destroy the environment and have a breakdown when planes don’t work. It wasn’t 3o years ago that this peace and quiet those living near airfields have spoken of was the norm! I think it’s really funny that we think we’re so clever in our new fangled technology but we have a crisis such as this when it fails us! I appreciate it’s “necessary” for long haul, and convenient for business, but surely there is a more economical and environmental way to do it! Maybe they should be discussing such things in our prime-ministerial debates! (Which I shall blog about soon enough)

Saying that, I’m very glad to have my friends home again and I have enjoyed seeing aeroplanes from my window once more – but I’m a bit of an air travel geek!

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