Monday 26 February 2018

Cancellations now part of a regular day at airport

Shane Hickey

AFTER weeks of delays, disruption and cancellations, a sort of grim acceptance has replaced the panic and chaos initially felt by air passengers.

Stranded commuters in Dublin Airport yesterday were neither angry, depressed or tearful -- just resigned that serious disruptions are now a possible feature of almost every flight while lava continues to spew from Eyjafjallajokull.

Staring at the departures board with more hope than expectation of miraculous changes on the rows of 'cancelled' signs, passengers instead began to look at the options available to them.

"There was always a chance that this could happen," Mick Beaumont from Sheffield told the Irish Independent.

Mick and four friends eventually booked a ferry to Holyhead after their flight to Manchester was cancelled. But despite their pragmatic approach, they were still angry at attempts to cash in on their misfortune.

"There are two cars in Manchester airport and the taxi driver wants £225 to travel from Holyhead to Manchester which is only 50 miles and only takes an hour," Mick said. "We are just thinking about a taxi back into town and a few beers."

His friend John Brennan said the constant disruption to flights was always going to be a possibility.

"I don't think they are ever able to say for certain. Within hours it can change. Tomorrow the wind could have changed. At least we are on a ferry," he said. Some managed to maintain a good humour even though they were never meant to be in Ireland for longer than a few hours.

Marita and Don Tozzolino had three connecting flights to Glasgow cancelled after they flew in from the US on Sunday, their family visit to Scotland quickly contracting in length.

"I can look at the ash cloud and tell you that we aren't getting the flight today," Mr Tozzolino said.

Three schoolfriends from Boston -- Liz Fireman, Nina Lasser and Rebecca Shaughnessy -- were also watching as their holidays shortened, this time in Spain to where they were due to get a connecting flight from Dublin.

"We never expected to be in Ireland so it is not too bad that we have been delayed," Ms Fireman said. "We were supposed to land in Dublin but had to get a bus from Shannon. We are tired, hungry and a little bit frustrated."

For others, however, it was hard to stay upbeat, especially with a whole family in tow.

Liam Dent, his wife Michelle and their three children found their flight to Salou in Spain was cancelled. "We now have to rebook, there is flights but whether we get them now is something else," he said.

Irish Independent

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