For Shushh and anyone else flying into Europe...

Discussion in 'Australia' started by PrincessInOz, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Hope that your travel plans are still rock solid and that your flights aren't impacted by Iceland's revenge on the world...

    And if not, I sincerely hope that you are able to rearrange things in a way so that your "trip of a lifetime" unfolds as delightful as you imagine.

    Shushh...I think you were heading into Europe. So, if you're reading this, I really hope you're jetting off soon into Southern/Eastern Europe.
     
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  3. heidispidi

    heidispidi Mouseketeer

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    Yep, I'm thinking of you guys too. There's more hope today that air space will re-open up that end of the world within the next 24 hours - let's hope it does.
     
  4. shushh

    shushh DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for your thoughts! Yes we're flying out tomorrow. It's been a roller coaster ride of emotions. They cancelled my flights then they reinstated it, but gave my seats away! And then discovered that my 18 month old son is still booked on the flight!!!! Go figure. We've got alternative flights booked as we were told it was cancelled and the insurance company gave us the go ahead. However....it is only to Madrid and we have to somehow work our way to Barcelona and we go via Auckland, then Buenos Aires...

    But either way, we're going to Spain!
     
  5. queenie82

    queenie82 Queen of the 5 Castles

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    I do hope you get to go because you are going to Spain....

    I just saw this on smh.com.au....


    Passengers departing Australia for European destinations continue to face delays, as a new ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano eruption spread towards Britain, despite the partial reopening of airspace.

    "The volcano is off again ... [and] that is not looking good," Susan Bredow, a spokeswoman for Singapore Airlines, said.

    The National Air Traffic Services (NATS), which manages British airspace, said the situation was worsening and it was now in doubt that all areas it wanted to make available to flights today would be opened.

    The new plume of ash came as the first flight from New York's John F. Kennedy airport left for Paris, with check-in under way for three flights headed to Paris,two to Moscow and at least one flight each to Munich, Vienna and Istanbul.

    Passengers still stranded in Australia

    But the gradual resumption of flights in Europe has not brought relief to passengers trying to leave Australia, as only planes that were able to adhere to visual flight rules operations were allowed to land in at the reopened airports, Ms Bredow said.

    "There is going to be some limited aircraft movement within European airspace, but it is not open to carriers such as ourselves who are coming from great distances," she said.

    "It's a safety thing. ... That means that the aircraft can only land with the pilot being able to see what he's doing.

    "The visual flight rules are not typically able to apply for commercial carriers such as ours."

    Qantas spokesman David Epstein said more than 15,000 of its passengers have been affected by the flight cancellations.

    "Qantas is urging passengers to reconsider any non-urgent travel to Europe," Mr Epstein said in a statement.

    "Customers due to travel on cancelled services will be transferred to next available scheduled
    services or offered a refund.

    "At this time there is no new or additional seat availability on services to Europe until early May," he said.

    The airline is still advising affected passengers not to go to the airport, and is set to hold a press conference on the latest updates this afternoon.

    It has cancelled all flights from Asia to Europe, and also flights from London's Heathrow airport and from Frankfurt to Asia for tomorrow and Thursday.

    But flights between Asia and Australia will continue as scheduled, the airline said.

    A British Airways spokeswoman said all flights to Europe from Sydney had been cancelled today and the situation would be reassessed tomorrow.

    Flights to Gallipoli not affected

    Singapore Airlines said flights to Gallipoli for Anzac Day commemorations were still going ahead, and more than 300 passengers were booked to travel to Istanbul in the next three days.

    The airline was also putting on an extra flight to Rome tonight, and also continued to fly to Barcelona and Athens.

    Passengers stuck in Singapore had been brought home to Australia or are in the process of being flown back, while those stranded in Europe had been put up in hotels, Ms Bredow said.

    Qantas passengers stranded in Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok who were originally on their way to Europe but want to return to Australia can book the next available flight home at no cost, the airline said.

    The Spanish option

    Spain, one of the rare countries operating normally, has struck an agreement with Britain, France and Germany to fly hundreds of thousands of their nationals back to Europe via Spanish airports.


    Britain has also taken the military option - ordering its flagship aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and HMS Ocean and HMS Albion to pick up thousands of Britons from France - where they have come from all over Europe - and Spain.

    A Qantas spokeswoman said the airline welcomed European authorities' attempts to reopen airspace and direct air traffic via Spain, and was "seeking clarity on what it would mean for its operations ... today and tomorrow".

    Growing backlog of passengers

    More than 7 million passengers were thought to have been affected by the blanket shutdowns, which governments have insisted were essential on safety grounds, given the possibility that the ash could choke up jet engines and provoke air disasters.

    Airlines were also losing €200 million ($291 million) a day, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

    Qantas said the Australian airline was exploring the option of adding flights to its existing schedule when European airspace is reopened to reduce its backlog of passengers.

    Singapore Airlines said it would put on larger aircraft or more aircraft to clear its backlog.

    "We are also planning to move people around on domestic flights or Trans-Tasman flights if we need to to get them home," Ms Bredow said.

    Qantas also said stranded passengers could rebook on the next flight that had available seats, change their travel date to another one in the next 12 months, or get a full refund of their tickets.

    Winds have carried most of the ash spewing from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjoell across a wide swathe of Europe since last Wednesday.
     
  6. BecBennett

    BecBennett Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.

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    Another reminder why travel insurance is so important!

    I hope everything works out for you, keeps us updated if you can! :grouphug:
     
  7. shushh

    shushh DIS Veteran

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    Just a quick update. We arrived safely in Barcelona on the 21st as planned and we're having a blast! I still can't believe we made it. We're going to have a sticky beak at the Magic today as she arrived overnight.

    Thank you all so much for your well wishes!
     
  8. queenie82

    queenie82 Queen of the 5 Castles

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    :cheer2::dance3:
    :cheer2:

    I'm so glad you got there ok and I really hope you have a good time. :goodvibes
     
  9. Jade+3

    Jade+3 DIS Veteran

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    So glad you made it!

    I hope you are taking a heap of photo's. So jealous!
     
  10. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Excellent. Looking forward to your trip report and/or pic when you return. Have fun.
     
  11. aussietravellers

    aussietravellers who LOVE disney holidays!

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    Great news! Have a wonderful trip :wizard:
     

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