For many air passengers left stranded by Europe’s no-fly lockdown, trying to get home has not only been frustrating but also expensive. In France, the national rail operator SNCF has been laying on more services. However, the train is proving so popular that getting aboard is a feat in itself.
Despite the cost, some students were lucky: ‘‘We booked one for about 300 euros per person. And this was really expensive for us. We hope that our insurance will pay us this ticket.’‘
At Madrid airport, hundreds of passengers have been left grounded by the potentially lethal volcanic ash plume coming from Iceland. After days of delays and fed up with waiting, some German tourists took the option to go home on a coach.
‘‘We got a call today offering us a chance to leave by bus. We’ll arrive in Germany tomorrow, by bus. Better a snail of a bus to Germany than a plane that doesn’t fly. So we’re taking the bus.’‘
But, for European travellers further a field, like the US, the road and rail option is well and truly out. Nevertheless, one couple of good samaritans were offering a roof for the night.
‘‘We thought that there might be some Europeans stranded at the airport and we have two spare bedrooms, so we thought we’d come out and see if we could help anybody out and give them a place to stay or a shower.’‘
At Amsterdam airport, others were not so fortunate. So much so, some Norwegians were trying to club together for the taxi fare home.