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Stranded passengers seek air travel alternatives

Stranded passengers seek air travel alternatives
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It is not how they had envisaged travelling but desperate times require desperate measures. Hence huge queues to hire cars at rental agencies in Paris.

Some are looking on the bright side, seeing the flight ban as an unexpected opportunity to take a longer holiday than planned.

“We have been here in Paris for the last four days,” said US tourist Tracy Cherry. “We were supposed to fly back to the United States today at 11 but our flight got postponed until next Friday so we are renting a car and extending our vacation. We will be gone three weeks total and it was supposed to be about 10 days.”

Another woman said: “We hired a car in Madrid to go to Irun, I can’t remember the name of the town anymore. Then we took a taxi to Biarritz. From there, we hired another car to come to Paris and I arrived this morning at 8 o’clock.”

The ferry is proving a lifeline for others with cross Channel services between France and England fully booked. And there is no shortage of reasons why getting to the other side of the water without delay is vital.

“My sister is going to give birth and she is in hospital now and that is why I am taking the boat,” said one woman in Calais.

It all means a marathon journey for some.

“We were supposed to fly home but it is not possible. So we have to go from Calais to Lille and from Lille to Brussels and there, there will be a bus coming from Italy to pick us up,” another woman added.

And ferries are not the only option for stranded air passengers hoping to cross the Channel, with demand for Eurostar train services soaring.