Stranded air passengers look for alternatives

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Stranded air passengers look for alternatives

Stranded air passengers look for alternatives
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Tired, fed-up and looking for plan B.

It is the same desperate story at airports in the four corners of the world.

Charlie McKinney had no idea his journey back from Iraq would be so complicated. After being treated for appendicitis at a military base in Germany, he wants to go home but is stuck at Frankfurt.

“I got everything together, got my passport redone and everything else, and so I get all that together, get my plane ticket, they drop me off and guess what? This happens…”

The crisis is tough on the nerves and on the wallet. Stranded in Tokyo, Frenchman Nicolas Ribaud, 29, says it is tough.

“For the four of us, we now have less than 3,000 yen,” he said.

“It is really hard because you can get almost everything that you need in Narita airport but you have to pay for everything so we also had a fight to get free shower coupons and we got those today. So, starting from today, we can have free showers but we had to wait three days for it.”

The lucky ones have managed to get where they wanted to go. Nissim ben Shoham is finally back in Tel Aviv.

“It was quite a mess,” he said.

“I was stuck in Milan, and since that time I tried to take the train but could not because it was full. Finally, I got the last car, a small autobianchi, and I drove all the way to Rome, and from Rome, I was patient, and I flew with Alitalia, who confirmed then cancelled, confirmed then cancelled, and finally I got the last plane here.”

There are those who have made the most of the crisis. In Prague, the authorities opened up those parts of the airport which passengers normally never get to see.

“This is the first time in the airport’s 73-year history that we have given guided tours of the runway system to people, driving them by bus,” said one worker.

“I liked the firemens’ trucks most of all, and the different cherry pickers outside. It was really fun,” a child said.

It is a well-acknowledged truth that firefighters in every country are heroes. It is just a shame that this time, even they can’t extinguish Iceland’s volcano.