Iceland Volcanic Ash Disrupts European Air Travel on an Unprecedented Scale

Hazardous volcanic ash
I captured the above photo from a series of three documentary videos on Youtube [That since publication have disappeared]. The picture and the videos show the dangers of volcanic ash for air travel best: It abrazes not only the paint, but also the aluminum of the aircraft heavily.

The dangers are:

  1. Pilots can’t notice it, because, apart from areas near an eruption, it is very fine. Even near an eruption pilots can’t notice it on on board flight radar, because there is not enough moist in a cloud of volcanic ash
  2. Volcanic ash is very abrasive as the above photo from the tail of flight BA 009 shows: Almost all paint was stripped from it.
  3. when sucked into a jet motor, it can cause immense damage and cause the motor to stop. On 1982 flight 009 over Indonesia all four jets stopped and luckily the pilots were able to restart the engines when they had flown out of the ash cloud and prevent a crash..

The beauty of the eruption that causes all the problems:
This is a fantastic photo of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland by Örvar-Atli that causes a huge cloud of volcanic ash to spread all over Europe that is bringing almost all air trafic to a stand still as of yesterday. It will continue today and it wouldn’t surprise me if it will continue for a couple of more days.

It is a very wise decision to ground almost all air traffic in view of the above indicated hazards.

Ash influences hotel stays
Guests from Canada are stuck in London and had to cancel their stay at my hotel last minute. Do I charge them a late cancellation fee? Off course not.

Commercially viable? Maybe, maybe not.

I could claim a late cancellation fee and have them claim their loss from their travel insurance company. However I wouldn’t like to add that as an extra burden to them while they are already burdened with all the uncertainties and changes of plan due to these extra ordinary circumstances

..and you know what? I expect my guests to be and think a bit like I do myself. I hate to claim something from an insurance company, because I believe I should only claim when there is an extraordinary cost I cannot reasonably bear myself. I was once bailed out by a travel insurance company when I was stuck with a car in a foreign country that could not be repaired that country. Not only did they repatriate my car to The Netherlands and paid for the car repair, they also let me continue our travels with a rented car that I delivered here in The Netherlands. Almost no loss of holiday pleasures.

And our guest wrote me: “Thank you so much! When we rebook our trip you will be our first choice to stay with. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your kindness.”

One thought on “Iceland Volcanic Ash Disrupts European Air Travel on an Unprecedented Scale”

  1. I think we’ll do the same, even though we had several no-shows and we probably we’ll have more. From the other side, we had some guests who stayed more nights, being stuck in Bucharest. Loss-Win situation.

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