Monday, April 19, 2010

Volcano-stranded Europeans seek alternate routes...

BANGKOK-Frustrated European travelers stranded overseas struggled to find alternate routes home, desperate for information on flights into the continent's few airports not closed by a dangerous cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano.Flights into Rome, Athens and Madrid became the new hot ticket at many international airports Sunday — but after three days of travel disruptions, the backlog of passengers meant many faced waiting lists of days, even weeks."We'll take any flight to Europe," said Dirk Maertens, 52, slumped against a railing at Bangkok's international airport alongside his wife and 16-year-old son.The Maertens slept on plastic seats at the airport Saturday night after their flight home to Belgium was canceled. They planned to camp out again Sunday on the off chance that seats on the already-overbooked Thai Airways flight into Rome might open up.
"When there is a flight, you have to be quick — you have to get on it, you can't be too far away," said Claire Maertens, 49, explaining why the family won't leave the airport.
"It's so strange," she said. "One volcano, and the whole of Europe is down."

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