Volcanic ash – making a crisis out of a puff of smoke?

Yesterday we arrived home from an extended holiday in Spain – thanks to the fallout (or should it be “fallouts”?) from the Icelandic volcano eruption our stay was extended from seven to fourteen days.

Most people who I’ve spoken to today congratulated us on our good fortune – an extra week they exclaimed – none realised that we were away for a week longer from our businesses at a crucial time of the year. 

During that short time what we saw, however, was ineptitude and panic on a grand scale. Ineptitude from the airlines in not making it clear what was happening (or not as the case might be) and ineptitude from the air traffic controls and government in handling the situation.

It is said that whenever there is an accident it takes a minute or so before someone takes control – in this case no one took control and it was left to the airlines to prove that the dust was not the danger that was first thought.

Just like George Bush after the New Orleans hurricane disaster politicians were slow to react. Of course, they have bigger things on their minds – their livelihood for the next four years is at stake so putting your head above the parapet two weeks before a General Election is a risky business – rubbish.

A strong leader would have turned the disaster to a triumph not just the gesture of sending in the three biggest ships in the Navy with the net result of bringing off 300 stranded tourists from northern Spain.

The public around us were just as bad – we heard of people paying £1,500 for a taxi from Spain to Calais and others booking Eurostar and a ferry crossing “just in case” their flight wasn’t available.

We sat and waited and will now have the interesting project of recovering some of our costs from the airline and our insurers – bmibaby are the airline and it took a round the houses run of telephone calls this morning to see just how they were working.

No hope of any help from the politicians – they’re back to the main event – now that the Navy have tidied up the disaster!

Published in: on 27 April, 2010 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

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