Worldwide Chaos: Volcano Continues To Strand Would-Be Air Travelers


airport-delaysPresident Barack Obama was supposed to fly to Poland tonight for the state funeral of the Polish president, but the trip has been canceled due to the volcano. The eruption is showing no signs of slowing down, with plumes of smoke and ash billowing five miles into the atmosphere over northern Europe.

It’s the worst flight disruption since September 11, and with planes stuck on the ground, it’s costing the industry $200 million a day.

It’s also causing frustration, desperation, and anger for passengers just waiting for any word on when they can get out.

The cloud of volcanic grit continues to spew from the volcano in Iceland, and the misery is fanning out to airports worldwide. The ash problem is choking the international flight schedules at Kennedy Airport and at Newark Liberty, parts of which look like a ghost town.

“I’m kind of homesick now, so I want to go home soon,” stranded passenger Johanna Classes said.

We’ve got three children staying in Manhattan with us, and we’re all due back at work on Monday – and we’ve had no help whatsoever from British Airways or anybody else,” passenger Tim Sizer said.

The scene at many European Airports was lifeless on the runways and gates outside, while people were left sleeping on floors inside.

“I will be three or four more days on my travels than originally planned, so it is a big disruption, yeah,” one traveler said.

“We’re going to see what we can do with the airlines,” another stranded passenger said, “We’re going to get to Paris one way or another.”

Even more frustrating for passengers is that some airports were actually opened briefly Friday, but then were shut down Saturday.

Scientists say that because the volcano continues to erupt, the situation is getting worse.

“There is no real significant change in where the danger area of the ash cloud is,” Ken Thomas, of Eurocontrol, said. “It’s still spreading ash over the whole of northern and central Europe.”

That has passengers scrambling to change their plans – including President Obama and other world leaders, who now cannot attend Sunday’s funeral for Polish President Lech Kaczynski.

“You have to be patient,” traveler Adrian Obstlka said. “What else can you do?”

NYC is doing something to help, offering discounted hotel rooms and cheaper transportation to and from the airport for the stranded passengers.

{WCBS-TV/Noam Newscenter}


  1. “Maybe Israel is responsible for the volcano errupting!(LOL)”

    Think it’s a joke? I wont be surprised for an article appearing soon that the Mossad is behind all this…

  2. I would love to see the US provide some disaster relief like England is doing, for these passengers. Lots of people are stuck in NY and elsewhere who can’t get home. Can we provide them a cot somewhere near the airport? It’s expensive in NY just like London!