We were travelling around Ireland in April 2010. This was our first overseas trip since retirement, so there were no time limits for our return – fortunately!
We were checking into a hotel in Killarney when we first heard the news, but were not too worried initially. After all, we still had a few days on our schedule. We were not due in Dublin until 18 April. Surely there would be no problems for our journey home on 19 April.
We spent some time exploring Killarney – a lovely Irish town, then on to Kinsale in County Cork. For anyone who has not been there, it is a picture postcard fishing village in the south coast. Then onto Waterford, and back to Dublin.
It was now 18 April. After returning our hire car, we took a taxi to our hotel. Here we learnt the severity of the problem – four days later, and if anything, things were worse.
Our next step was to send an email to the Travel Agent back home as the time zone difference meant a telephone call was difficult. No response! But there was an email from the airlines, and all our flights had been cancelled. Oops! So, talk with the hotel, and extend our booking for three days – they were very obliging, even including breakfast for the next three days at no extra cost. And now a phone call to the travel agent back home. Another, although small, hiccup. Our travel agent had left the company, but another agent took on our case. We had new flight bookings – now for three days later than planned.
Now it was a matter of just waiting. We spent time touring the Dublin area – a half day bus tour to the north of Dublin; a half day bus tour to the south of Dublin; visiting some small museums and getting lost around Dublin. In between, we were watching the television SKY News for the latest updates on the situation. Would our new flight also be cancelled?
Have you worked out the nature of the event? I would not to try to pronounce the name, but it was the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, 14-20 April 2010. Flights all over Europe, and some further afield were all grounded, and we were stuck!
There were a couple of positives from the experience. The hotel was very accommodating – after all they were impacted widely as well – few new bookings. We saw more of Dublin than we would have seen otherwise. And we were flying Business Class, and so the airlines looked after us. We were on one of the first flights out of Dublin to Manchester, and then home to Melbourne.
This subject was given to us on 24 April (2017), seven years to the day since we arrived home after our delayed flights! My Facebook comment for the day was “has escaped Europe and is now at home”.