This week has been a turbulent and frustrating one for thousands of travellers across the globe. As we all know, Europe’s skies have been engulfed by an ever expanding ball of ash, courtesy of Iceland, causing many flights in and out of European cities to be suspended.
Everyday the hopes of those stuck in far away places to return home are shattered as experts warn that the airspace over Europe is still unsafe.
As day five of the Icelandic volcano eruption falls upon us, thousands visiting China, from students to F1 stars have been left stranded here. Below are just a few examples of those left high and dry on Chinese soil.
Students stranded in Shanghai:
A number of school and university groups from the UK have been unable to fly home and have had to make emergency plans and reservations to stay on longer in China. We’re sure the students are all appropriately devastated at having lessons suspended and having to enjoy an extended holiday.
One group from Coventry University theatre who were visiting a college three hours outside of Shanghai have now been told they will not be able to board a flight back to the UK until the 29th of April at the earliest.
One student from the group, named Alice Pegrum told the BBC, “contact from the airlines has been poor. Some people have not been offered any options at all yet.”
For another group of teens from Orleans Park school in Twickenham, being stranded in China has turned out not too shabby as they are put up in the Sofitel, one of Shanghai’s top luxury hotels.
Mother of one boy described the hotel as “a teenager’s paradise of flat-screen televisions, gym and swimming pool, free meals and drinks, and dinner in the rooftop revolving restaurant.”
Going on day trips to museums and aquariums and being fed and well looked after by four, now very exhausted teachers, the kids seem to be having a great time.
China’s neighbours get the stick getting stuck:
Not having such a good time as those young’uns from the UK are travellers from Eastern Europe, in particular Russia.
Two instances have occurred this week that have caused moans and groans from China’s neighbour.
The first grievances have arisen because many Russians do not understand why if Moscow is at the moment safe to fly in and out of there are still delays to their travels.
This has led the blame to fall directly onto the inadequacy of Chinese air-carriers which unable to cope with the pressures of flying into Europe at the moment have caused delays for many Russian travelers attempting to return home.
However, don’t worry Shanghaiists, most complaints are coming strictly from Beijing. Russian passengers stuck in Shanghai were offered food and accommodation and treated well. Pat on the back for Shanghainese hospitality and customer care.
Finally, further up North at the Russian-Chinese border of Heihe, up to 2,000 Russian travellers were unable to cross the border due to a virus affecting the automated border control systems in place there.
The unidentified malware infection was deleted overnight but still left many inconvenienced and delayed.
So, that’s all for travel updates and stories of the stranded for this week. Don’t know about you but think we’ll be delaying any lavish holiday plans until the madness subsides.