Airlines turning back on stranded Brits?

Posted on: 26 April 2010 by Gareth Hargreaves

Two weeks ago, Eyjafjallajökull, the ash-spewing monster in Iceland, was about to block out the sun and choke us with its deadly fall out. Well, we're still here and, now that the media circus has moved on, the Britons stranded overseas are still there! So, who is going to help them?

http://owl-group-staging.s3.amazonaws.com/upload_datas/33384/landscape_large.png?1359638523It’s hard to believe that there are still tens of thousands of UK travellers stranded abroad following the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland! Egypt, Spain and the Far East still have an assortment of British waifs and strays wandering aimlessly around airports trying to get home.

It’s interesting that once the media spotlight left the government and the airlines it was back to business as usual – ie: selling new tickets to get the losses down that they incurred during the grounding. If the media was still climbing all over them, you can bet they would have got all their stranded customers home long ago.

If you estimate that there are still 100,000 stranded men, women and children languishing in hotels and airports around the world, it would take only the combined effort of the airlines and 400 flights (assuming only 60% occupancy) to get them home and end their misery and distress. But can you see that happening when there are new paying customers waiting to fly?

Nevertheless, there are stories of British ingenuity coming through – like the team of power boaters who dashed across the channel and lifted a few tourists off the French beaches before their enterprise was stopped by our Gallic cousins! Or the guy who hired a taxi to drive him and his family from Rome to Chichester – cost £2,600!

One of my friends got stranded in Egypt so he did what all of us would like to be able do in such a situation – he hired a jet to bring him home! Flash b------d, I hate him!

Vitamin supplements – do they work?

My family and many of my friends and colleagues have long thought I’m slightly mad! For the past 16 years, I have been taking 32 vitamin tablets every day. Yes, each and every day!

My doctor also thinks I’m nuts and tells me it is doing me no good at all and I’m wasting my money. Of course, I ignore them all and keep working 80 hours a week with no colds or flu in sight. I’m sometimes questioned when I ask for my ‘pensioner discount’; “are you sure you’re 65?”

But if ever I did need validation that taking the tablets has a positive effect on my health, I need only consider the speed of healing of the cuts on my face after my fall six weeks ago. My GP wouldn’t believe me when I told him what happened and how many stitches I had to have.

Last weekend I saw him sneaking out of Holland & Barrett with a large full carrier bag! Another convert?

Yobs* and Chavs** – saints or sinners?

According to the Daily Express today 40% of people over the age of 50 would cross the road rather than pass a crowd of youths and would never dream of asking one to take their feet off the seat in a bus.

I’m sure this fear is justified to many people but my experience is the exact opposite. A couple of years ago I was running for a bus in Brixton and heard a young lad shouting at me – fearing the worst I got on the bus tout de suite only to be followed by him – he then gave me the wallet that had fallen out of my pocket! He got off at the next stop and walked back into town.

Walking my friend’s dog last year, I was having trouble getting him to do what I wanted – a black youth shouted something to me, which in all truth did seem threatening. As he crossed the road again I feared the worse – only to be given a very expert lesson in dog handling!

When I fell over recently it was an Asian youth who helped me up and called the ambulance!

Not all young people are bad and it’s wrong to tarnish them all with the same brush - when I was their age I’m sure the older generation then thought I was a complete reprobate with my tight jeans and Beatle haircut, ‘hoodie’ anorak and 125cc Vespa!
 

 

* Yob

 

a teenage lout or hooligan.

Origin:
1855–60;  a consciously reversed form of boy
 

** Chav
British slang, "antisocial youth," by 2004, of unknown origin.




 

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