A massive ash cloud spat forth from the mouth of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano has forced Britain and parts of western Scandinavia to close airspace over their countries, and is progressively moving southward, where it will stymie travelers from the Netherlands and Belgium, for no one knows how long. Around 3,000 of Europe's 28,000 daily flights have been grounded so far, and, as you might imagine, people are pissed that the earth is disrupting their plans like this.
"Dear Iceland your country is shite," one stranded traveler wrote under the trending #DearIceland tag on Twitter. In the expectation that 140 characters will not be enough room for people to let our their rage at a natural disaster no one can do anything about, the Times has opened up a special comments section for people to shake their virtual fists at the airlines, Iceland, God, and/or the universe. "Company here in London is unable to get colleagues out to a meeting in southern France this evening," quipped a Brit named Scott. "Eurostar fully booked as well. Causing headaches!" And Brittany, an American student studying in London, is very unhappy about not getting to see her friend in Ireland this weekend:
[H]ad planned to be visiting a friend in Dublin this weekend. Was supposed to be flying from Heathrow to Dublin on Aer Lingus at 12:15pm, and when I checked- in the told me they had to move me to the 11:15am flight. That was all well and good, but then as we are waiting at the gate, departure screens showed all flights except the 9:55am were cancelled. No one made announcements or told us what we should be doing until people got restless and angry and asked the airport workers. Once we actually knew what was going on the Aer Lingus staff was decently helpful, and now I am hoping I can get on a flight tomorrow at some point! Oh the trials of travel!
Oh, the trials of living on a giant ball of rock and gas! We can't wait until we can move somewhere more convenient, ourselves.
Readers' Comments: Volcanic Ash Shuts Down Air Traffic in North Europe [NYT]
Britain Closes Airspace as Volcanic Ash Spreads [NYT]
Volcanic Ash Disrupts
Air Traffic in Europe [WSJ]