I am staggered by the reactions of some people to the Icelandic volcano affair.
As a professional traveller and tourist I never go anywhere without thinking about, and planning for, unforeseen issues that could affect my trip – from having my rail ticket from Moscow to Krakow stolen (back in the communist days) and having to buy another through black market channels with the US dollars I had strapped under my shirt, to dealing with poilitcal upheavals in central African states and knowing how to use the Consular system for help and advice.
The hysterically weeping people on the TV news saying how much they hated a few days extra stuck in a hotel or waiting in an airport because of the disruption to their flights and those demanding compensation should frankly never be allowed to travel.
A volcano is an act of nature – I remember the BA 747 on its way to New Zealand in 1982 that lost power in all four engines after flying through a cloud of volcanic ash – personally I would have rather spent six days in an airport waiting lounge than risk that happening to my flight. And the airlines being forced to pay passengers hotel and food bills is also unfair – it wasn’t their fault!
If people want to travel, they need to be aware that these things happen.
Travelling is an adventure. It’s exciting. It’s educational. It’s often frustrating and surprising. But it is also a very great privilege.