Volcanic Ash Disrupts Edinburgh Flights

Travel Tips, What's New — By Christina Maria Paschyn on May 24, 2011 at 8:30 am

Drifting ash from the erupting Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland has cancelled hundreds of flights in Scotland and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. The BBC is reporting that some 400 passengers slept at Edinburgh Airport last night.

Ash from the Volacanic Eruption in Iceland

If you were planning on flying today from Edinburgh Airport, there may be some good news. The Civil Aviation Authority says it expects Edinburgh and Glasgow airports to be clear by this afternoon and other northern Scottish airports by Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, Ryan Air is claiming that one of its planes encountered no problems during a test flight through the supposed “red zone” – an area over Scottish airspace contaminated with “high-density” ash from the volcano. The airline is blaming bureaucratic incompetence for the delay in resuming flights, but the CAA refutes this and the validity of the test flight.

Regardless, it seems that flights will be resumed soon, so don’t panic. If your flight is cancelled for yet another day, it doesn’t mean you have to be stuck at the airport indefinitely. Just treat the experience as a long layover – in other words, seize the opportunity to explore the city some more. Here are our tips on how to entertain yourself during a long layover.

If you absolutely must get out of the city and are desperate for an alternative mode of transportation, head to Edinburgh Waverley Station and catch a train instead. Look up train times here.

Waiting passenger at Edinburgh Airport

Above all stay positive. The impact of the volcanic ash on flights is less than it was last year, when another Icelandic eruption left passengers across Europe stranded for weeks. Just remember to keep calling your airline to find out whether your flight has been cancelled, delayed or is ready to take off again. And don’t let the airlines screw you over – check out this BBC article on your passenger rights.

[All images courtesy of BBC News]

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