Latest update: 19/04/2010
‘We can pay for a hotel, but our budget is getting out of control’
Monday morning, many travelers were unable to get to work. Grounded flights have left people stranded in the four corners of the world. One of their pressing concerns is the impact the delays will have on their wallets.
By FRANCE 24 (text)
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Many stranded passengers have written to France 24 to tell of their trials. Some have been waiting for days to get home.
Vincent and Sandrine have been stuck in Osaka, Japan, since Saturday.
“Luckily we could pay for a hotel, but our budget is getting out of control,” they write. “The insurance companies aren’t interested in hearing any of it. How are others supposed to manage if they don’t have extra money beyond the budget they decided beforehand?”
Alison, stuck in Washington DC, waiting for a flight to France to become. Her airline has proposed a flight date of April 26. She said, “To be able to leave earlier, I’d have to go to the airport every day, paying out of pocket for my stay. How are we supposed to manage without any aid coming in? Are we going to have to wait another week?”
Eric, on holiday in Bali, Indonesia, has chosen to stay in on the island rather than face being stuck in a Malaysian airport, where he was meant to have a stopover. “We didn’t want to get trapped near an airport where everything is expensive and full. Here, hotels and food are affordable.”
When paid leave becomes unpaid leave
The biggest concern for travelers scheduled to go on holiday this week is their budget.
Blancon was supposed to leave this Friday for Shanghai, followed by Peking and Tibet. “If I don’t go, none of my travel expenses will be reimbursed,” he said. “I stand to lose 3000 Euros. It was to have been our first holiday since August 2009. We’re trying to be philosophical about it, but we really would still like to go.”
Another worry for many is that of their jobs. A large number of people were unable to make it to work on Monday morning. The delay is likely to go on for days. Olivier and Cathy, stuck in New York, asked: “Who will pay us back for the unpaid leave that we are obligated to take?”
Nicolas, also in New York, has a proposition. “It would be nice if they set up ‘open spaces’ – like cyber bases or office facilities put into place so we could at least try to telecommute.”