Travelling in Europe this week? Worried? We can help
Here's a quick run-down of the big issues facing travellings to, from and within Europe this week, what the latest is and what you can do about it.
Problem 1: volcanic ash cloud
It is the world's most copied and pasted but least well-pronounced word, and it's getting everybody down. Eyjafjallajökull continues to erupt, ash keeps heading towards the rest of Europe and airspace keeps getting closed. Monday has seen disruption in the UK, Ireland and Netherlands. Offering some respite, the rest of the week looks better. But a little worryingly, intermittent short-term closures look set to continue until either the greatest irritant to come out of Iceland since Björk quietens down or the increasingly rebellious airlines wrestle control of decisions on airspace closure.
Solution: Check your flight is running before you set out. Carry a copy of EU regulations 261/2004 in case you have to wave it under someone's nose. At this stage there's no need to not travel - the odds of getting delayed are getting longer by the hour and we should see no scenes like last month's epic chaos.
Problem 2: British Airways strike
The industrial action by British Airways cabin crew that was scheduled to begin on Tuesday has been halted by a court injunction. With a few gaps, it was scheduled to last for twenty days. As the problem hasn't been solved we may yet see strikes, even over the next few weeks. If any goes ahead the action will only affect flights in and out of Heathrow - Gatwick and London City services will run as normal. BA have also been training up other staff to act as back-up cabin crew and chartered other airline's planes and staff to get flights into the air. With no resolution in sight this looks set to be a summer of unrest at the airline.
Solution: if you're booked to travel with BA the game may not yet be up - check the airline's website to see if there's any news on your flight. If you're not booked, there are two courses of action open. You can book with another airline on any scheduled BA strike dates at what looks like a hefty premium, or hang on until the last minute and see if the plane you want to get on is running. If it is, it'll almost certainly be the cheapest option. The best option if you haven't booked yet and want to go to the UK or fly British Airways is to aim for non-strike dates.
Problem 3: Greece
The wonderful and rightly popular holiday destination of Greece continues to be beset by economic problems, with the question of how to restructure the economy prompting demonstrations which have turned violent recently. Though more protests are planned for Athens, it's important to note that the country remains safe and open for business.
Solution: keep in touch with travel advice for Greece and follow it. Consider heading straight for the islands or other areas of the mainland rather than staying in the Greek capital
Problem 4: I only have a limited time and some queues for some attractions are huge.
Solution: Yes this can be most annoying. But sometimes you can just jump the queue
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