Well, as anticipated, my flight was cancelled. I had expected to be awake all night checking the Turkish Airlines website, as the report yesterday of the airports closure being extended to 7.00am this morning, meant that being 9.00am here, the time I was due to leave for Bodrum airport..it would be a last minute check and dash before setting off.
But later in the evening the time was extended again until 1.00pm today, and as my flight was due to take off from Istanbul at 1.15pm, it seemed unlikely it would happen. Sure enough several minutes later my cancelled flight was posted up on the website. I have to say that I am impressed by Turkish Airlines prompt updates on their website..they have been very efficient during this difficult time.
I had to make a decision about whether to phone the airline to go on standby or apply for a refund. Bearing in mind that my friends who were due to leave on Friday are still stuck here, having been told they will be added to the standby list on Monday ONLY if the airports open today, with no guarantees about when they will get away, I felt I would be fighting a losing battle. It seems that this situation is going to get worse before it gets better, and there seemed little point in accepting standby, only to find that if I was lucky I might actually manage to arrive in England only a matter of days before I was due to return on 2nd May.
My brother in England is kindly going to get in touch with Expedia, with whom I booked my flights. They won't accept refund requests by email. It has to be by telephone, and as my line is local calls only, it's impossible for me to phone England. In any case their website says that their call centre is experiencing high activity, so it will be a nightmare getting through.
My return ticket for 2nd May will have to be cancelled, and as it's a non-refundable ticket I was expecting just to receive a refund of taxes. However I noticed on the Turkish Airlines website this morning that this date is within the timescale for which they seem to be offering full refunds...but it's a grey area so we'll wait and see.
So the entire trip has had to be abandoned at this point in time. It's very regrettable but in a way I'm relieved not to be flying at this difficult time, and even if the airports open, travelling is going to be absolute chaos for weeks ahead.
Mr Ayak is still sitting twiddling his thumbs, with no customers. It makes me realise how much the knock-on effect of this volcanic ash is going to have on so many people, businesses, etc. all over the world. It will take a long time to recover.
I'm sadly going to miss Billy's 1st birthday on Friday. I'm upset. Stella is upset. Fortunately Billy is too young to understand, and he will no doubt have a wonderful time. I just wish I could be there to share it.
The plan is to wait until this disastrous action by Mother Nature has subsided and things are back to normal...or as near normal as possible...then I'll re-book my trip and again look forward to spending precious time with my lovely daughter and grandson.