Sunday, 18 April 2010

Sombre Sunday

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 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.


  1. I am so sorry for you because I know how much this trip meant to you, likewise for Mr A with his customers unable to get to him.

    It's going to be astonishing over the next few months I feel - post will not be getting through, airlines will just run out of money to keep going with massive layoffs anticipated - it's almost too much to get one's head round. Eurostar will end up the richer for it - likewise the road toll companies.

    Hopefully you can be on the webcam for some of the time on Friday.

  2. That's a very positive blog when you must be 'gutted'.And so sorry from Mr Ayak too. Just come off the phone with our Ozzie friends who have spent the day at the airport and then gone home again with no definite plans. So many disappointed people worldwide :-(

  3. I think that now you have accepted that this trip has been cancelled...... that you will look forward to the visit at a later date when all this volcano spewing will be over.
    Something will have to be done soon. I guess this is just the tip of the iceberg.
    Makes you wonder how we can manage without air travel.
    I feel you are a very positive person and I know that you will get over this.
    I hope you will not lose financially. because of the flight cancellations and I really hope that your business will not bear losses for too long before all this air chaos gets back to normal. Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  4. Do you have Skype and a web cam? It really isn't the same as being there, I know that, but it may help the feelings of being so out of touch on the tyke's birthday.
    When I was in the US a couple of years ago, I was able to communicate with my friend and see my cats nearly every night.

  5. FF: Like you I can't get my head around the knock-on effects of all this...which we'll be feeling for quite some time.

    Rosie: Sad for your friends and as you say so many people are disappointed.

    Maggie: It's important to stay know that more than most. We can't help what life throws at us...we just have to deal with it don't we?

    Nomad: Yes I do have skype and webcam and I'm so grateful for it as I'm able to see Billy and Stella regularly. I'm sure I will be able to "see" Billy on Friday and wish him happy birthday.

    Thanks everyone for your kind wishes and support xxx

  6. So sorry to hear it I feel so sad for you, but its better to be safe than sorry, I know I would be so upset about it all though but like has already been mentioned what about a webcam or even skype if thats not possible on Billys birthday. Hope you manage to get refund on the money xx

  7. Bomb...thanks. Well thank goodness for the's better than nothing at all

  8. I wonder if there will be a 're-think' of how we live in the affluent sectors of the world now that our off season Kenyan produce can't get through to us?
    Will there be a chance to use this to revamp third world economies to use land for self sufficiency rather than for foreign exchange gains which never end up in the pockets of those whose water is polluted by mono crop production.
    Not a hope!
    Our masters will just carry on as usual once this is over.
    Sorry for the rant but here it is very close to home...the banana and pineapple plantations where the profits are syphoned off long before they 'trickle down' to the poor devils working with chemicals which are banned in the countries where the firms owning these plantations are domiciled.

    I am so sorry that you won't be with Billy on his birthday but look at it this way...he's the birthday boy, he'll be delighted to make contact on the webcam and skype and - this year - he'll have two birthdays!
    Not much consolation when it's something you and your daughter have so looked forward to, I know, and with all the worry about Mr. Ayak's venture.
    Still at least it looks as though you're getting a refund which makes it possible to check other routes if you have to.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if, instead of bailing out airlines at the end of this, governments would bail out the businesses which have suffered.

  9. I've been doing a lot of thinking about all this, and depending how long it takes for the ash to clear the long term effects could be profound.

  10. Fly: No apology necessary for the are right.
    And I agree with you...businesses will have suffered and governments should take heed...but they won't will they?

    and Jan...yes I've also been thinking about all this today. All our individual problems that have been created by this disaster, pale into insignificance when you consider the wider picture.

  11. Ayak, really wishing that all could turn round for you in the blink of an eye.
    I'll be out of touch for a few days I think, so don't take lack of comment for lack of concern.
    I'll be thinking of you and Mr. Ayak and hoping for the best.


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