Stranded 3. Update
Granny has just sent this to the BBC: whether they'll publish it is another matter - but she'll just copy it here, so you'll see where we're at.
On the BBC news last night, it was stated that this crisis would sort out the good airlines from the bad. Indeed. Staying with me at my house in Lanzarote have been my nephew - a teacher -and his wife with 3 children under 6 and my son with his daughters of eight and 12. My nephew came over on Monarch, my son on Easyjet. When the crisis broke my nephew decided to opt for rebooking on Monarch rather than a refund. He was told to do nothing; he would receive news of his re-booking by email. He has heard nothing. As 17 Monarch flights were going out to different parts of the UK today, any of which he would opted for, he went down to the airport to see if he could get on to one of them. He was told by the agent on the desk - who also dealt with Thomson and Thomas Cook - that he should have inquired with them earlier. Not that they knew anything much. As far as they could see the earliest Monarch would fly him out would be April 30th -and more likely early May. The passengers being given priority were package travellers. He inquired if he re-booked on another airline would he get his refund from Monarch? They said no. He has now booked on to a Thomson flight on Tuesday for over 900 euros.
Monarch does not come well out of this does it? Not least the total lack of information has left the family - including a 13 month old baby - in a state of anxiety and my nephew's school in considerable difficulties.
My son meanwhile who had opted for a refund tried to book a flight on Easyjet on Saturday but was not allowed to proceed with the booking, at the same time as I, a new passenger, hastening home to aid a friend in crisis, was given my ticket, no problem - I was giving them new money. (They charged me 300 euros, more or less.) He managed to book himself on Ryanair tonight, for a reasonable sum: my nephew having delayed a little while he investigated re-funds from Monarch was too late. Ryanair would now charge him over 1000 euros, minimum, without their extras, to get himself home - and not before Tuesday.
The airlines have lost out of this no doubt. But holding booked passengers to ransom like this? Outrageous.
Meantime: some joys. Lovely afternoons on the beach; the enchanting baby - the cry of 'ca' ' as she pursued, crawling at speed, one animal or another, cat or dog, will be Granny's main memory of this alternatively nightmarish and delightful ten days since the crisis broke. Ash cloud, what's that?
The downside is that, given all this, will any of them want to visit Lanzarote again?
Not for quite a while,' said Granny's son... Quite.
Granny is off to tend her friend on Saturday. Who knows when she'll be back to the island, let alone this blog. What with one thing and another. She might try to write something. Sta luego