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Volcanic Ash…What a Pain!

First, I must say that I’m incredibly happy that my mom’s flight managed to land last Thursday. Her flight must have been one of the last to land at LHR before they decided to close the airport, as we were hearing things about cancelled flights on the radio on the way back home after picking her up. We didn’t worry much about her return trip since it was all the way on Tuesday, and we had our reception for Tim’s family on Saturday (separate post about that later). On Monday, we found out her flight was officially cancelled. The email directed me to a link to rebook her on a new flight, and the earliest I could schedule her was on MONDAY, the 26th of April. Please note, Mom was originally supposed to leave on the 20th, and had only been granted 5 days off from work. Fortunately, her bosses are understanding and have told her to “enjoy her extra time” with me, but at the same time, this issue could cut into our future plans for her to visit this Summer.

Of course, we are enjoying the extra time together and managed to do a few more touristy things on her visit. We went to Stratford-upon-Avon on Tuesday since Tim already had the day off, and this weekend plan on going to Woodhall Spa. We were concerned about how we’d get her to the airport on Monday, but Tim’s bosses managed to let him take off Monday on short notice (after he explained why he needed it off).

But still, such a pain. Thankfully, Mom was visiting me and so has a free room to stay in. I can’t imagine what would happen if she was staying in a hotel somewhere!

Even worse is the predictions that the ash might move over the weekend and could disrupt flight again. If her Monday flight gets cancelled, I don’t know what we will do (well, have a longer visit, I suppose!). On the other hand, I’d rather her flight be grounded over the plane going through potential engine damaging ash!

Also, fortunately for Mom, her passport was stamped with the generic 6-month visitor stamp, so we have time if she is stuck longer. Also, the UKBA is allowing anyone who has an expired visa as a result of the volcanic ash stay with no penalties, they are just advising people to hold onto proof that they were originally leaving. See http://blog.us2uk.net for details.

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