Bagel vs the volcano

This whole volcano thing was an amusing diversion when I first spotted it on a quick browse-by of the Guardian a few days ago. It's a bit less funny now that I'm due to fly back to London tomorrow. Here's the situation:

  • I'm booked to fly with Etihad over two legs, stopping 'briefly' in Abu Dhabi. It's two separate flights not a refuelling stop, so there's nothing wrong with the Sydney – Abu Dhabi leg. Of course, once I get to Abu Dhabi, there's no telling when I'll be able to get to Europe
  • I asked my parents to call Etihad for me (various reasons why I couldn't do it) and they recommended staying in Sydney and rebooking for 3-4 days time (clearly the Etihad guy hasn't looked at his own flights; the earliest available flight out of Sydney is next Monday)
  • If I do go to Abu Dhabi, Etihad will pay for a hotel for two days and then I'm on my own. It looks like hotels in Abu Dhabi are quite expensive. I would love to know whether my travel insurance would cover me for this, but the claims department aren't open until Monday and the terms and conditions in my policy could go either way, as far as I can tell
  • I would feel happier being in Abu Dhabi, just a seven hour flight away. The problem is, I don't know if I can afford to hang around in Abu Dhabi. I'm going home to no job; this delay is delaying me finding a job and I'm not sure I want to rack up even more debt on the credit card (I suppose I could always just stay in the airport once my gratis nights run out)
  • If I stay in Sydney I can stay with Helen – but her parents, who are also visiting, may decide to stay on as well. This is not a reason for not staying, but it does make for an awfully full house
  • I've just started my period (TMI? Tough), and this really quite desperate urge to be at home and surrounded by familiar things and my own bed and stuff is undoubtedly clouding my judgement. I've been trekking round for a month now. I just want to go home
  • If I go to Abu Dhabi, I'll have my place in the rebooking system and there are more options for when airspace finally does reopen – three flights a day to Heathrow and one to Manchester, as opposed to trying to clamber on the one flight from Sydney
  • Going to Abu Dhabi assumes the ash will clear by midweek. If it doesn't, I'll be properly screwed

As of right now, I don't know what I'll do. I'll keep you posted. From one continent or another.


2 responses to “Bagel vs the volcano

  1. Clare April 17, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Good luck, hope you can get home very soon!

  2. Caroline April 18, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I’m not sure what you’ve decided to do, but if you do decide to go to Abu Dhabi and get stuck, let me know. I have contacts in Dubai (which I believe is fairly easy to get to) who I could put you in touch with. Who knows, you could wind up with a free place to stay!

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