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Volcano: 1, OTR Trip to London: 0

Continental canceled all of its evening flights tonight from Newark to London because of the Icelandic volcano, which probably wouldn’t warrant a mention here, except that I was supposed to be on the 7:20pm.

I primarily bring this up because although we in the U.S. aren’t hearing much more about the volcano situation on a day-to-day basis, it’s still causing havoc in Europe (Spanish, Moroccan, Irish and British airports have all been closed this week).

The key takeaway from this:  this summer’s European is going to be a mess.  That means that you are going to Europe and have to arrange childcare as part of that trip, you should make sure you have backup plans in case you have a multiple-day shutdown.  It also means that using Priceline for a hotel more than a day or two in advance will be risky, as their non-refundable policy could come back and bite you.  It will affect you if, like me, you like to tack on an extra little trip on to work trips to Europe.

In short – if you can’t be flexible with your plans, this may not be the summer to head to Europe.  It’s going to be rough going for a while.

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  1. Yeah, we’re so used to “complete predictability” on int’l travel. If you get unlucky, maybe you’ll be a couple hours late. But you’ll get there.

    Now, travel to Europe isn’t so predictable. I think the folly of closing all European air space for days is over, but you can see that it’s still possible to be “stuck” for a couple of days. And what happens if your flight is cancelled and the flights the next day (when the airport reopens) are already booked full? The potential for a big pain in the butt are real.

    I guess I’d try to give myself some leeway in travelling to Europe. Like I’d try not to book Easyjet tickets from London to “points beyond” immediately after my forecasted transatlantic arrival. That said, life’s uncertain, and sometimes you have to roll the dice a little.

  2. If there are open seats on a flight to CDG, would CO give any consideration to members of status? Then you can take Eurostar to London on your own expense. Just a thought……..

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