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Iceland’s volcanic eruption leaves Europeans stuck in Vietnam

2010-04-20 (GMT + 7)

Airline representatives with indirect air routes to Europe stated that visitors who are stuck in Vietnam as of April 18 may have to wait 5-10 days to return home.

Thai Airways said that at least by April 26 or 27 there would be flights from Bangkok to Europe. Cathay Pacific also announced it has no flights from Hong Kong to Europe over the next five days.
Airlines in Vietnam have sent announcement by email and phone to passengers in Vietnam. Only those in urgent situations are advised to try and fly to unaffected locations and then return home by themselves.
The airlines will allow passengers to return tickets or change flights, even for tickets that are nonrefundable. Many European visitors in Vietnam have decided to fly to transit points and wait for flights back home even though the number of passengers stuck at transit airports is rising.
Tuoi Tre reporters met Petre Rijnsburger, a Dutch tourist, plus Kessel Wolfgan and his wife, both German visitors, at a hotel in HCM City at noon April 17. They were leaving for Tan Son Nhat Airport to fly to Hong Kong and wait for a flight to Germany.
All of them were very worried. Their tour to Vietnam finished on April 17, but their airline cancelled their flight home to Germany. The earliest flight scheduled now is on May 1, but even that date is unconfirmed.
“We don’t want to stay in Vietnam for two week more, because we have to pay hotel fees and don’t know when we can come back home. We are not in the mood for staying in a hotel to watch TV and surf the Internet,” explained Rijnsburger.
She has informed her family about their situation, but she was still very concerned. “Perhaps this is the most impressive part of my tour and that of many others,” she noted, adding that many European visitors in the same hotel were also very worried.
Vietnam Travel firms are also apprehensive. Vo Anh Tai, director of Saigontourist, remarked on April 17 that two groups of visitors from France canceled their Vietnam tours. Bui Viet Thuy Tien, director of Asian Trails, described how only 32 of 39 British tourists made it Vietnam in one group, with the remaining 7 stuck at Heathrow Airport in London. Other groups of foreign tourists scheduled to go to Vietnam on April 17 and 18 have also canceled their tours.
Visitors whose travels are about to end are also very worried about flight schedules.

Source: Tuoi Tre

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