Gareth from the Office: A cloudy subject

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THOUSANDS of people this week will see their holiday hopes dashed after the Icelandic ash cloud made its startling return.

The Grimsvotn volcano in Vatnajokull National Park began erupting on Saturday and since then people have been grounded yet again with hundreds of flights cancelled so far.

This is not on a par with the last time an Icelandic volcano was portrayed in the British media.

In April of last year another eruption causing the largest closure of European airspace since World War Two. But at the moment the battle is raging in airports rather than a battlefield.

A friend of mine recently made the clever decision to cancel his hotel booking for a short break in Barcelona, not for the fear of having his flight cancelled, but for the fear of being stuck in Spain.

I think that is a very responsible decision for he and his girlfriend to make as they do not want to rack up extra expense.

And his reward for making such a good decision is that he will now be free to watch his beloved Stevenage when they take on Torquay at Old Trafford.

On the surface a lot of people would relish the chance to be stuck in another country for a few extra days but in my opinion that is a stupid view – unless you are extremely wealthy.

For starters, a lot of airlines and hotel companies will not refund people or put them up in hotels for the time they are staying in another country – holidaymakers do that at their own expense.

And the less sympathetic bosses aren’t going to be understanding when you ‘extend’ your holiday by an extra few days. They’ll come off of your holiday allocation for the year.

But the Northern airports are acting in what can only be described as an irresponsible manner, and actually busing people to southern airports so that they can catch their flights.

How irresponsible is that of not only the airports but the passengers as well. I know people don’t want to miss their holidays but they are setting themselves up for the possibility of not getting back.

Of course natural disasters wait for no man and they happen as and when they please. If they happened for our benefit then the volcano would be spewing money and not a cloud of ash that is making it impossible for people to enjoy their well-earned breaks.

Before people make these statements about gaining some more time in the sun I don’t think they process what it is that being stuck in another country actually means.

Think before you act and take some responsibility.