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Flying out of Zurich with Volcanic Ash Danger

California
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Flying out of Zurich with Volcanic Ash Danger

I will be flying out Zurich International Airport on May 23rd. Should I cancel my plans or go ahead and hope that the volcanic ash eruptions will ease a month from now. Any comments and suggestions on the topic will be greatly appreciated. Thank You

shadow100
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1. Re: Flying out of Zurich with Volcanic Ash Danger

I think the question is...how long is a piece of string...some newscasts predict a month of disruption...realistically no one knows it all depends on the volcano. Obviously if you've booked flights they are cancelled, you will be given a refund or the chance to reschedule.

London
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2. Re: Flying out of Zurich with Volcanic Ash Danger

This is a really difficult question, and unfortunately at this stage I don't think anybody could answer with any degree of certainty. A month is a long time though. You could look into public transport options if your onward destination is practically reached in this way. You can even plan international journeys on www.rail.ch

Good luck and I hope it works out.

bern
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3. Re: Flying out of Zurich with Volcanic Ash Danger

Nobody can predict if the problem will still exist when you are there. IF it continues there are some factors too keep in mind.

One of the main problems they have at the moment is that they don't have data available, they just don't know when and where it would be safe to fly and they keep it always on the safe side. They are learning at the moment and for sure there will be better data in a month. So even with a worse situation, there might be more and still safe flights by then.

If it's continueing they will be much better organized. For example I guess they can tell you then in advance when they have to close the airport and how to get to one with flights.

I guess what you might risk if you go is: you are maybe 2 or 3 days later back, some costs for additional transport or hotels, some time and phone calls to arrange flight back. On the other side there is a good chance that you can enjoy Europe without any problem and less crowds.

Zurich, Switzerland
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4. Re: Flying out of Zurich with Volcanic Ash Danger

Why would you want to cancel? If you are afraid of flying due to the eruption then cancel. If not wait and see. No airline will fly if airspace is not secure.

Zurich
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5. Re: Flying out of Zurich with Volcanic Ash Danger

I would not cancel at this moment. In Germany and Austria airlines are already critizising the government for being too cautios and not examining enough whether the ashes are still a problem or not. Transfer flights within Germany (without passengers of course) showed no problems so far. So the first people start to wonder whether this is the newest angst hype (after SARS, pig flue, etc.)..

I have a trip planned to Vienna this Friday, will keep you posted..

Cheers,

b

Edited: 6:18 am, April 19, 2010
arizona
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6. Re: Flying out of Zurich with Volcanic Ash Danger

I'm stranded in Zurich now. Flight was to leave on Friday, April 16, but the flight didn't get in from the USA so no flight out. Re-booked for Sunday, April 18th, same story, and am currently re-booked for April 21st. Hopefully, the ash will clear and a plane will get in. The volcano is in control and there is absolutely no way to know when the current activity will subside. All I can say is Zurich is a rather expensive spot to be stuck.

Basel, Switzerland
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7. Re: Flying out of Zurich with Volcanic Ash Danger

the asches problem has not to do with the volcano erupting but with the glacier on top of it which melts and creates the small explosiosn (when the ice water hits teh hot magma) that produce the smoke and ashes.

once the gacier is fully melted, there will be no problem with the ashes. this will happen anytime now and then it will take some days to clear the existing xchaos and then things will be back to normal.

However - and this noone can quarantee is if the second volcano will explode.

there is a glacier on top of that too and it will create the same problem.

it is under supervision now and it shows no such activity.

so go on with your plans, we go ahead with ours (we fly out the 08. mai) and be prepared with alternative plans in case the second volcano explodes.

tak

PS: is it not terrible that the airlines accuse the governments for closing the air spaces? Anything to save a bob or two and who cares if people get hurt? If i was in the government, i would tell these creatures the air space will open on the condition that the airline and IATA managers are abroad when the planes take off :-) see what song they will be singing then....

fti
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8. Re: Flying out of Zurich with Volcanic Ash Danger

If the past eruption of this volcano is any indication, you should not plan to fly to Europe for the next two years!! Seriously, that is how long the volcano erupted in the early 1800's.

Sit tight. Who knows what will happen in the next month. Heck, I am scheduled to depart in two DAYS and I have no idea if we will be going or not. I probably won't know until Wednesday morning and our flight is Wednesday evening.

But if I cancel before the airline cancels the flights, I pay a cancellation fee. If I wait for the airlines to cancel the flights, then I can avoid any cancellation fees.

John

fti
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for Alaska
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9. Re: Flying out of Zurich with Volcanic Ash Danger

>>I'm stranded in Zurich now. Flight was to leave on Friday, April 16, but the flight didn't get in from the USA so no flight out. Re-booked for Sunday, April 18th, same story, and am currently re-booked for April 21st. Hopefully, the ash will clear and a plane will get in. The volcano is in control and there is absolutely no way to know when the current activity will subside. All I can say is Zurich is a rather expensive spot to be stuck

Try to get yourself to Madrid. Flights are flying out of there. I have friends driving today from Germany to Madrid and they are flying out on Wednesday.

Any city can be as expensive or as inexpensive as one makes it. There is more than one hostel in Zurich with kitchens, where one can prepare their own meals, etc. May not be ideal, but is definitely an option. I am amazed at how much some people pay when traveling to Alaska (very expensive for US standards). But my travel style is different than many people. All this to say what it expensive or not is subjective.

Of course there is also travel insurance that pays for trip delay, which I never leave home without.

I hope it will work out for you and that you get out on 21 April. If you do, that means my flight on 21 April to Europe will probably operate.

John

Zurich, Switzerland
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for Zurich
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10. Re: Flying out of Zurich with Volcanic Ash Danger

Good news: Swiss airspace ist open again from this morning and there will be flights from and to all Swiss airports. It will take a while though until the airlines will be back to normal schedule, due to airplanes having been stranded all over the world.

Apparently the vulcano has decreased its production of ashes and for the next few days flying to most European countries should be possible. But nobody knows how the long term conditions will be.