Arrived at Gatwick at 09.00hrs for my flight to Guernsey with Flybe. Got to the check-in desk at Flybe to be greeted by a rather sullen, abrasive gentleman who "advised" me that I could not check in as Guernsey Airport was closed. No mention why, until I asked, and then rather wish I hadn't. The ticket sales / customer services people for Flybe were far more pleasant and were handling disgruntled people explaining that the flights were delayed (and ultimately cancelled) due to fog at the island. However, every fog cloud has a silver lining - this one was the fact that Hisham of Kirker Holidays and Jonathan of Franklyn Hotels were on an earlier flight and whilst they were delayed, they did take off......only to return some 3 hours or so later (I could have been on that flight). I met with Andrea of Veloso Tours who was also due to fly on my aircraft and finally after some 7-8 hours, we were re-booked on a flight to Jersey tomorrow. Unfortunately, the BRIGHT Road-show in Guernsey was cancelled so let's hope we make it to Jersey tomorrow as this is my first trip for Mosaic Holidays and there are some fantastic deals to North Cyprus, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt and I want to tell the world about them - see for yourself at: www.mosaicholidays.co.uk .
As time goes by, 150,000 UK citizens currently find themselves stranded abroad, unable to return to their loved ones. Stories I'm hearing all too regularly are of people being told they might be able to return in May. Of course, this is where social media is really coming into itsown. I am receiving alerts from google about people writing on their blogs while stuck in their hotels in Egypt, Greece, France, USA, Canada and more. In addition to this, Facebook allows a fully informed, up-to-date version of what is happening in different countries to people you know and allows an excellent exchange of ideas on how to return home and the situation they are currently facing. At the same time, I'm hearing of people desperate to travel to the Far East and elsewhere for the sake of their businesses, which may be put into jeopardy if transactions cannot be performed in person. At Darren Panto Associates (www.dpaglobal.co.uk), we have been working hard to try and assist tour operators and individuals get people back to the UK, any way possible, generally by train and road. Of course, ferry companies between many different companies are also full to the brim.The consequences of all these seemingly endless cancelled flights may be dire and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Whilst the internet is keeping people in touch, what the internet cannot do just yet is blow away a cloud.
A somewhat debilitating day with BT's network exchange being flooded and my internet and email access being paralysed. Thankfully, I have an Apple iPhone which allowed me to access my emails but it is interesting that I am in Hertforshaire and the flood was at Paddington - yet my office access is affected and Paddington's is not. My wife had taken the week off to work from home, so you can imagine how impressed she was. Trouble is, there was nothing on the news until the following day, though one news broadcast on the radio did suggest a website to visit to get the latest on the situation.....brilliant as my good friend Hans Loontien, General Manager of the Renaissance in Beijing, would say.