Monday, April 19, 2010

Place your bets

So after a weekend of wondering what to do (and trying to work out how to enjoy the enforced holiday extension), Helen went to the Air France ticket office in Tokyo this morning. They weren't prepared to re-book her flight, saying there was no chance of flying in the next few days anyway, but took contact details...

...and tonight an email arrived assigning her a seat on the 13:30 tomorrow to Schiphol (and thence onwards to Manchester, her final destination).

I wonder what would be fair odds on that working out smoothly? At time of writing, all flights are still blocked indefinitely (and the UK is specifically shut down till 1am Tuesday), but of course it will be well over 24h before she gets to Schiphol even if things go well, and people are talking about re-starting flights, so it is not completely out of the question that the trip will go ahead. She had actually resigned herself to making the most of another week here, so a rapid re-pack and early start is a bit of a shock, especially as she said she had accommodation sorted and was not a particularly urgent case. Best case scenario is probably waking up to find the flight is already cancelled tomorrow morning before the tedious and expensive trip to Narita. Worst case, she'll get dumped in Amsterdam (or some other random destination - the last couple of Paris flights seemed to end up in Lyons and Toulouse), with nowhere to stay and no reasonable means of onwards transport...

Meanwhile, according to the news:

Nicolas Ribard, 29, from Avignon, France, was among about a dozen stranded tourists squatting on sleeping bags that Narita airport officials had lent them. He and three other friends had about 3,000 yen between them, and were surviving on airport-issued crackers, bottled water and coupons for one free shower a day.

Their earliest possible flight would be Taiwan’s EVA Airways on May 12—but only if they are willing to pay an extra 150 euros ($200). Otherwise, they have to wait until June, Ribard said.
Hard to see how Helen could have deserved to jump the queue so comprehensively. Perhaps her mistake was to buy a "Premium Voyager" ticket (but only cos the cheapest ones were sold out by the time she got round to booking...).

Stay tuned for the next thrilling instalment!

Update, 6:30am: That didn't take long (click for big). We'll probably get a new email demanding an early start tomorrow. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary...


Bart said...

FWIW, daytime flights from Schiphol are slowly resuming again.

David B. Benson said...

When the light finally departs, what is the route?

Hugh said...

Please wish H a 'bon voyage' from H in Lancaster

James Annan said...

Via Paris to Manchester was (and is again) the plan. For most of our destinations in the UK we can change at either of London, Paris or Amsterdam depending on price and timing. Amsterdam is most fun for a visit IME - tulip bulbs and chunks of gouda make good presents too!

crandles said...

On a different betting topic, intrade has added more contracts that may be of interest:

Arctic sea ice extent

Monthly GISS global temperature anomaly contracts

Finally (a global warming contract?) - Will Global Average Temperature for 2010-2014 exceed 2005-2009 by 0.1 degree C?

Last prices are 50, 55, 55, 55 & no trade yet.

Ranges are somewhat wide 30-65, 30-80, 30-80, 30- & 2-50.