“The situation is so fluid”: An agent’s perspective on ash disruption

Travel Counsellors consultant Dorian Hayes believes helping his clients through the volcanic ash disruption is the biggest challenge of his agent career.

Today he has been trying to help customers in Egypt get home.

He described the circumstances as “unique and incredibly challenging”.

“My clients were in Sharm el Sheikh and they managed to get themselves to Cairo but could do no more,” he said.

“They called me and I have got them somewhere to stay in Cairo and an Alitalia flight to Milan. From there it’s a sleeper to Paris and possibly Eurostar or, if that is full, a train to Calais and a ferry.

“The difficulty is the situation is so fluid, it keeps changing.

“It is tough enough to find a way home for them but then you have to consider that the ash cloud could move so flights to places like Prague, which is open now, could end up being useless in a few hours.”

Hayes said he and other agents across the country were facing the same circumstances as they tried to rescue their clients.

And he said he felt particularly sorry for travellers who didn’t have the support of an agent.

“Sitting in an internet cafe in somewhere like Cairo trying to find a way home or somewhere to stay would be tough for an agent, never mind an ordinary person,” he added.

“My clients are relieved to have someone to talk to and to help them and I think it will highlight to the general public why booking through an agent adds priceless value.”

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