Travel agents went above and beyond the call of duty to help their customers return home after UK airspace was shut down for six days by a cloud of volcanic ash.
Travel Counsellors home-based agent Saffron Tennant made two six-hour round-trips from her home in Maidstone to Calais last Friday and Monday to collect stranded customers.
She said: “You hope if you help out it will improve the business in the long run.”
Meanwhile, Jennifer Bradnam from Kedington in Suffolk sent her husband Colin to pick up a family who were on holiday in Rome, and had made it as far as Turin by train. He left on Sunday, returning with the family on Tuesday.
Travel Counsellors agent John Spy in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, helped to bring a group of eight adults and 15 youngsters from a Scottish children’s dance school back from Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, where they found themselves stranded returning from a concert in Hawaii.
With help from a Travel Counsellors employee in Holland, Spy arranged for the group to travel by coach to Caen in northwest France, then board a ferry to Portsmouth before being driven home on Monday morning.
He said: “I’ve booked their next trip to Taiwan and hopefully they will come to me in the future.”
Thomson and First Choice shop staff excelled when workers from 270 shops, which are usually closed on Sunday, agreed to open last week with just 24 hours’ notice.
Tui retail sales and operations director Kathryn Ward said the decision meant a total of 620 shops opened, adding: “Staff gave up their own time and worked six-day weeks.”