Icelandic volcanic ash cloud leaves two couples stranded

TWO couples are counting the cost of being stranded thousands of miles from home because of the volcanic ash cloud hanging over the UK. David Hall, son of former Stevenage council leader Brian Hall, remains in Goa with his partner Rebecca Allan after thei

TWO couples are counting the cost of being stranded thousands of miles from home because of the volcanic ash cloud hanging over the UK.

David Hall, son of former Stevenage council leader Brian Hall, remains in Goa with his partner Rebecca Allan after their flight home was cancelled on Sunday.

The couple, both 41 and from Fairview Road, Stevenage, are now staying in a guest house still waiting for a flight home.

Mr Hall, a transport manager for Altro in Letchworth GC, said: "It has been a nightmare. We have looked at so many ways of trying to get home and we are getting nowhere.


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"If we find a flight we might have to pay another �2,000 extra just to get home but there are no flights and I have been told it could be May 3 before we can get a flight back.

"Flights may have started in the UK but nothing is happening here. It is a lottery to try and find a flight. But this holiday that cost �2,000 might end up costing us �5,000 if we have to buy airline tickets to get home and the cost of our guest house.

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"The only good news is Stevenage Boro winning the title."

Rebecca is the assistant head at Lodge Farm School, Stevenage.

Mark Whelan and his partner Jackie Phillips, both 45, have been stranded in Bangkok but were hoping to land at Gatwick this morning (Thursday) after catching a flight last night.

Both have family in Stevenage and Jackie is a teacher at Broom Barns School in the town.

"We were due to fly out on Friday but when we got to the airport we were told there were no flights," said Mr Whelan, who lives in Biggleswade.

"We have just been told we are going home and we couldn't be happier. We will be just glad to get home and see our families.

"Everything has been a struggle, from airlines to banks, and I suppose this will be a holiday we will never forget."

A couple from St Ippolyts hit the road when the planes were grounded in Portugal by buying a 20-year-old Renault Clio car with 200,000 kilometres on the clock.

Mark Harvey, 36, and his fianc�e Fran Early who works at Barnwell School, Stevenage, were somewhere in France yesterday (Wednesday) heading for any port where they could catch a ferry home with their car that has so far been trouble-free.

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