Iceland Volcano affects travelers stranded at Tampa International Airport
Tampa is known for its tourism and European travelers are one of the city’s most valued visitors. Unfortunately, many European passengers found themselves stranded at Tampa International Airport after the Iceland Volcano shut down airspace and cancelled flights for nearly six days. As Eurocontrol allows for more flights to reopen, stranded passengers at TIA are first in line, trying to go home.
It isn’t just Europeans and tourists from the UK who are stranded in Tampa that’s the issue. Many residents from Tampa Bay found themselves stranded overseas as the Iceland volcano ash cloud threatened airplane engines and prevented them from returning home.
Bay News 9 interviewed Tom and Lisa Hedger who were in Paris at a trade show when the Iceland volcano erupted, spewing its densely , thick ash cloud mixed with silicate into the airspace overhead. The Hedgers told Bay News 9 that they weren’t just frustrated with the airlines but with the U.S. Embassy as well.
“We’re disappointed that there hasn’t been some sort of official response or position (from the U.S. Embassy)- a phone number-a coordinated effort to put something together to get people back.” The Hedgers said in a Bay News 9 report published today.
The Hedgers are still in Paris trying to make their way home.
For couples like the Hedgers and European tourists stranded at Tampa International Airport, there is a good chance that they will make it home today. The CAA states that UK, Belgium, Norway, and Irish airspace is open and that airspace over Germany and Denmark will open later today. France is resuming air flights and expects to have 60% of short haul and 100% of long haul flights operating today.
Eurocontrol assessed the situation and the dire need of millions of stranded passengers and reclassified airspace into three zones allowing more flights.