And for all Thomson customers and those in the "Waiting for God Establishment" aka the Los Gigantes Hotel , here is the lates from the ThomsonFly website
Thomson Airways ? Volcanic Ash Disruption ? update 17:30, Monday 19 April 2010
Following the eruption of a volcano in Iceland, NATS (National Air Traffic Service) have confirmed that the cloud of volcanic dust is still within UK and European air space today (Monday, 19 April). Thomson Airways has been advised that British airspace remains closed until at least 1.00 (UK time) on Tuesday 20 April. This has resulted in significant disruption to our flying programme, and the airline has taken the decision to cancel all UK outbound flights due to operate up to and including Wednesday, 21 April.
As reported on news bulletins, some parts of UK airspace could be re-opened tomorrow following several days of closure. Our absolute priority is to repatriate those customers stranded overseas as soon as we can. However, parts of Europe are still in a no-fly zone and until we have clearance across an entire route, we will not be in a position to operate those flights. At this time, Thomson Airways is anticipating that it could take a further 48 hours after the opening of airspace, before our flying programme starts to return to normal. Once the situation becomes clearer, we will not hesitate to post details on our websites.
We advise customers NOT to travel to their departure airport as this week?s Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday UK outbound flights are now cancelled.
Following the cancellation of outbound flights from the UK, the following policy has been put in place:
Customers whose flights were cancelled on the 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 April can:
o Amend their booking to an alternative holiday or flight without incurring normal administration fees. If the alternative holiday is cheaper than the original, then the difference in price will be refunded. If the alternative holiday is more expensive than the original, then the customer will be required to pay the difference.
o If we are unable to secure an alternative holiday, we will allow customers to cancel with a full refund without incurring normal administration fees.
Thomson Airways are using all the means at their disposal to assist those customers that were due to travel between 15 - 21 April with their revised travel arrangements. In particular, Thomson and First Choice customers who booked via our online websites, retail shops or call centres can:
o Visit their local Thomson or First Choice shop, where our retail staff will assist with any questions customers may have, and amend bookings as per the customers? wishes in accordance to the terms and conditions outlined above.
Please use the relevant links below to access the Thomson and First Choice shop finders.
* First Choice
o Call our dedicated customer helpline team on 0800 009 3833, which will be open from 08.00 ? 20.00 daily.
Those customers that booked via a third party travel agency are advised to contact their booking agent directly. Customers who have booked a Portland holiday should call 0844 871 0873. Customers requiring general advice can contact our 24/7 flight delay line on 02476 282 501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Customers due to travel on April 22 and beyond are advised to visit www.thomson.co.uk
where the latest travel information will be posted before travelling to their departure airport.
Thomson Airways would like to reassure all customers that we are doing everything we can to keep them informed and to get them on their holiday as soon as possible. Details of any further developments will be posted on our websites as soon as possible.
Repatriation of customers from overseas
Thomson is endeavouring to do everything possible to operate inbound flights into UK airports as a priority. However, it is restricted by the closure of air space currently in place which has resulted in extensive delays. As a major tour operator, we have an extensive network of customer service experts overseas who are there to assist customers whilst on holiday. In this instance, those affected are both package and flight-only customers. In accordance with our customer welfare measures, we have been offering appropriate assistance to all those customers that remain overseas as a result of these delays.
Thomson and First Choice have put in place a significant repatriation programme for customers currently in the Spanish resorts of Alicante and Malaga.
The repatriation programme will commence from today (Monday 19 April) and is as follows:
? Some of our customers in Alicante will travel via coach to Northern France where overnight accommodation will be provided. Customers will then travel via ferry on Tuesday 20 April back to the UK and onto their original UK departure airport.
? Additional customers in Malaga will travel via coach to Costa Brava where overnight accommodation will be provided. The coaches will continue on Tuesday morning to Northern France where customers will then travel via ferry on Wednesday 21 April back to the UK and onto their original UK departure airport.
A team of dedicated staff will wherever possible, accompany customers during their return journey to the UK to ensure they have the necessary support and assistance. In total, approximately 5,000 out of the 40,000 customers currently overseas as a result of the closure of UK airspace will benefit from this repatriation programme.
Thomson has also confirmed that its Island Cruises ship, Island Escape, currently in Funchal (Madeira) will bring all customers onboard directly back to the UK. Passengers onboard this ship had previously been scheduled to fly home to the UK, but will instead travel directly to Falmouth (Cornwall) on the ship with an arrival date of Friday, 23 April. Extra spaces onboard the ship, enabled over 300 non- cruise Thomson customers holidaying in Madeira and whose flights had been cancelled, to embark the ship and be repatriated back to the UK. From Falmouth, customers will then be transferred by coach back to their original UK departure airport.
Thomson Cruises will also be utilising its new Thomson Dream ship to transfer customers from Majorca to Barcelona from where their onward journey will be arranged.
Thomson and First Choice would like to reassure those who remain overseas, that everything possible is being done to get them home as soon as possible. The company is trying to source further coaches to repatriate more customers and as soon as these are confirmed, customers will be updated.
All our customers overseas are being accommodated in hotels, the majority on an all inclusive basis with the remaining on half board, and resort teams are working hard to keep them informed with the latest information.