My phone was blowing up at 6:30 a.m. this morning with digital news of my scouting trip to Wales erupting in the wake of an Icelandic volcano. "This is American Airlines, calling about a flight cancellation. We apologize for the inconvenience."
Inconvenience? I'd go with: incomprehensible. My flight to London was canceled because of a volcano in Iceland? Of course it was. And I thought it was odd a few years ago when my trip to Bandon Dunes was canceled because of a rolling blackout in the northeast.
Tonight I was scheduled to fly to London, drive to Wales in the morning for six rounds in four days, ending at Celtic Manor, home of the Ryder Cup in September. I'm currently working on a flight to Paris and jumping the Eurostar to London.
American Airlines offered me an afternoon flight to Paris, through Dallas. I prefer the direct flight from NY to Paris on Air France. American Airlines will refund me my tickets, but they won't accommodate me on a different airline, so the trip will be a little more expensive. The next dilemma is getting a seat on "the Chunnel," the undersea rail that would take me from Paris to London. I'll keep you posted.
It looks like I'll make it, but as with all travel inconveniences, it will cost me time and money. And don't get me wrong; I realize my plight is not on top of any priority lists. I feel especially sorry for people trying to fly to see sick loved ones, the members of the military trying to get home to see their families or the young newlyweds who have squirreled away a little time and money for a honeymoon, etc.
For more on the volcano, here's a link to the story on newyorktimes.com.
Here's a map illustrating the spread of the ash cloud:
(Amazing photograph by Arni Saeberg/Bloomberg News.)