Rod Liddle

From the ashes

From the ashes
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I’m due to fly to Italy with British Airways tomorrow morning for a wedding later in the week. The flight is in some doubt because of that bloody ash cloud from Iceland. So I did as BA want its customers to do and checked the “volcanic ash update” at This told me that the flight was going ahead, no need to worry, etc.

Comforted by this news, I nonetheless suddenly felt a twinge of doubt. So, to double check, I tapped in the details for a flight later today (Sun) to Belfast, because the TV news this morning told me that Northern Ireland airspace was closed. It said THAT flight was going ahead too. So I rang BA. The man told me that I should check with the website for the latest information but that as far as he knew the flight to Italy would be going ahead tomorrow. I told him his website was putting out incorrect information. He said no, it’s not, it’s always accurate. So I asked him about the status of flights to Belfast today and he said they were all cancelled. I directed him to his own website where it said the Belfast flights were going ahead. He said – a corker, this one – that the information on the website was “correct, but it simply hasn’t been updated for 15 hours.”  What a tit. Clearly, the website is of not the slightest use to mankind.

Meanwhile, the news broadcasters seem to be yearning for the cloud to be as disruptive as possible and have clearly overstated the threat.