So far the most I have seen on the reporting about how the volcanic ash cloud is affecting European travel has focused on just European travel. There have been a few comments about how the airline groundings have affected flights to/from the States but I have yet to see any stories about what the groundings really mean.
The cancellation of so many flights has to have a social and economic impact on not only Europe but also on individual communities in the United States.
For example, a couple of friends are stuck in Sweden because of the ash cloud. He teaches journalism classes at a Washington, DC-area university. He made arrangements for other profs to cover his classes last week but now he has to make arrangements for this week because he cannot get out of Europe.
How many other business men and women are stranded in Europe? And what kind of impact does that have on getting business done?
Yes, I know with smart phones and high-speed Internet connections, a lot of what once had to be done face to face can now be done in virtual meetings. But I still figure there has to be an economic impact on having key corporate people stuck on the other side of the pond. (Europeans stuck in the US and Americans stuck in Europe.)
I wonder: Are the State Dept. and Department of Homeland Security allowing European visitors to overstay their visas because of this situation?
Are local businesses, churches, charities, etc. being affected because people cannot get in or out of Europe?
CNN just reported the industry figures it is losing $200 million a day. What do the losses the aviation industry mean to the average person? Will the rest of the industry follow Spirit Air and charge for carry on bags or follow Ryan Air and charge for use of the toilet? How about imposing a new “disaster recovery” fee per ticket?
What about other industries? Have the travel restrictions affected more than just the aviation industry? How about UPS or FedEx? How about companies that depend on air cargo? (Can Americans get their brie? Has the cost of real brie gone up?)
I would bet anyone looking at his/her own community could come up with a local, local, local story that show the local, local, local connection to this incident. It just takes a little looking and asking.