Ash cloud, European travel and the USA

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.

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2 Comments

Filed under International News Coverage, Story Ideas

2 responses to “Ash cloud, European travel and the USA

  1. YRI

    well has anyone thought bout the economics crisis this will give us Europeans. as the world is coming together we rely on import and export very heavily. we might, when air travel is being suspended for a long period of time, run out of food and stuff. also who is going to pay for the losses?? i read above that the industries are losing $200 million/day and the volcano doesn’t show signs of stopping. this is bad news for Europe if u ask me and we’ll all have to pay somehow!!

    • kubiske

      The BBC did a good quick summary of some of the problems. Fruits and flowers from Latin America and Africa, which depend on air transport, cannot get into Europe. So that means the products either rot away at a massive loss for the developing countries’ economies or they get sold to other markets at a large discount. (The latter being difficult to arrange because of limited aircraft.)

      Each country has local stories about how the ash cloud shutdown is affecting them. I always figure once you start looking at these stories you can’t help look at the economic and social impact. (I mean, you can only go so far with stories about poor stranded tourists sitting in an airport for 4 days.)

      I think it is sad that it is only today I have heard of the economic impact on the non-aviation world. And that was from the BBC. I have not heard anything from the US media except a quick line that “the European economy has already suffered billions of dollars in losses.”

      What losses? What sectors? Who is impacted?

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