So, today I have managed to check off the "get delayed by volcanic ash" item from the "Things I must do before I snuff it" list. It hadn't been very high up that list to be fair, but I thought today was an opportunity too good to miss. Only comes around every 200 years apparently. Bastard has to be today.
However, I feel I have to use an opportunity here to praise Tarom and their rep at Heathrow Catalin Zlota. Now as we all know airlines don't actually have any obligation to help passengers in a situation not of their making, such as weather, and less commonly vast clouds of volcanic ash floating over from Iceland. And in fact nearly all the airlines around basically told everyone to go home and come back tomorrow, whereas Tarom gave us food tokens and actually put us all in a hotel (from where I write this), with dinner and breakfast. I was chatting to a couple of Alitalia staff (it was a long day) and they said that as far as they could tell not only were we the only passengers to get this treatment, but Domnul Zlota was the only airline rep who was out working with his passengers.
I get the impression that Tarom doesn't get much respect in Romania, but it should. I have always found it a reasonable airline (in European airline terms), and the staff are always friendly and helpful, and today's events have reinforced and extended that feeling. No idea whether I'll feel this way tomorrow after the ash has delayed us for another day, but so far, they and specifically Zlota are doing a great job.
Unexpectedly positive post perhaps. Especially in the circumstances where I really really REALLY want to go home.
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