Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Twice Bitten.... Chaos in the Adelaide Skies

Well - I  posted last week about the difficulties for air travel in Australia due to the volcanic ash from Chile... well,  as it turns out, my foiled trip to Melbourne was re-scheduled to last monday... and everything looked set for a good trip. I arrived in Melbourne early, and had a productive day - only to hear around 6pm , that flights to Adelaide were being cancelled again due to volcanic ash. Thanks Qantas and the Bureau of Meteorology for warning us!... And yes - it turned out my return to Adelaide on Tuesday evening was cancelled... and the situation was looking grim for Wednesday. Actually, it wasn't only Adelaide, by Tuesday Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney were all cancelled.

Faced with the prospect of an indeterminate delay in Melbourne, myself and my boss decided to take drastic measures. To drive back from Melbourne to Adelaide... a small 750 km drive away.

We set out around 4:30pm in the afternoon (just in time for peak hour) and a short drive later we were in Adelaide. By short, I mean 1am in the morning into Adelaide. A short 8.5 hour drive (including stops for dinner and coffees)...

Now, as it turns out we most probably could have returned to Adelaide around 8pm today (only 19 hours later), but we didn't know that when embarked on our mini-adventure. Still, it was an adventure, and whilst I complain about Qantas for their lack of warning, they were reasonably good. I heard that the disruption to Qantas on monday cost about 21million alone - though that wasn't dampening their profit estimates that much.

Despite the annoyance of driving home... I have to say that I was very happy to be sleeping in my own bed on Tuesday night. Whilst I might need to go to Melbourne again in the near future - this time I'll be keeping an extra keen eye on the ash cloud (which apparently has gone around the globe twice already).

Third time, they say, is a charm.... wish me luck for the third trip!


  1. Good for you, Ben!
    I hope your boss was a good company.

  2. It wasn't so bad - actually he's good company... and it's nice to work for someone that you like. However, it wasn't quite a carefree road-trip either, as there was a lot of work-talk going on. It had been a very busy couple of days...