The giant cloud of volcanic ash that has closed many of Europe’s airports is affecting attendees of two major business events for the industry. In Cannes, people who had planned to leave the MIPTV programming market on Friday found most of their flights cancelled. The same happened to some of those attending the NAB technology event in Las Vegas as the closure of European airspace saw many transatlantic flights cancelled.
People stranded on the Riviera could either try to book a train back home or rent a car. One resourceful traveller purchased a bicycle when cross-channel ferries declared themselves closed to foot passengers.
Dutchman Peter Spoor, of The Service Station, arrived in Amsterdam at 05.00 on Saturday morning having purchased a one-way car rental. Claire Boonstra, of Layer, is tweeting about her plan to return this Sunday.
Social networking sites have been a key source of information, Twitter has been used to arrange ride-shares and a Facebook group has been set-up for those looking to leave Las Vegas.
Some companies are trying to organise buses for people to jointly drive back home from MIP. On the up side, some exhibitors said they were enjoying brisk business on the Thursday, a day which is normally very quiet at the market.
UPDATE – For MIPTV visitors – the Palais de Festivals business centre and help desk is open today, Monday, from 10.00 to 18.00. People still in Cannes are using the Twitter hashtags #MipTV and #Stranded in a bid to keep each other updated (information courtesy of our colleagues at C21 Media).
See which planes are flying – live on the FlightRadar24.com website, which shows all live aircraft traffic in the airspace above Europe. The BBC website has a special feature by its technology blogger Rory Cellan-Jones, who tells how social media sites are being used to help stranded travellers get home.