SOURCE: 1st-Air.Net

April 17, 2010 19:45 ET

1st-Air.Net Reports Travel Continues Despite Icelandic Volcano

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 17, 2010) -  The Icelandic volcano that has brought the airline industry to its knees has created the greatest disruption in global aviation history. While thousands of travelers remain stranded in airports worldwide, 1st-Air.Net reports stories of savvy travelers that have deviated from their existing travel plans to reach their final destination without waiting on the volcano.

Mike Francis of Charlotte, NC was originally confirmed for business class travel with US Airways between Frankfurt and Charlotte, NC on Friday, April 16th. When US Airways cancelled his flight, he was initially re-accommodated on Lufthansa. Early Friday morning, Francis was notified that Lufthansa cancelled his replacement flight, leaving him stranded. Unable to reach the carrier by phone Francis contacted Passport Premiere, the premium travel club for international travel. Passport Premiere was able to able to secure the last business class seat with Singapore Airlines on its Frankfurt-New York flight departing Friday at 8:30 A.M. Francis was skeptical if the flight would operate, but the Passport Premiere staff persuaded him that the aircraft was likely to fly as scheduled. Fortunately for Francis, Passport Premiere was right. The Boeing 747-400 departed 33 minutes early and also arrived early in New York. This was on one of the last flights to depart Frankfurt.

Peter Henry, a U.K. resident, purchased four First Class tickets with British Airways in February for a Caribbean holiday with his family departing on April 17th. With London Heathrow remaining closed, his family vacation appeared to be ruined. Desperate to keep his promise of an overdue holiday, Henry desperately searched for departures to the Caribbean from southern European airports. Through Passport Premiere, he secured four business class tickets between Madrid and Cancun, Mexico. He did have to take the ferry from the U.K. to France, and then hire a private car for the 800 mile drive to Madrid. In the end, Henry arrived in Cancun within two hours of his original schedule.

John Richards of New York replaced his British Airways business class airline ticket for the April 22nd sailing of the Queen Mary between Southampton and New York. Though he won't reach New York until April 29th, Richards opted for peace of mind with his travel plans while saving money in the process. The cruise fare was $1,795 per person for a cabin with balcony including meals, compared with over $400 per night for his cramped London hotel room. The refund he will receive from his business class ticket has turned a chaotic situation for Richards into a mini vacation.

As officials warn that European airspace may continue to be closed for several more days, international travelers will need to seek alternatives to complete existing itineraries or commence new trips. Passport Premiere is a membership based consultancy providing international premium class travelers access to service and savings not available in the open marketplace. 1st-Air.Net has serviced self-managed travelers worldwide since 1998 through its open access website.

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