A hot time in Pompeii, Italy

The highlight of this trip so far — other than interviewing the voice of SpongeBob, which I’ll do tomorrow — has been visiting Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius.

Oh, wow. This was totally worth it.
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Volcano strands couple in Portugal for a week — is this an “extraordinary” circumstance, or what?

Even though EU 261, Europe’s strict consumer law for air travelers, has an exception for what are called “extraordinary” circumstances, Europe’s big carriers made a big deal about not invoking that clause when the cloud of volcanic ash spread across their airspace earlier this month.

Unless you were David Bray, who couldn’t return to Washington from Lisbon, Portugal, via Frankfurt on Lufthansa.

“My wife and I are currently stranded in Portugal,” he wrote to me last Monday. “What’s frustrating is flights are entering and departing Portugal for the U.S., but we’re with Lufthansa and they won’t help with rebooking with another carrier to get back to the U.S.”
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Oh when oh when will that pesky volcano stop erupting?

Here’s a story that’s familiar to anyone traveling to and from Europe in the last week: Erupting volcano. Canceled flight. Nothing to do but hit the Internet for some help.

Thanks to my friends over at Google for suggesting this. I had a blast creating my search story.

London hotel takes a hard line on stranded air traveler’s refund request

Yotel is a Japanese-style capsule hotel at London’s Heathrow airport. It won the Business Travel World Award for best accommodations — a fact that its managers repeat endlessly in their email signatures. But volcanic eruptions? Not their problem.

John Ward discovered that when he was trapped in Istanbul last week after the volcanic eruption. An associate tried to secure a refund of his room deposit, with disappointing results.
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