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Would you be scared to fly through the ash cloud?

April 19th, 2010
04:32 PM ET

As travelers around the world battle with days of canceled flights and disrupted travel plans, another war between the airlines and air safety authorities is beginning.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/19/airplane.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="An Airbus A380 is seen on the ground after a test flight."]

Commercial European flights continued to be disrupted for a fifth straight day as the UK Civil Aviation Authority told CNN that there were still detectable levels of ash in the air.

A spokesman from NATS, the British air traffic control provider also said that it would not lift restriction on air travel in the current circumstances.

This is despite growing pressure from air travel groups such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and major airlines that are criticizing the tough restrictions.

Several airlines including British Airways have recently conducted test flights and have said that the aircraft sustained no damage.

British Airways' Chief Executive Willie Walsh said: "The analysis we have done so far, alongside that from other airlines' trial flights, provides fresh evidence that the current blanket restrictions on airspace are unnecessary.

"We believe airlines are best positioned to assess all available information and determine what, if any, risk exists to aircraft, crew and passengers."

However, some test flights by military planes have indicated that the ash cloud does indeed damage aircraft.

Several Finnish Air Force F-18 Hornet fighters that flew training missions over northern Finland last Thursday morning showed physical damage to parts of the plane.

A post-landing inspection revealed accumulations of powdery volcanic dust in the aircraft’s air intakes, according to a Ministry of Defense statement.

Imagery obtained indicated that even a short-duration flight inside an ash cloud may cause substantial damage to aircraft engines.

We want to know what you think.

Would you be confident enough to fly through an ash cloud? Are you still too scared to fly?

Posted by ,
Filed under:  General
soundoff (352 Responses)
  1. Eldon

    I would certainly be prepared to fly based on the current trials.

    April 19, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  2. Frank D. Woodruff

    Before I retired I spent a lot of time flying. To me if there is even a slight risk of flying don't take it. Because once that plane starts down then there's no turning back. To fly or not just isn't worth the gamble.
    The aircraft Industry isn't thinking of your safty so much as the money they a loseing. That guides their thinking. Once your dead your dead for a l o n g, L o n g time. Flying thru an ash cloud is having all the odds against you.
    Frank D. Woodruff Regional Supervisor of I/E Retired

    April 19, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  3. Sven

    Yes, I am willing, and booked to fly this Saturday from Málaga to London. No worries at all.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  4. Kenneth

    Yes, why not? I hope they lift the ban soon, so that I can continue flying to Heathrow.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  5. Jamie Lynn

    When you have long distance air travel plan and tickets you want to go. Not to mention the people who need to get home after a trip. Both had made plans, many have loved ones to see, jobs to go to, homes and pets to take care of.

    But I would not risk it. I certainly wouldn't make a new reservation to go anywhere in this area of the world until we knew it was safe. When you are way up there it is a long way down and usually you get killed when it doesn't work out.

    The professionals say that the engines can't take this kind of ash and ice particles and sand and rock and glass and I believe they set that standard for a reason. I wouldn't go. Notice all the heads of state who didn't go to Poland, too ... even though they wanted and officially felt like they needed to go????

    April 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  6. Chidi

    It would certainly be reckless for anyone to risk their lives flying through the ash cloud. There are more reasonable ways to be brave. Few scattered trials here and there are simply not enough.

    Hundreds or thousands of lives are at stake , not just few. We have to be 99.9% sure that the atmosphere is clear of this ash before taking to the skies. It's just commonsense, better be late than sorry !!!

    April 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  7. Jim Burrill

    I have over 3,600 flight hours in Navy C-130s. We lived – literally! – by adhearing to the safety manual called NATOPS. If a mission came up that would force us to violate that, the Commanding Officer could waive the rules, but it was still upt to the crew to take her up.

    Hauling pallets of mail? Some passengers going home on leave? No!

    Doing a medivac flight? Hell yes!

    I've seen what FOD can do to a turbo prop engine. Changed more than a few in some really crummy places.

    I would say medical flights where not flying was riskier than flying would be it until the situation clears up.
    Otherwise, I think Frank Woodruff had it nailed down. The industry is worried more about money than your safety.

    I have a vacation to the UK planned for July. If the valcano is still erupting, I will change my plans.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  8. Kathleen

    I am ticketed for Amsterdam Tuesday evening but, even if airspace reopens by then, I am hesitant to get on that plane. I believe the airlines are motivated by their bottom lines and are not listening to the voices of concern over safety. I want to take this trip but I will wait and rebook when the ash cloud is completely gone.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  9. Maddhotizon

    I would fly through an incinerating flame!!! I am human and destructive so I really shouldn't care.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  10. MLN

    I am due to fly from Heathrow to the States this Friday after having had my flight cancelled last Friday. While I like to think that the airlines have passenger safety in mind, the fact is that the loss of one airplane full of people is still cheaper for the airline than cancelling flights for the day. I notice that only American websites are reporting the damage to the planes that have flown into the ash cloud, while BBC is reporting that BA and other European airlines have had no problems on their test flights.

    I am going to reserve judgment on how I feel about flying at the end of this week, but if I were scheduled to fly tomorrow, I would not go.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  11. Kate

    So all those willing, are you also willing to sign a disclaimer that your relatives wouldn't sue the airline when your plane crashes?

    April 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  12. M Trotter

    If the experts agree that flying in these conditions is foolhardy, then I will not board a plane until they indicate it is safe to fly again. I saw an interview of a woman who was furious with the airlines for not resuming some flights. It would only take one unsuccessful flight to prove the experts right. Is it worth that risk??

    April 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  13. Maryam

    Yes i am willing to fly, as i have taken time of work and booked a hotel in Dubai, and now its costing me just sitting home not knowing what is going on i supposed the good thing about my situation is am not stranded.

    I also get it when you say their isint any getting back from a plane that is about to crash, not like you can walk away and say i recieved whiplash from the crash. You down the dust!

    In saying that, they did do test and everything seems fine, plus they can always change routes but i suppose thats extra work for them!

    Allah is with me always


    April 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  14. infraredted

    Earth bound, thanks anyway!

    April 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  15. Dimitris

    It seems that it was the same type of non-scientifically of technically qualified lawyers or health and safety "experts" that introduced the liquids ban on flights that are now causing this mess. The bottom line is, would we feel sorry for some airlines going out of business? For some of them certainly not. But we have grown to rely on air travel and fear lawyers, so we probably get what we deserve...
    And to answer the main question: Having flown through severe storms and having landed on snowy runways no, I am not afraid of flying through an ash cloud. I never was afraid of flying. Regarding the risks: Driving to work every day is more dangerous. If we follow the principle that the safest car is the one you never drive then we can all go back to the stone age.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  16. David

    With all the talk about people being stuck at airports, has anyone considered how much CO2 has not gone into the atmosphere during the 5 days the European Airspace has been closed. Europe air is a lot cleaner these days.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  17. anne

    just cancelled our trip to london for this wedneday night. not worth the risk....

    April 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  18. Nuno

    People say they would fly with no worries, then if a plane would go down with hundreds of people,, what would happen? who would be responsible, please, dont play with people's security.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  19. marcus flores

    There is no easy "yes" or "no" answer to your question as it has been phrased. YES, I would fly. NO, I would NOT fly through a cloud of volcanic ash. Particles from such eruptions can cause jet-engines to flame out, and there's no guarantee the restart drill will give results. No, I am NOT asking for guarantees when I fly: All I expect is prudential judgements and a responsible attitude from the authorities and the airlines; a sensible scientifically-proven, evidence-based reply to the question: is it safe or isn’t it to fly in such conditions?. A tall order you might say…… Anyway, if I remember rightly, the restart procedure (if at all possible under the prevailing circumstances and the possible engine-damage) kicks in better at lower altitudes, maybe forcing the pilots of a disabled airplane to hang fire on it until it has descended to a lower altitude. It is a big responsibility, and, though there are still MANY righteous people at the helm of MANY airlines, CERTAIN bosses have been known to push the envelope by pressurizing personnel to have their planes airborne as often as possible. It's a big responsibility. And a MORALLY-VALID decision is made all the more difficult in a mistakenly-secular, erroneously-relativistic world, where the One True God Who alone is the reliable source of TRUE LOVE FOR OUR FELLOW-HUMANS is often "crowded out" by money-spinners and the lust-for-money. All for.........a few fleeting, fugitive decades of ephemeral "good" life and a sinful hedonism on planet earth, sometimes immorally and egotistically "gained". At least the size of the particles which shut down engines should be precisely known (if at all feasible) and precise instruments should be in place in the cockpit to warn the pilot far in advance when he's APPROACHING the red zone..............

    April 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  20. Jay

    regardless of when the ban is lifted, i certainly don't want to be on the first passenger plane going up. or the 100th.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  21. Melodi

    I would never risk my life or that of my family. Period. There is still too much ash in the atmosphere, and the risk is still too high. I would feel much safer driving or taking a boat at this point in time.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  22. soldierboy

    as a soldier stationed in europe, i believe that the planes should start again. they have tested enough, what are they gonna do test until something goes wrong, there is nothing wrong, i am about to get married this weekend and my family that i havent seen in almost 2 years is coming i still hope sometime this week. we have other soldiers that are on leave and they are stuck somewhere with there families waiting to hear that they are safe again. yes of course there are risks. you take risks every day so i say yeah take the risk, it dosent seem to high as of now.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  23. Michelle

    I'm scheduled to leave tomorrow (tues) for Edinburgh via London Heathrow. I've decided to not take part in what seems to be a suicide mission if they really do open tomorrow. This trip is for a job interview and I NEED/WANT this job BUT I'm not willing to be a guinea pig. Hopefully I can reschedule the interview...but I can't see the ban lifting by tomorrow and if it does I really don't want to be first in line to try it out. The job doesn't require me to risk my life on a daily (or any) basis so why should I go ahead with what feels like a REALLY bad idea right now (the flight).

    April 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  24. Alex Buds

    Enough with the excess of caution. Let's fly!

    April 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  25. Melodi

    To Maryam, your Allah gives you free will - you have the choice to stay on the ground and be safe, or make a bad decision and get yourself killed!

    April 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  26. Brian

    Whenever I see a zero tolerance risk policy I know that science has failed. There would almost always be some ash in the air everywhere in the world. Airlines should now insist on engine makers to put some non-zero spec here and that the government have tests that can detect that level and tell ash from dust. There simply has to be some level where ash is not a problem.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  27. Kirby T.

    There is no way I'm going to fly through a ash cloud. I lived in Anchorage when the KLM flight flew through that ash cloud in 89 and it shut down all four engines. The ploit was very good and lucky to get the engines restarted again. The aircraft was setting at Anchorage airport. I saw that plane it was a mess.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  28. soldierboy

    and honestly, think about the risks you take everyday. and if some of the people are scared to fly well good tell them to stay there and they can wait with dirty clothes on their backs and running low on money. think if you were in that position, planes arnt perfect, cars arnt perfect, man and woman arnt perfect.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  29. soldierboy

    ahhh!!! reading alot of the other posts is making me crazy haha!!! you people act as if everyone is going to crash and every plane is going down. i highly doubt that ANY plane will have problems, they send passenger airlines up and there is NO problems, they send F18s and there are problems, well all you seem to be pilots out there should know that those are 2 very differnt planes differnt models differnt engines differnt everything, wow half of you people read before you write something, most of you prolly just sit around waiting to get hurt so you can sue someone, this is not what this is about its about getting families home and getting the world back on track

    April 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  30. Mike

    Yes, Airlines and pilots know what they are doing... they aren't going to fly through dense ash. They will make arrangements to go around it or through openings in the ash. My girlfriend is booked on Thursday afternoon to fly from the US to Germany... I'm not worried if the German govt opens the airspace. Test flights looked good, so lets get things moving!!

    April 19, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  31. Dib

    I am an aircraft mechanic. Volcanic ash can cause serious permanent damage to turbine engines. Turbine engines have many small cooling air passages to prevent internal parts from burning up. Even though it is used for cooling, that compressed air is hundreds of degrees. It is hot enough to melt volcanic material into glass which then gets deposited in all those small cooling passages. And when that cooling air flow is not there any more, very simply, the engine can burn up. This is a documented fact. In the aviation industry we have a phrase called get-home-itis. That is when people fly into dangerous situations because they are too focused on getting to their destinations. Instead you should be focused on your safety. Getting there safely is far more important!

    April 19, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  32. Juan

    A few days of down time shouldnt kill anybody. Stop flights until its safe, what is the big deal? If you are in a hurry to do business, then use the technology to get your business done.
    If you are vacationing then extend it a little bit or reschedule it.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  33. Christopher Lee

    no i wouldnt – if the scientists say no then its for a good reason

    Id rather listen to scientists than airlines testing over whales and ireland – what about testingover the rest of northern europe?

    April 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  34. Russ Marsolek

    I would NOT fly in the affected area. This ash can easily bring down an aircraft! Yes....easily!

    Remember......"Take-offs are optional, landings are mandatory"!

    April 19, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  35. Todd

    I'd personally rather sit in an airport for a few weeks then spend a few minutes falling to my death from 39,000 feet. Airlines only care about the safety of their bank balances more so then then the safety & comfort of it's passengers. Ever notice that everything costs money on air plane that use to be free? Or how crammed planes have gotten? People aren't getting any smallers and planes aren't getting any more comfortable... they get what they deserve (airlines). I feel sorry for the people stuck in the airports but this is one of these really rare occurances where your stuck in a hard place... just be happy your alive and safe.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  36. passarinha

    Are you kidding? I have no wish to be a guinea pig for what would essentially be an experiment, when the stakes are so high. Because the situation is unusual, there is not enough data to accurately assess risks. Therefore it only makes sense to be conservative.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  37. owhymesd

    I can't believe British Airways would be claiming everything is okay. Does no one remember this?


    At least everyone made it. Now that they know the risks they should take the necessary precautions. Unfortunately the almighty dollar wins every time...

    April 19, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  38. MadMax

    ..look at it from this perspective....many airlines will not survive if they stay grounded so they make an executive decision to take the chance and fly and possibly crash which will cost them x money and they will not survive.....well to them ... dead if you do and dead if you don't.

    I sure don't like the odds.

    April 19, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  39. soldierboy

    because all the test flights have crashed right...hmmm watch the news my friends...and of course airlines cost money HELLO ever heard of inflation???? the world needs money to turn like you and i do.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  40. Kathy

    Better to error on the side of safety, than be on one of those planes if/when it loses power in all of its engines somewhere over Europe and crashes taking the lives of not only those aboard, but those on the ground also. Unless someone out there can prove that the airline engine makers also have mega stock in some cruise lines or ship building factories that are set to launch a flotilla of ships to span the globe or riverways and are really making profit from this, or the bankers are already creating a new instrument to bet against the airline industry or increase the value of some Asian airline or something and make a mint off of this natural disaster, I'd say....let's just wait it out a little a little longer until Mother Nature takes a rest up there in Iceland and calms down. Who knows, though, where she might strike next.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  41. mec

    No. I wouldn't.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  42. Claudio C

    No I wouldn't fly through the ash cloud... I am not willing to risk my life...and if airlines decide to resume the flying they would be risking lives of thousands of people.. That is... Irresponsibility

    April 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  43. btw

    I can't find any picture on the internet that visually confirms that the thick ash cloud is present outside areas nearby the volcano. All those pictures in the news just shows that scary ash cloud in Iceland + a simulated "affected" area whereas the sky above airports seem to be so clear. So I'm thinking that there is quite a good chance that the restriction is primarily driven by fear of unknown.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  44. Pain-in-the-ash

    Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, hell-bent to get to London, if I must.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  45. Greg

    I would much rather be on the ground, wishing I was up, than up wishing I was on the ground.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  46. soldierboy

    alot of you people say no well take a seat in the people that need airlines or the people that are ready to go home to thier families, you can sit here and type no all day but look at what needs to be done

    April 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  47. Tony

    It is not worth the risk. I understand that everybody wants to go home, but I am a pilot and I have seen what volcanic ash can do to a jet engine. I admit that there have been "test flights" that have flown without problems over land with a hundred airports below them in Europe to land at in case of a problem, but all it takes is one airplane to fly into the wrong part of the cloud and within seconds the ash that has been heated, cooled and passed through the turbine freezes the jet engines into obsidian stone-glass. 7-9 minutes later, your plane goes "splash" into the North Atlantic Ocean....In my humble opinion, it is better to wait for a few more days folks.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  48. John-Ryan

    No one would, not in their right mind. Volcanic Ash is Singlehandedly the most severe hazard to aviation. to put it simply, a ride trough an ash cloud, is a fall to your death.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  49. Mike

    I can't believe a lot of people are willing to risk their lives by flying thru a dangerous situation. Wake up people, what's more important than your life? Do you really want to risk flying and not reach your destination but instead end up pushing up daisies?

    April 19, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  50. Alvaro Moran

    I hate to fly even when there are blue skies.....Going through volcanic ashes?. No, thanks......

    April 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  51. Bove

    As Airline transport pilot,I can say that fly trough volcanic ashes are not a good thing to do.It is a higly unsafe flight.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  52. Adrian Rodriguez

    Definitively yes, the test are clear, nothing happens. The fights fly over the thin ash cloud and only goes thrue it twice: taking off and landing. Please, let us fly!

    April 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  53. soldierboy

    and what about soldiers, this is a sign at your own risk military and many people do it, i think they should let the people go that want to

    April 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  54. Alannah

    Nope, I wouldn't want to be one of the first up in the air. The airlines – already in poor financial shape – are simply looking at their profits. Tests should be done by independent third-party organizations like the weather authorities or international organizations. Let the experts decide if it is safe to fly or not.
    On another subject it amazes me that Danish airline Cimber Air is still allowed even up in the air ... they have had emergency landings, smoke in the cockpit and faulty landing gears for the past few months yet they're not grounded. So maybe it is safer to fly through volcanic ash than set foot on one of their planes. Who knows...

    April 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  55. Nicole

    Would I fly be scared to fly through the ash clouds? Afetr seeing what driving through a sand storm did to my cars engine, HELL YES i would be scarred to fly. The plane engines don't have the air filters my car does. Volcanic ash is bits of pulverized rock and glass. With my car, I just get stuck on the side of the road when the engine stalls, in a plane....much less fun.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  56. marku

    I have flight from Slovakia to Birmingham on Thursday and I really hope that we will flight...I am not afraid of any ash at all...

    April 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  57. Teresa

    If they ease the restrictions and then planes start crashing, then everyone will be upset that finances made the decision and the safety authorities gave in. I am glad they are not being bullied by the airlines and are sticking by what they think is safest. That is what the safety authorities are there for. It is reassuring to me that when I do fly, it will be because it is safe to do so, not because the airlines are loosing too much money.

    I agree it is a huge inconvenience, especially for those people stuck in other places and possibly stranded in airports, but I would rather be safe than sorry.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  58. raj_jain

    with the current situation i would like to fly back to india..

    April 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  59. patrickoh

    I certainly will NOT! Any risk of flying is not worth it. I hope those who say yes to the question above know that once a plane goes down because of the ash cloud, then it will truly cripple the whole airline industry and that will be truly catastrophic. It will take months to recover from this. Take my word.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  60. Sara

    What about flying under/above the ash? Some test flights have done that, and seem to have been OK. If I would not be flying directly through it, then I would consider going. The Finnish jets that showed damage flew on Friday–tomorrow will be Tuesday. Test flights since then have been fine.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  61. John

    Certainly. Even in more ash clouds than this. Safety regulation must apply under well-defined situations and approved by engineers not by a harsh decisions without solid grounds and basis. There are many possibilities like route change, change in flight height, ... . Beside that a jet engine definitely work without any problem in dust of Sahara (ask pilots who flew over dusts in Saudi Arabia, Africa, ...). The same thing is in the air (silica).

    April 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  62. Shawn Buzzini

    I would not want to fly through the ash cloud, although I'd have no problem flying under it with visibility rules in play.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  63. Yasuo

    Honesstly, I don't want to take a risk.
    But the ASH cloud takes my CASH.
    I've been waiting at Budapest Ferihegy for 3days..

    April 19, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  64. Michael

    Yes, I am currently stuck in London and would be on the first aircraft departing for the US

    April 19, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  65. Ronny L

    Do we smoke cigarettes even though we know it causes cancer – yes. Do we not buckle up in the car even though we have seen enough pictures of bad accidents – yes. Do we drink alcohol and eat junk food – yes. But do we also all complain and fear for our lives when the doctor prognoses cancer, police pulls us out the car parallized or when our lever falls apart? Now, just imagine those few minutes inside the plane – after you realized the engines stopped and the plane is about crash land... I personally fly a lot but have respect to the obvious. How many crashes did it take for airlines no longer to underestimate? How many car crahces did it take until we accepted a seat belt? The question of this report should be – would you fly through vulcanic ash if the airlines make you sign a responsibiity waiver prior to the flight?

    April 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  66. Ram

    I will not fly and won't regret the decision, even if a small number of flights completes without incident.

    All it will take is one jetliner to ingest ash, flame-out all engines and crash, to bring all these foolhardy risk-takers and their carriers to their senses.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  67. Tim Spooner

    People who say that they would fly regardless of the presence of volcanic dust are simply ignorant of the damage caused or are in denial. Do you really think that NATS would close the airspace if there was no danger? Anybody flying despite the clear dangers should be required to sign a waiver in the event of a crash (it won't be an accident as it can be foreseen) so that their relatives do not benefit financially from their own foolishness. That should change a few minds. I have licences for both fixed wing and helicopter and there is no way in the world I would take my chances on any commercial flight until the real all-clear is given, not a statement by airline executives.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  68. Chris

    Are you kidding? If F-18's are coming out of this thing damaged, you won't catch me on a regional jet over Europe anytime soon.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  69. Olga Abramova

    As a frequent flyer passenger I know that each time I must come back safe to those whom I love and who love me. Safety flights are my preference. If airlines authorities want to play Russian Roulette with their passengers and turn them into 'test passengers' it is not fair to us.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  70. wendy

    No thanks! Not worth the risk. But better coordination and cooperation between european countries and airports would be very helpful during this crisis. People should be transported and more flights and airline coordination should be organized within European countries with open airspace.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  71. Emil L. Samuels

    \It would be absolutely foolish to travel by air under the present circumstances.
    The volcanic ashes are absolutely dangerous for our airplanes ( see the Finish experiences ). And a second Volcano, nearby situated migt explode one of these days.

    Let us be prepared for another heavy economic crisis, combined with a growing lack of personal communications and tourists' dreams.

    April 19, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  72. Lauren

    What do people think about those of us who were planning a European summer vacation?

    I have yet to buy my ticket, but I am not sure if I want to spend time in an ash covered Europe. I was planning on going in September, once the summer crowds have dispersed, but I am hesitant to buy a ticket.

    Waiting one more month at this point won't hurt my wallet in terms of purchasing my ticket, so I think I'll wait it out and see what happens.

    Any thoughts?

    April 19, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  73. Amy Demone

    If people do not want to fly, do the airlines have to refund their tickets?

    April 19, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  74. Loukmaan

    I wouldnt take the risk but i also dont think its fair what if the ash stays up their for a year must the people stay on the airport for a year specialy those who dont have money?why cant anyone dat study stuf like dat kind of ash just not tel the people what to exspect and when they can go home for a fact?also all the tert flights land safe why wont flights with people land safe!

    April 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  75. Jane delPueblo

    No way José! I would NOT dare to fly of be in an aircraft flying into cloud os ashes. If people stranded all around the globe are anxious in getting into their final destination back home, but they are not thinking inthe hight risk involved if you fly into a huge cloud of ashes.
    Imagine yourself inside the plane – after you realized the engines stopped and the plane is about crash land... NOt even with a responsibility waiver I will dare to fly through volcanic ashes.

    Please hold your bad moods and thank all the people that are looking after you safety. Besides I do not know yet a crazy pilots who would dare to put his own life in high risk. sooo Please hold on tight, do yoga, take a deep breath and think I will get home safe whe conditions improves after thankking GOD that you still safe alive!.

    want to ge to their final des

    April 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  76. GetReal82

    when u feel that plane start to go down you'd give anything to be back waiting at that crowded & stuffy airport . I got my tkt to Amsterdam and cant wait to get there n party but I aint flyin till its safe. Just not worth the risk.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  77. Charles

    I would fly under one condition: That the CEOs and the Board of Directors of every major airline take a long flight through in one of their fleet aircraft through the affected cloud area. Then I guess I would fly.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  78. Konstantinos Zacharopoulos

    I just came from Vietnam to Athens on Sunday morning, one of the few airports open.
    I would never go on a plane if I wasnt 100 sure that the conditions are ok.

    Being a Quality Director in a Greek Shipping firm I know that money talks first specially for these companies. they wouldn't care less if they where to save money.

    keep in mind I went to vietnam on wednesday ( just 3 days ago 19,000km in 86 hours).

    Safety must always come first...

    April 19, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  79. SR

    I am stuck here in Dallas and I have an appointment with the UK Border Force on the 27th of Apr. Unfortunately and contrary to what I had assumed the UK Border Force has absolutely no sympathy for people like me with a work visa that is about to expire.

    When I called the agency to report that I might not be able to make it to the appointment I was told that there are no other appointments until the 31st of May and therefore it would be illegal for me to continue working and he to top it all off put the phone down on me.

    When I called the second time the individual I spoke to was courteous and while sympathizing with my situation could not even move the appointment forward by two hours. So, even if I have to risk my life I will have to fly through the ash cloud just so I can make it to the UK Border Force appointment.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  80. Jane delPueblo

    Amy: I'm sure the airline will be willing to change your travel date if you do not want to fly under this conditions.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  81. Todor

    I DO NOT believe to the AIR INDUSTRY. They want money. That's all. The most important information comes from the Finish military tests. I am not going to fly.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  82. Viorel

    Yes, I would fly! All this mess has little to do with the voulcanic ash but rather with the incompetence of the EU bodies...

    April 19, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  83. mamamia

    fly but add parachute as security equipment! plus pray persistently, non stop! how bout that?

    April 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  84. Laurie

    I will not fly until it is deemed safe to fly by the experts.

    I too was in aviation in the Navy for 21 years. I have seen was Foreign Object Damage (FOD) can do to the engines and unfortunately the people onboard the aircraft when its engines encounter FOD. Technology may be great and convenient, but mother nature always wins.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  85. Heather

    That depends . I'm in Brazil and I had a flight to Italy yesterday. I would definitely fly to Italy or Spain, it's way too far from the main concentration of the ash cloud. And yes, I have this major fear of planes but in the current situation I just think they're overreacting.. there are no proves about where the ash cloud REALLY represents a risk . I'm still flying this week , no doubt.

    But I don't think I'd fly to London or France though.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  86. Melanie Olsen

    I would not. These people are professionals and know what they are talking about. If there is even the slightest chance that the weather conditions could endager lives, then people shouldn't be allowed to fly. This isn't one life, it's hundreds of lives. Even so, saving just one would be worth it.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  87. bilal anwar

    no i m not scared to fly in ash clouds ... i will really like it ..its not dangerours

    April 19, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  88. Edgar

    I have been trying to fly all along, initially I was hesitant but have continued trying to get my flights rebooked to the earliest dates possible. The skies have been so clear these past few days and the fact that the airliners that had experienced problems were flying through visible clouds of ash, have reassured me that flying should be safe.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  89. Torstein

    My opinion – better to be down on earth wishing to be up in the air versus the opposite. People is doing their usual individual risk analysis, most of them will make it, and maybe some won't.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  90. linda fulponi

    Having the airline industry test itself is not rigorous science particularly when millions of euros are involved. The risk may be small for any given flight through an ash cloud but the consequences of it should it affect the engines are more than enormous for those in the plane. The NATO Jet had some debris found in its engine... so maybe the air france-klm/luthansa/British airways just have an anti ash filter??? or is it a money filter. I believe their concern for safety , but in these cases their liability would be reduced since it is the government that would have allowed them to fly in the circumstances. What they want is the government to take responsibility when it suits them.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  91. Dmitry

    Several airlines completed more than 10 test flights on Sunday without only one significant sign of any engine damage caused by volcanic ash. There are several machines in the air over northern Europe right now (Monday evening) Not even one reported or reporting any problems related to ash concentration. The scientific reports speak about ash cloud still holding in the air but there is no single word about the concentration and possible danger for jet engines. So I hold the whole thing for overprotective decision of some panicmakers from authorities. And yes, I would check in immediately for the first flight that starts after openning an airspace.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  92. Pedro

    I will not fly if there is not enough security. Here is to easy to talk but quite hard to make a true assesment. Flights trials made during weekend were a lower altitude. Today NATO information describe that carried some F-16 trial flights and found crystallization of the ash in the engines. Do you really belive that 20.000 flights there is not strong potential that only one crashes?. I have been afected as I could not fly through Germany to China. I have cancelled 25 meetings. Nothing happen, there are other ways.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  93. Peter

    "Oh look, there's a hurricane, lets fly through it, so what.. why not"..
    "Oh look, there's a tornado, lets fly through it, so what.. why not"..
    "Oh look, there's a thunder and lightening storm, lets fly through it, so what.. why not"..
    "Oh look, there's a massive cloud of ash, lets fly through it, so what.. why not"..

    We needn't go into the do's and don'ts of flying in dangerous conditions, regardless of what you may believe about airlines worrying more about money than safety – in the end, it does come down to safety – the airlines don't have a decision to make on this matter – if airspaces are closed, airspaces are closed, that's not a decision to be made by the airlines.

    There's a great road safety tag line that's used in Ireland, it says "Arrive Alive"... wouldn't you prefer, for your safety, even if you feel ignorant enough to ignore the safety warnings, to at least have people more informed than you (ignore mainstream media, it's dumbed down for you!) making decisions in your interest?

    April 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  94. John Dawson

    In April 1982, an aircraft (Garuda DC-9) was almost lost to volcanic ash over the Indian Ocean. However, the airspace was not closed. Just two months later, the next (and more serious) incident occurred (British Airways 747). This led to a temporary closure of airspace. The airlines and business power-mongers asked for the airspace to be re-opened...and it was. Just 19-days later another plane (Singapore Airlines 747) was almost lost.

    Finally, authorities closed the airspace permanently and re-routed to avoid the area, and a watch was set up to monitor clouds of ash.

    I believe the saying goes: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

    Please read the detail here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_9

    Let not business, bravado or impatience over-rule common sense safety.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  95. Rory

    HAHA! Ronny said Vulcanic ash!!

    April 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  96. Maja

    Safety 1st, money later. And i hope just becouse they have tested 10 flights with no passingers they dont think that is enough to say it is safe for all flights in the future.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  97. Sunday Agbo

    The ideal is okay.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  98. Oliver Beckstein

    Just note that you have to be *much* more sure about safety than the 99.9% someone suggested in the comments - with about 28,000 flights per day across Europe, a failure rate of 0.1% equals 28 crashed planes *per day*.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  99. Peter Brewster

    based on the current results I am prepared to die, at least I won´t be stuck in spain.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  100. Rob

    As a pilot – aircraft manuals and guidelines are written for a reason. The "stunt" flights performed by BA/KLM/Lufthansa prove nothing. Did they take any scientific instruments? If those manuals state a zero tolerance for ash, then you just don't go and ignore those manuals.

    Can you imagine the lawsuit if just one aircraft goes down? I really hope that NATS and the MetOffice know what they are doing. I am due to fly on Saturday, and what I've seen on the weather maps does not make me feel good. Yes, I'd like to go home too. I'd also like my insurance company to pay out my life insurance benefits if something were to go wrong. Would they consider it negligent or reckless on my part if I got a plane that knowingly was flying through ash?

    April 19, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Reply
  101. RSM

    I'm a recreational sailor. No matter how much we want to sail on a particular day, we live by the rule "You sail to the weather, not the calendar". Some days when weather is crummy, its not worth the risk to the boat or crew, no matter how much you want to be at a different place to be with friends, etc. I heard an aviaition expert say on the news last night "its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than in the air wishing you were on the ground". I think that is a wise saying, and will adapt it for days when we can't decide whether the risk to head out to sea is worth it.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Reply
  102. Karen

    If the pilot is prepared to fly then so I am – I dont believe that the pilot would take an uncessary risk – he wants to land just as much as I do!

    April 19, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  103. GuiLty

    I don't want to risk my life... I don't trust air industry. They made test flights only for an hour but my flight is 4.40 hours long. I don't trust them.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  104. shah

    It's hardly breaking down on the motorway, where you can get out and wait for the AA.Up there 25000 ft there is no hanging around if God forbids the engine fails.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  105. Fernando

    No, I would not. Do not trust airlines on safety. Past has shown that when left to decide on their own, airlines suck and accidents happen because of that. It is all about money for the airlines. In this case the government agencies are more trustworthy.

    Being a pilot, I would never risk people through an ash cloud, even if authorities lift the ban without making sure the ash is not there.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  106. rurapenthe

    Its really a catch-22 in my mind. Are the airlines really honest that they are 101% sure their planes can fly in ash? Or are they losing so much money that they're willing to compromize a bit. I mean if a plane falls out the sky it is insured.

    Or, are the people on the ground at govt offices and other sectors blowing this ash thing out of proportion in order to negatively affect travel and air stock prices to swing in whatever direction the powers that be want them.

    I'm also puzzled why Boeing and Airbus have not released statements, since they build the things. They should know how suspectible they are, or are not. Or what they're doing to stop them being so easily overcup by a bit of ash.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  107. Fritz Roeth

    Certainly, I'd fly through the ash area. I wouldn't want the bill for inspecting and repairing the aircraft engines afterwards though. Sort of a funny question. Like asking someone if they'd drive someone else's car through a hailstorm.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  108. Robson

    The main problem is statistics...

    If you have around 0.1% of failure chance, at least one plane per day will face some sort of problem...

    Would you like to take a plane with this level of risk?

    Are you cold feet?

    April 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  109. Muhammad Ali

    I am sad people are suffering but this is only for 5 or 6 days look at us in Pakistan and Afghanistan we are stranded in our home since 9/11 in lest them 100 hours there were 6 blast in Pakistan in which 90 people lost their lives so man I think if someone suffered by this ash he will be understand what misery is
    I pray for all of you who are stranded in airport Allah will inshALLAH soon will help you guys INSHALLAH

    April 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  110. Mitzi

    I will be completely open to the idea of flying with the current conditions. I want to be back to my children as soon as possible and will be willing to take ANY possible risks.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  111. Ruz

    No, It might be inconveninet to be stuck on the ground, but I have sneaking suspicion that it would be more inconvenient being dead at the bottom of the sea

    April 19, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  112. Rikh

    Yes, I'm would like to fly through an ash cloud. It should be no problem for aircraft.Let give me opportunuity to try....

    April 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  113. Helen

    As much as I understand the frustration of all those stranded abroad and their desperation to get home, if there is a risk attached it isn't worth it and I certainly wouldn't fly. If so much as one plane comes down because of this, the negligence bandwagon will be out in force.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  114. Alexa

    I am a road warrior and not at all afraid of flying. However, if there was any question as to the safety of a flight there is NOTHING (lack of hotel, money, food, etc.) that would motivate me to fly. Nothing can be so important as my LIFE!!! Seems a no brainer to me.

    Is it inconvenient? Yes. Could they possibly be wrong to be so conservative about allowing flights? Yes. But they could also be right!

    April 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  115. traveladdict

    I feel sorry for those caught in or outside Europe hoping to fly to/from there. I personally wouldn't step foot on any plane until the cloud & potential danger have both completely passed.
    My other concern is that within the next few weeks I'll be flying through the US and Latin America. The aircraft that arrive from Europe are usually later used (the same or next day) to fly within the US. Though the plane might make it from Europe to the US, I'm concerned with the overall potential damage the ash could cause the engines that transport us within the US.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  116. Omoyeni

    Be wise,life's good.when that plan starts going down,there no way out.Let the ashes go befor u fly

    April 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  117. FlightRisk

    No WAY. One of my bosses is an ex-commercial pilot and he said he wouldn't fly a plane through that no matter what they paid him.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  118. Wanda

    I'm about as willing to fly through ash as I am to jump out of an airplane without a parachute. It's stupid to even think about taking your life in your hands and risk certain engine failure. Read about what happened to planes that have done it. Not a happy ending.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  119. Tal Bronfer

    I think the way the European regulators are heading right now is the best compromise. On one hand, they won't ignore the threat of the ash to jet engines, and on the other, they won't over-react and employ more precise measures to know exactly where the ash is.

    It's impossible to disprove the critical damage volcano ash can do to jet engines. It's been proven before, and limited tests through thinner layers of ash can't single-handedly prove anything.

    I think the airlines know something we don't. I've read that some officials from German airlines complained that the ash cloud's location wasn't actually monitored by precise algorithms or weather balloons, and that in many cases, the "prohibited" zones were actually completely clear of ash. Seeing as the European regulators are realizing this in the new measures they're taking, I'd say the airlines were right.

    At any rate, no airline would risk a crashed jet and hundreds of deaths for a few weeks' worth of flying. There's direct damage (compensation to relatives, compensation for property, replacement of the jet) and indirect damage, resulting in what could be a complete trashing of an airline's reputation – possibly also a death blow to the entire industry.

    In other words: if the airlines say flying is possible, you better believe them. I agree, however, that the tests conducted are not thorough enough to reach any conclusions, especially seeing as we are dealing with a dynamic situation – changing ash height, location and density and different implications on different jets at different altitudes.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  120. jonny

    this flying issue shouldnt be politicized please. experts should be allowed to access the whole situation and give reports based on their findings.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  121. bventi

    Leaving for Paris tomorrow, am terrified to fly in this, but can't talk my husband into waiting. Praying for the safety of everyone and wishing he would cancel.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  122. Emeh

    Geography have made it known to people that the wheather is not conducive for an aircraft to fly thru. Is better we save our lifes for our loved one's. To before warned is to be armed. A word is better for the wise.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  123. Lesley

    I wouldn't be tempted to fly through. I feel as if the whole decision to resume some flights has been made mainly for economic and financial reasons. I would like to ask the various airlines involved to put a value on a human life, or say 150 human lives. Would it be more than, equal to, or less than what they are losing in there budget on a daily basis?

    April 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  124. Paul L

    The statistical significance of these test flights is nil. The represent less than 0.1% of typical flight volume in Europe. Also, how are they to know the specific concentrations of ash in the paths they took for their flights.

    The airlines are being reckless with people's lives all in the name of bottom line. Authorities need to be steadfast in protecting lives above profits.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  125. Schubert

    I was supposed to fly to the US from France with two small children this Wednesday and cancelled my trip. I don't think the risk is worth it.

    Does anyone know if filters can be made to remove ash before entering the engine?

    Regardless of what happens in the next week, I would guess that engineers are working hard on a solution to this problem so that planes can fly safely near an ash could. I'd rather wait for some concrete solutions....

    April 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  126. Wafaa

    I would fly without thinking ... am ready 100% to fly back to London

    April 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  127. Maria Liston

    I am stuck in Moscow, trying to get back to NYC. I was supposed to leave Sunday 18th, have been rescheduled for 24th. Yes, I want to get home. But not as a test flier. I will feel comfortable flying when the scientists/engineers/mechanics say it is safe. Not the CEOs. I fly all the time for work and I think the airlines have made their priorities clear the past few years. I don't trust them for a second.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  128. Alex

    The fact is that European Union is showing again its lack of coordination. I live in Barcelona, we have open air space. All those planes waiting in overseas should come to Barcelona, Mallorca or Madrid, these are high capacity airports, from here they could go by train or buses to north europe, or ships to french and north italy coasts. Also smaller airports in North Spain are open, they can use boats to the atlantic coast (uk, france, netherlands)...and clever companies would run new routes to the Baltic aswell...

    April 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  129. Giancarlo Giuliano

    I am a airline pilot in a volcanic country (Ecuador). I know what kind of damage an ash cloud can do to an airplane's engines. There have been incidents in the airline industry involving volcanic ash being ingested into an engine. Ultimately what it does is it clogs and damages the engine until it stops running. Once you are left without engines, the airplane can only glide to the ground and there is little to no chance that it will restart. If you are left without an engine, you lose many basic equipment need to safely carry out the flight from A to B. You can imagine what happens when you lose all your engines...

    Inadvertantly flying through an ash cloud (especially at night) is scary and dangerous enough. I don't know why anyone would want to do that consciously. I guess many people still don't understand the risks involved...

    April 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  130. Alex

    Schubert: I am Alex from Barcelona... France is already totally collapsed, as the train system is stopped due to a demonstration for the last 15 days. The only way to cross France is by road... come to Barcelona!!

    April 19, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  131. Joseph B

    As Kate wrote: So all those willing, are you also willing to sign a disclaimer that your relatives wouldn't sue the airline when your plane crashes?

    Enough said

    April 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  132. chronicwanderlust

    I agree with Frank Woodruff, commercial aviation is simply not the place for risk taking. I am a pilot and would certainly NOT fly based on current data. I would rather sacrifice the time and money in exchange for my life.

    Ash is NOT something to mess around with, you're better safe than sorry.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  133. kiran nayyar

    I would like to wait to fly rather than rush, as my family is waiting to see me. I know its frustrating, but its better to wait as I have to fly from Paris TO TORONTO.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  134. Jason

    Airlines are losing 200m USD a day. What's the average settlement to a family if a plane goes down? That's how they look at risk assessment. I heard a statement yesterday that rings so true. It's better to be on the ground saying I wish I was in the air; rather than being in the air saying I wish I was on the ground. I fly 100k miles a year, I'm never upset if the flight is cancelled or delayed because of safety.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  135. Neal

    The airlines are not going to risk their planes nor the lives of their passengers and crew if it was not safe to fly. The skies are beautiful and clear; let's go!

    April 19, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  136. Ifeoma

    Images of ashy clouds on the tellly everyday! No way am I getting on some foolhardy flight. I don't want to die....

    April 19, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  137. Balraj

    I am flying tomorrow, on 20th from Los Angeles to Frankfurt and then to Berlin. Possibly flying around Iceland and the Volcano on the way to Frankfurt. And then around ASH clouds in Europe.
    My flights are a GO at this time!!

    My airlines if Lufthansa and I trust them to do Great Job!!

    April 19, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  138. eky

    I advice all aviation agencies not to allow any plane to fly because this may be an opportunity for those suicide planner to commit and lay more target. I suggest that avaition agencies should also tighting their security.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  139. M

    well i'm scheduled to fly to Scotland on friday and honesty I think I'll be better off at home!

    April 19, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  140. Mark

    You would have to be nuts, but then all it will take is one fully loaded aircraft with passengers to go down. But then these major players all they think about is the millions of dollars they are losing every day.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  141. Brandon

    My uncle is coming down to Ghana.He is coming with more...but hearing these,i want him to wait till everything is over!

    April 19, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Reply
  142. Antonio

    Flying trough volcanic ashes is way too risky. Few years ago I was driving in Puebla, Mexico. The Popocatepetl volcano sent a midsize ash cloud that covered the area where I was driving, anything that moved in my car got stuck. From the windshield wipers to the motor. I was very impressed with the huge abrasive power of that dark powder in the air. I am sure it is very dangerous for your lungs if you are on open air. My car stopped , lucky i wasn't flying a plane.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  143. Mr. Jiggy

    Its too too easy – soldier boy – your paid to fight and defend with the possiblity of losing your life defending what you believe in.

    All the others that are anxious to get home, I greatly sympathize for you, but think about it, risk a trip now, not make it ever – or wait a few more days and talk about your stay with your loved ones a week later.

    Those wishing not to fly – good on you. Sometimes, although its not in our interests we must follow certain rules.

    Insurance companies is who I would listen to now as well as the authorities. I would hate to find out that because I jumped on a plane out of haste (and the worst were to traspire) that I would be looked on as negligent??? Then who am I helping, I'd be dead and my family would be in limbo. I guess the only people I'd help out are the ones who say now "I'll wait until the all clear is given."

    Hmmm... seems like an easy decision.

    Those planning vacations are much more in control of their circumstances, those who are stranded, the airlines should be providing you with accomodations. Trust me, all the money they've made over the years should be enough to sustain a few thousand passengers over the next few days.

    Better to save the passengers you have, then go down in ruins if a plane of yours (the companies) crashes due to bad judgement.

    Prudence –

    April 19, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  144. logan

    Is this REALLY a headline? Jesus CNN, if i was an idiot i would fly through the ash cloud, You think the airlines are cancelling their flights for nothing? You think they would be losing MILLIONS a day if it was safe to fly? Lol, if you're enough of a moron to think its safe when pilots and meterologists dont think it is then be my guest, it will help even out the genepool so more morons arn't born.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  145. SirNoName

    And another one bites the dust...er..ash...no dust!
    Heck no I won't go!

    April 19, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  146. Rick

    Volcanic ash is composed of varying particles of stones and metals. It's basically floating frozen lava. Think what happens to a modern jet aircraft flying 500 MPH (800 KPH) through that fine airborne grit? And the internals of the engines that has to intake that stuff?

    April 19, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  147. t hill 75

    I wouldn't lift the flight restrictions untill it was completley safe. All the "inconvienced" people may still have to wait. What happens if a piece of debris gets into the engine of one of the airplanes? Ash may be "superheated" and then "supercooled"instantly. I would hate to be in an airplane when this happens. The people/passengers may be having a terable time right now; but look at the possable alternative. How terrable a time would that be? Im not sure but would the volcanic ash turn into a cement like substance inside the jet engines on the wings of a plane?

    April 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  148. Jeff On A Plane Over Montana

    Airborne Wi-Fi is great. However, I would not want to be taking the risk of flying through a volcanic ash cloud. Yes, I know people want to get where they want to go, but risking your life is not the way to do it. I have been through two other "crashes" and have been able to walk away. I don't think I'd tempt fate on a third.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  149. Mark Harris

    I would not want to take the risk given the potential for a catastrophie. As the saying goes, it's better to be on the ground wishing you were up in the air than being up in the air wishing you were on the ground.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  150. Mary, Connecticut

    Yes, I would be scared to fly through an Ash cloud unless a number of other flights had arrived safely.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  151. J Rosasco

    Yes, get me the F out of here!

    April 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  152. Hans Beunk

    The same night British Airways flight lost all four engines between Kuala Lumpur and Australia over Java because of the volcanic ash coming out of Mt Galunggung, I flew an Airbus A300B4 from Singapore Airlines on the same route between Singapore and Jakarta (1982). I flew a couple of hours ahead of flight BA 9. During the whole flight there were strong electrical discharges (St Elmo's fire) on the windscreen and when I switched on the landing lights the ash particles looked like heavy rain going straight into the engines. The next morning I saw the B747 flight BA 9 on the ramp in Halim Airport, Jakarta with a totally opaque windscreen, like being sandpapered. My aircraft was not damaged at all and I flew back to Singapore with the same aircraft. I remember thereafter we looked before every flight on a satellite picture from the volcanic eruption to see which direction the ash was drifting, and just avoided that area because that was where BA 9 lost its engines. I am flabbergasted to see all the experts crying foul over a cloud you cannot even see.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  153. Marianne

    I am a flight attendant in Scandinavia (scheduled to fly tomorrow), and I would prefer not to fly untill all experts agree, regardless of the financial troubles within the airline industry, that it's completely safe again.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  154. HaroldNeufeldt

    I would not fly in the present conditions. The problem is not with the major part ofthe ash cloud, a dry very fine powder called "dry ash". The problem is with "wet ash". It cannot be detected by meteorolists with present equipment. The problem is that it is a very subtle villain. The first sign of possible trouble would be for the pilots to note a very small but definite increase in fuel flow with either stagnant or a very small decrease in thrust(very slightly above acceptable norms). At this point, the situation is still manageable. However the next stage is terminal. It would begin with a very small but definite increase in turbine inlet temperature with stagnant or slightly reduced thrust. At this point considerable damage has been done to the engine. This is the reason I have a feeling the "test flights" results may lack validity. It would be next to impossible in my opinion for pilots to take appropriate action to save the day They probably wouldn't react in time or realize they hada problem until much too late.
    Harold Neufeldt

    April 19, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  155. Huw Thomas

    I live in West Wales and the major flight path is directly above us. Don't we people on the ground have a say in this? Two hundred passengers taking a risk is one thing. Endangering the lives of thousands on the ground is another.
    If a plane crashes in a densely populated area I'd love to hear them claim Act of Elohim then after they have ignored warnings.

    Thinking needs to be "joined up" and in this case it doesn't seem to be....could it be profit/loss factor? me thinks it is or it could be just a case of over reaction by scare mongers.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  156. Gary says NO!

    I was amongst the first to fly on a plane once air service was restarted following 9/11. The planes then were empty because everyone was scared but at that time security was SO tight that I was at all worried.

    Ash cloud you say? There have been documented cases of SERIOUS problems as a result of ash getting sucked into the engines yet I have not read a single report that mechanically the engines are better or less susceptible to the same problems today than they were 10 or 20 years ago.

    Testing has been done by using several planes and flying them through only mildly afftected areas, results that are intended to favor the airlines who want and need to start flying again. Don't be deceived though. The airlines TELL their engineers to report that everything is fine and then threaten the pilots to jump into the cockpit or lose their jobs. Once again, WHAT has changed since the problems that planes encountered in Indonesia or Alaska? Do we simply forget about that chapter in the past and HOPE that things aren't as bad now?

    I wouldn't fly if you paid me and I certainly wouldn't allow any of my family to either. Then again, you can play Russian Roulette if you want because there is only one bullet in that chamber OF YOUR LIFE!

    April 19, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  157. Jack

    Flying to Germany on Wednesday, although I think it is risky, hopefully everything will fine. I could take an alternative plan, by driving to Germany, but it takes too long (2days of driving).

    April 19, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  158. Eur-ozone

    When I think of 'ash cloud', I think of a thick dark ominous cloud full of all kinds of dangerous stuff. Well, guess what, there is no ash cloud over Europe. There lies a thin voile of volcanic dust over Europe, invisible from the ground, containing probably less dust than when a Saharan dust storm crosses over into Europe. Flying through an ash cloud? No way! Flying through European skies? No problemo!

    April 19, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  159. Bob Hickey

    The airlines are fighting this no-fly policy for obvious reasons. In very much support the tough stance taken by the civil aviation authorities in Europe.Why should we believe in some orchestrated test flights by biased airlines like Lufthansa, British Airways and KLM? Did we all really expect that the aircraft would return WITH damage? On the other side.....what is the motivation of the civiil air authorities to ground flights?

    Safety is paramount. I am disgusted that the that airlines continue to fight this for the sake of profit and sales. I also do not think that governments should bail out the airlines, again. Why the airlines and not other indistries. Why the preferential treatment? Let them go under. If they are so poorly run that they can´t deal with a week of lost sales then they are not stable enough to survive anyway.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  160. Hans Beunk

    Eur-ozone you seem to be one of the vew who uses his head.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  161. Wayne

    Surprise - nobody has mentioned this -

    The pilots at the helm of the Polish presidential airplane that went down in Russia - were told to abort and land elsewhere - they didn't (For reasons of their own and/or pressure from the "dignitaries") and look what happened....

    peer pressure...

    We enjoy learning the hard way though.......regardless - death is way overdramatized in the news and in the movies.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  162. Naff

    Myself and my family allready have a plane tickets on 29.04 from Riga to Oslo. BUT,,, we are not going to fly.. Why??? Becouse our life costs are much more higher than 170 Euros... :)and it looks like airline companies are scared to loose some money, so now they want some easier rules to restrictions. It's insane and they think only about €£$.
    About our trip again. Instead of plane,we are taking ferry from Riga to Stockholm and drive up 550km to Oslo. Take it easy and enjoy your life.:)))

    April 19, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  163. Emily

    I am studying abroad in Europe and our program is ending soon; however, I am not sure that I will be able to return to the US if the ash continues to be a problem. Although I am very ready to go home, I would absolutely not fly through an ash cloud. I would rather take a boat to the United States. It's too much of a risk.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  164. Abhinandan Reddy

    I will not fly if the ash cloud is still around and the regulations state that its not safe.

    Life is way more important that a few dollars lost

    April 19, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  165. Katran Miller

    Absolutely not. One thirty-minute test flight doesn't equal the wear and tear of hours or days of jet engines flying through this muck.

    They got lucky, just like the Space Shuttle got lucky for years before the insulation falling off the tank every launch finally hit a wing and killed people. Thirty minutes isn't enough time for a sound assessment, nor even a day of flying: longterm effects are not known.

    Ask survivors of Mt. St. Helens what happened to car engines in volcanic ash. Check out the 60 documented reports of plane engines flaming out after encountering ash. Check out what manufacturers have to say about jet engines' ability to handle the abrasion of sandblasting and the build-up of glass sticking to the inside of the engines over time.

    I can understand why the airlines want to play Russian Roulette - this disaster could bankrupt them very quickly. They're hoping to play the odds and not have a disaster. Or, actually, they're putting their heads in the sand and lying to themselves about risks. It is human nature, and we see this pattern again and again when profits and hubris trump caution.

    Titanic, anyone?

    April 19, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  166. Brian Dodd

    I heard someone say this recenty:

    "It's better to be on the ground wishing you were flying than to be flying and wishing you were on the ground."

    Wish I had thought of that. I live in Seattle and still remember the problems with Mt. St. Helens eruption in 1980. What a mess, and a threat to aircraft – even to air filters of automobiles.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  167. Barry

    If airlines fly at this time they should have would be passengers sign a disclaimer that they cannot recieve monies if the plane crashes due to volcano problems.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  168. Emil

    Leave it up to the experts. Who am I or anyone else to judge whether airspace is save except for the responsible authorities. Why is there so much focus on what airline officials think about the situation? Aren't they supposed to focus on how to make the situation as agreeable as possible and serve the customers who are stranded on the ground? Pressuring people who need to make tough decisions is not going to help anyone.

    And on a more cynical note: does no one remember that recently the airplane crash of the polish airplane was the makings of someone trying too hard to land a plane even though he did not "see" anything. I am not trying to point any fingers to anyone in this sad tragedy, but to put it plain and simple: someone was overreaching his/her competence.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  169. nomo

    Not a chance of getting me on one of those planes flying through the volcanic ash. Flying is a bit of a risky business under any circumstances, and these conditions certainly increase that risk.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  170. Debbie NZ

    There is NO way I would fly yet. NO way. I have been stuck in airports before and have an inkling of how frustrating it must be for travellers at the moment. And I know how scary it is when you're travelling and you're down to your last dollar/euro/pound. I've flown around the world many times and I would rather be frustrated in an airport than dead. Simple. I can't believe the passengers who are furious. As another writer posted – a plane isn't like a bus you can pull over to the side of the road if something breaks down. How do people not get this?

    April 19, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  171. J.C.S.B.

    Why take the risk? Once you're up there is no way back... Leave the decision-taking to the experts.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  172. G.Fenech

    I did not see all the coments but surely Frank nailed it. To those people who think that it is no problem whatsoever to fly, I would like to take a snaphot of your faces God forbid an engine stalls and looses power ! Just remember that if 1 engine stalls the fellow colleague engines hanging from your wing are in the same environment ! no matter if its 2,3,or 4 engines! Just remember you're in a tube and at idle thrust that baby would not hold for long before respecting the laws of gravity. So be considerate of what you say cause when you're in a tube heading downwards then your opinion will definately change! Problem would be as Frank and some others said it will be too late !
    As regards the political point of view Money talks and B******* walks!
    IATA president nailed EU leaders. It took them 5 days apparently to duh start doing something ! I stand corrected but Portugal and Spain were not affected from Day 1 til now, so why take so long to get passengers into the major airports there! and in the meantime think of the logistics on how to get these people home which happen to be Tax Payers

    April 19, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  173. Olatunji oludare

    Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  174. jeff

    i would love to fly on Monday on my flight booked to fly to the USA from London and would be more than prepared to fly in these current conditions after several other major airlines have run test flights ... British Airways have already had clear results and cross atlantic will flush it out due to flight plans if anything got in there ...

    April 19, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  175. BT

    We were in Idaho when Mt.St.Helens erupted, it took several weeks for the air to clear. Airports opened within a week or so but the ash hung around for weeks. We were scheduled to fly Friday the 16th Detroit to Amsterdam. We canceled the trip before the flight was officially canceled...now we are safe at home and glad of it. People need to pay more attention to this disaster...it's a real one and will be around for a very long time. Don't take any chances.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  176. Nvrstill

    Fly like an eagle!!

    April 19, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  177. Lynn R.

    Who wants to find out the hard way that in fact this is dangerous. Better safe than oh-SO-sorry!! Maybe the flights can get through safely initially, but supposing that flying through the ash cloud causes engine damage that could result in catastrophic engine failure at a later date on a later flight? Would any of you want to be on that flight? I have lost 3 friends in catastrophic air crashes including one on 9-11 over PA. My life and those of others including my own loved ones is far more important than being inconvenienced for a safety concern.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  178. Max

    Well, considering that I'm not gonna be in an F/A-18 flying straight through Finland or Iceland on my way to Germany, but rather in a B757 at FL350 I'm not worried at all. BA, LH, KL, AF, and others have all proven that the risks to high bypass turbofan powered aircraft are absolutely zero in most European airspace. Would I want to fly right through the ash cloud? NO! Would I be comfortable flying through airspace with ash traces at <1ppm, of course! Those engines are built knowing that the air is never perfect. Lets get back in the air!

    April 19, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Reply
  179. Olatunji oludare

    Is there any alternative to fly, cos we have alot of student resuming back to school and they have already resume?

    April 19, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Reply
  180. SteveP

    Yes, I would fly. I also lived in Anchorage in '89 and know all about the KLM that flew through an ash cloud. But that situation was DIFFERENT. KLM flew through an actual cloud of ash, meaning the pilots could SEE it. It was like visable smog. I don't remember if they knew it was ash or not.

    The airspace that the airlines say are safe contain NO VISIBLE ash. They are not suggesting that they can fly through actual clouds of ash. They have tested the airspace that appears to be clear of ash, and their findings after landing have proven that is the case for that particular airspace.

    The airspace that they plan to fly through is completely clear of ash or the ash is so thin that they aren't worried. People don't understand that not all of the airspace over the entire conitinent contains ash or clouds of ash. There are large areas that have clear air. Basically, if you can't see it, it's too thin to cause damage. And if you see an actual cloud of it (when you begin to see less far), you can fly under or around it as well.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  181. Daniel Morgan

    Just did ... I am now in Keflavik Iceland.

    The flight was uneventful other than the thumbs-up and high-fives the refugees shared as the wheels left the ground in Oslo.

    Thank you SAS.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  182. Cindy

    UMMMMMMM DAVID? Cleaner air? Have you seen that cloud approaching Europe? It's not just black smoke. That's ash those people will be breathing.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  183. Scorpstud

    I will of course fly. Life is full of risk and this is as risky as learning how to drive on a highway or working with dangerous equipments and coal-mines. At this time, I have been stranded for so many days that I feel crippled and I agree with people who say "A short-life is better than an crippled long-life"

    April 19, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  184. Ron

    Of course I wouldn't fly through the ash cloud knowing the adverse danger that volcanic ash can cause to jet engines unless I was a kamikaze pilot!

    April 19, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  185. Olatunji oludare

    I want to state it clearly that life dose'nt have duplicate when someone dead he/she has gone forever so why are we in a hurry why cant we wait till it went off and cleared.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  186. Mr. Bobo

    I recommend that anyone planning on flying through a volcanic ash cloud (especially on BA) read this:


    April 19, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  187. James

    If the airlines expose these aircraft to even small amounts of volcanic dust, the damage will increase every time that plane flies, regardless of what the volcano is doing. I see a lot of comments by people claiming they won't be on the first flights if the volcano is still erupting, for fear of crashing with dead engines. However, the damage will not be experienced during that first flight, or flights immediately following. It's more likely that the planes will start to have catastrophic failure several months after the ban is lifted (and thousands of flight miles with volcanic dust circulating in the fans) , just when everybody thinks the crisis is over. I hope they keep these planes grounded until all dust is gone from the area.

    April 19, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  188. John

    I was supposed to go to England for a funeral last week, and the ash cloud problem prevented me from going. Even though I am distressed over this, I totally agree with the air authorities and I applaud them for having the courage to close such a vast airspace in order to save lives. All the people who are saying they have no worries are engaged in wishful thinking and have no idea how these environment can damage critical and delicate mechanical parts in and on modern aircraft. This is hubris of the worst sort! The miracle of flight is just that and the forces that allow us to reach great heights and speeds must be respected. I guess that anyone of you would regret this decision if you were on an aircraft that lost power due to volcanic dust!

    April 19, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  189. arron Hollands

    i think that the thickness of the cloud differs between where you are, so although in finland there are damages to the engines dosnt mean that will or is the case in other places!

    April 19, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  190. Arun

    The greediness of these airlines are evident in every step. My wife and kid are scheduled to fly to India this Wednesday. Since this is vacation and not time critical, I was willing to reschedule, which should ideally help both me and the airline, given their backlog. Nope! The answer given by the airline was – since your flight has not been canceled, this will be considered a voluntary change and hence a change fee will be assessed! GREEDY!

    April 19, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  191. Kevin

    the people are are upset that air travel is banned will more than likly also become upset when it's allowed and a plane crashes.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  192. Marc

    Anybody who gets into an aircraft and flys into a volcanic dust cloud does so at their own perril.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  193. Claes

    Ok, go ahead and fly, but if you do don't complain about anyone not taking their responsibility: "They didn't say it was dangerous! They shouldn't have let us fly!" Yes they did, and no and they tried...

    April 19, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  194. HMA

    Nope. No. No Thanks. I just dont see it being a good idea.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  195. MaxtheScot

    Just imagine, all the businesses, all self-employed and all the SMEs coming under extra pressure because of this transport collapse and politicians talking about their election campaigns on 6th May....

    April 19, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  196. Warren

    Absolutely not.

    *note that it is not the only plane to have lost power to all four engines when it went through volcanic ash.

    Clearly not worth the risk to me.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  197. Voula

    Asking the airlines if flying is safe right now is like asking a drug dealer if the drugs he's about to sell you are addictive or worse, if they can kill you.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  198. Airline_guy

    While it is fustrating for all; those who are stranded, those who work tirelessly trying and hoping we can get passengers out and on their way; the bottom line lays with the various government agencies that handle the country's air space.

    Airlines are governed to comply with alerts, advisories and prohibited travel in these air spaces, even though the airlines themselves would like nothing more to be able to get their planes and their customers to where they want to go, but the bottom line here is safety.

    Airlines will not send planes nor passengers unless it is deemed safe. While these massive cancellations are affecting everyone emotionally, financially you have to keep in mind – the safety of everyone's lives is of the utmost concern.

    Would I personally get on aircraft bound to the area, I would have to say...not even for a million dollars.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  199. Al

    I would want to see a credible authority decide that it is safe. The airlines' "expert" determination means nothing. They are motivated by money and really don't care about our safety if it means losing money as a result.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  200. clickerbug

    I would be nervous ... yes, scared ... to fly through an ash cloud. Seems to me I saw something on tv awhile ago that showed how dangerous it is to do so. I've got tickets to Paris next month, so this is an issue I will actually have to deal with.

    It also occurs to me that perhaps aircraft who DO fly through the ash cloud with no immediate problems may actually do some damage to their engines that could affect a later flight.

    Yet, it would make me so sad to cancel my trip, so I guess if the "officials" say it's okay, I'm going to trust them.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  201. bacchow


    April 19, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  202. Ankit

    no way. why take the risk? Ash has proven to be a hazard to jet engines. All the morons who complain about not being able to fly – id love to see the way you act when you jet loses power, plummeting towards the earth. morons.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  203. Elaine Legate


    April 19, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Reply
  204. Captain David R. Mather

    On May 18, 1980, I was the co-pilot on a Western Airlines Boing 737 and St. Helen's eruption was unknown to us until we flew through the Mount St. Helen's ash cloud going into Butte, Montana. We were scheduled to stay just overnight, but the ash caused us to spend 4 days there while mechanics drove in from Seattle to clean the glass beads out the burner cans of the engines. ... The ash caused St. Elmo's Fire over the entire airplane. The Captain got vertigo from the St. Elmo's fire and ash coming down so hard(LOOKED JUST LIKE SNOW). We ended up getting an instrument clearance for an instrument approach to Butte. When we landed, there was already about 1 inch of ash on the runway and visability was so reduced that we needed a "Follow-Me" truck to le...ad us in... to taxi to the terminal building! Not too many planes fly through volcanic ash and live to praise our Lord! So if anyone is troubled about flying during this volcano eruption...be safe and let the Lord do the worrying!

    April 19, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Reply
  205. Graham

    No ! I would not fly anywhere near a volcanic ash cloud and I deplore anyone who thinks that they can. The dangers are not just to the passengers of the plane as volcanic ash can cause all engines on a plane to stall and consequently the plane may possibly crash onto residential areas, especially when flying over heavily populated Europe. I reside near to London Heathrow and the thought of planes dropping out of the sky onto me because someone idiot thought it was ok to fly through an ash cloud fills me with horror. I have critisism of the UK government who seem too rapt up in election polls to bother to deal with this travel crisis in an effective manner. Only now has the idea to use the Navy been considered. Too little too late, lack of forsight and unrealistic expectations are typical of Gordon Brown and his government. Time to change the government in the UK.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  206. Dan Fondelius

    I was very scared of flying until I went to an aviation class for those who are scared of flying. I was completly cured and have totaly enjoyed flying since. I learned to trust flying and the airlines. Now I feel the fear is coming back, due to the fact that the aircompanys are so greedy,that suddenly our safety in no longer important, only their profit. Since I am a musician by profession, you can imagine my problem.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  207. Linda McCoy

    I would not fly through the ash cloud for any reason. I do not think it's safe and the airlines are worried about THEIR money not YOUR life.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  208. Maria Lundstedt

    No, I wouldn't fly for a long time yet. What most commentators fail to point out is that this isn't just any ash cloud. It's full of microscopic pieces of glass that could melt and clog up any engine. This is due to the volcano erupting through a thick layer of ice, where the burning lava comes in contact with the ice and there's a chemical reaction. When the ice on top of the volcano has melted, and the current lingering ash cloud is sufficientley dispersed, then yes, I would feel safe enough.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  209. Al

    Too scared to fly? No not at all. But smart enough not to fly, yes.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  210. Barry

    GET ME ON A PLANE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 19, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  211. Grif

    It is important that we come to the realization that sometimes things happen for a reason. Maybe its time to just be patient and let it pass.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  212. Karl

    The key words here are "Dynamic Conditions". Just because one or a few test flights did not crash into the earth does not make the regional airspace safe. Winds can shift, volumes of ash can increase, and worst of all, aviation radar cannot distinguish between what is a normal water vapor cloud and that of fine ash.

    There is NO WAY I would fly out of there while that infernal beast continues to huff and puff. Several former captains that have had all 4 engines spool down due to ash ingestion said they wouldn't get anywhere near that thing. If they lift the ban and a plane goes down, all hell is going to break loose. You think it's bad now? Whoa!

    April 19, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  213. Vonley

    My wife & I are stuck in Italy & trying to get back to the Stetes & we're ready to fly. Not a single report showed any sign of the ash cloud over Italy nor to the west where our flight would take us. I think some airspace should be closed but close all of it was a huge overreaction & mistake! In the States we use real-time reports to make our decisions with regard to flightplans & Europe really needs to get with the times. The fact that they closed all the airspace was & is totally ridiculous. If you're not near the ash cloud & its not in the path of your flight then they should fly period. We just want to get home & they could have already gotten us there if the EU hadn't been dragging its feet on the issue. So we have no fears about flying home!

    April 19, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  214. mark

    I read comments from silly people willing to fly. The airlines do not care about your saftey. They are protected people company executives. It's not their life at stake. Let's face it is a plane crashes well its just bad luck, "not our fault it was the ashes". The planes are probably insured andthey still get paid. You can't send them to jail for negligence.

    I am in aviation an anyone who knows about flying will tell to fly in ash is very dangerous and ridiculous. I think an alternative is to refund passenger money so they have a choice if they want to risk their own life without being pressured. People who are willing to fly in such ridiculous circumstances put pressure on the more sensable people like pilots and passengers.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:00 am | Reply
  215. SteveK

    Flying is in and of itself a risky proposition. Would I fly through an ash "cloud" that is so thin that it's invisible – even to radar? Of course I would. Any given plane on any given day is just as likely to fall out of the sky as a result of poor maintenance as it is to fall out of the sky as a result of this ash "cloud" – which itself can be easily avoided by flying BENEATH it until clear. If seasoned pilots go up and says it's safe – and many already have done just that – I'm going to take their word for it over a bunch of pencil pushers and keyboard quarterbacks every time. The people calling the airlines greedy are not living on the same planet with the rest of us. It's not just people who are not flying. Food and other goods are languishing at airports just like stranded travelers. World commerce is taking a huge hit. Instead of calling the airlines greedy, call the European governments – who took 4 full days to even BEGIN planning what to do – incompetent.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:02 am | Reply
  216. mark andrew

    anyone in aviation would tell you it's stupid to fly.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:02 am | Reply
  217. Kim

    I am supposed to fly to Rome on Friday for work. I don't think it is safe. I rather not have the plane get ash and the engines die and there is no place to land except the ocean. I am not ready to risk my life for my job.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:07 am | Reply
  218. Len B

    There is simply not enough background data to indicate that flying through this somewhat unique type of tephra (volcanic ash) is safe. It's completely outside historic operations experience. What we do know is that flying through other types of tephra is very unsafe. I'd remind all you brave souls who say, "it's a go", of the management (and not engineering) decision to fly another type of aircraft when the operating conditions were outside the known limits. It had to do with some o-rings...

    April 20, 2010 at 12:08 am | Reply
  219. Jim

    I think safety of passengers and crew should always be the first priority. As a pilot, I have heard this a few time and I have to agree, it is a saying in the aviation community...

    "Better to be in the ground wishing you would be up in the air than and being up in the air wishing you would be on the ground."

    Enough said!

    April 20, 2010 at 12:08 am | Reply
  220. Sean V. Bigay

    I can't blame the airlines for wanting to fly again - but I can't blame the airports for shutting down, either. On the whole, I expect the airlines to adopt Mr. Hans Beunk's implicit suggestion and try to avoid the worst of the ash plume when they do take to the sky once more.
    For my part, I'd like to remind everyone of a truth we modern folk tend to forget, ignore, or even deny. We pride ourselves on being the masters of this world. It just isn't true; but only when Nature in all her power rears up to disrupt our paltry civilization do we actually remember that. This was the case when Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991. It was the case the with Great Tsunami of 2004. And it's the case now with the ongoing Icelandic eruption.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:16 am | Reply
  221. Cathy

    I'd fly as long as the family members of the top executives of these airlines also fly! Easy to say there's no danger when it is other people taking the risk.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:22 am | Reply
  222. mark

    I jump from planes for a living. It's all about risk management. We have rules for saftey for a reason if my pilot says it's not safe to go up I listen to him/her.

    Read what pilots and mechanics have said on this forum, do some reading get informed. Notice that the tests that it is safe to fly come from the airlines. The coporate people not the people who fly the planes. They don't care about your saftey as much as the dollar

    People who wish to fly are either stupid or misinformed or selfish (def. don't care about other people than themselves).

    Putting pressure to fly puts unfair pressure on the pilots (the sensible ones) and those passengers out there who are sensable enough to not fly.


    April 20, 2010 at 12:24 am | Reply
  223. Richard

    Absolutely not. This is an example of management ignoring technical advice so that they can tell there boses what they want them to hear. I call this management by happy talk.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:41 am | Reply
  224. Scott

    After 20 years in aviation we had a saying; It is better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air then, in the air wishing you were on the ground.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:45 am | Reply
  225. aaron

    Reference BA flight 9, 24 June 1982. A 747-200 flew thru volcano ash cloud = ALL 4 engines failed. Two engines restarted with one failing again!

    Is this situation exactly the same? No. Is it close enough to not bet my life or my crew's? Yup. Airplanes do not have equipment needed to avoid an ash cloud; the only real way to avoid it is fly way around one. Can't really fly around it when it's everywhere in northern Europe.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:49 am | Reply
  226. traveladdict

    A flight across the Atlantic is at least 7 hours. Do you want to be a passenger thinking about the conditions of the engine(s) that entire time??

    April 20, 2010 at 12:50 am | Reply
  227. Dan

    There are lot of things in which the airline industry overreacts – the idea of restricting fluids or the amount of luggage due to "terrorism concerns" is ludicrous. However, deciding to not fly through volcanic ash is NOT ludicrous, and entirely prudent.

    I am a pilot myself, and would never consider flying through volcanic debris except in emergencies like medical flights. The risks are simply not worth it. Countless studies have been done on the effects of volcanic ash on aircraft surfaces and engines, not a single one of which I am aware came to any conclusions other than "don't do it!".

    The idea that the idea that the current cutting back of flights is "unsustainable" and that they should get back in the air is based completely on economics, with no regard for passenger safety. There have been decades of research on the effects of volcanic ash, and they're trying to push that under the carpet with the results of a handful of recent flights where they have a clear motive to try and make things look as safe as possible.

    With that said, it shouldn't be up to local ATC to decide if the airspace is closed – it should be up to individual pilots and airlines. But those who go flying in the current conditions had better have a very good reason to justify it.

    April 20, 2010 at 1:16 am | Reply
  228. R G Crook

    Hell No! Safety first! Nothing is more important than safe flying conditions.
    The airlines need to rethink safety over profits – let the airlines fly 100 a/c thru' the dust clouds, then do a vary careful safety check of the a/c structures and engines.

    April 20, 2010 at 1:17 am | Reply
  229. Patrick

    Whatever the reasons are, if there is ANY RISK of plane damage, or any RISK on passenger's safety, NO FLIGHTS SHOULD BE RECOMMENDED! It is much better to stay IN THE AIRPORT!

    April 20, 2010 at 1:23 am | Reply
  230. Delinda

    I have a ticket booked for Friday. And there is an ongoing debate in my mind. I do believe that the airlines are worrying more about the crisis than a few hundred lives – can always blame it on others and the story goes on. I think I wouldn't fly because I have no control of what happens. I am not the one flying it in my own accord. I believe that the issue, when risen in 1980s, should have been dealt with instead of spending millions on nuclear and missile research!
    Would it be possible to get a refund from a low cost airlines (the label remains though the prices have reached the ash cloud) even if the airplane operates? I wonder.

    April 20, 2010 at 1:37 am | Reply
  231. joy munro

    Yes certainly. Don't think they should allow airplanes to take off until they know for sure.

    April 20, 2010 at 1:51 am | Reply
  232. Realist

    "Driving to work every day is more dangerous. If we follow the principle that the safest car is the one you never drive then we can all go back to the stone age."

    Driving is INCREDIBLY unsafe. But instead of going back to the stone age, how about moving forward to thriving, walkable, bikeable communities (like Amsterdam), with beautiful neighborhood supermarkets, schools and parks, and great mass transit, where one doesn't have to drive at all?

    Surveys consistently show that less auto–centric countries like Denmark, Sweden and Holland are far happier than their bloated, wasteful counterparts in the US. And instead of shipping 10% of our economy to the Middle East each year, we can invest it into our own neighborhoods again.

    April 20, 2010 at 2:17 am | Reply
  233. Cleo

    I was due to fly on Saturday from New York, back home to Copenhagen. After they cancelled my flight now Im on a flight this Friday. Am I worried??..YES!! I do enjoy flying but this is nerveracking...especially if my flight ends up being the first to go out to europe. i do have things to take care of at home, but at the same time, it is a gamble since the volcano is still 'burping' and everyone, including the epxerts seem so unsure! fingers crossed..........:)

    April 20, 2010 at 2:34 am | Reply
  234. Paul

    in America, the choice to fly or not is left up to the airlines and pilots themselves (except in the case of 9/11), not some political bureaucracy that doesn't know a thing about flying and is more concerned with reelection and legal litigation than economy, people, and practicality. the government run aviation organizations in the US simply provide as much information to the airlines as possible then leave the decision up to them and their passengers. many, many times US air carriers have chosen to fly around or simply cancel flights at their own discretion due to volcanic ash and various weather phenomena and 99.999999999999% of the time they have come out okay. flying will never be 100% safe. even in these conditions, you're more likely to die in a car accident on your way to the airport than to ever be involved in an airplane catastrophe. i trust the pilots, they have families of their own and would not fly if they didn't feel it was safe. i hate to say it, but this is the problem with where Europe as a whole is headed, and unfortunately the US is not far behind: the nanny state always knows best and you should be thanking them for not having to make any decisions for yourself.

    as well, there's no way the airlines would lose more money by not flying than by crashing planes, so don't blame this on blind greed. do you know how much those transatlantic mega-jets cost? a 747 (a common intercontinental jetliner) costs roughly $300million in US dollars, so roughly 450million British Pounds. even the cheaper 767s cost around $150million US dollars (well over 200million Pounds). that combined with the legal costs involved, and a single plane falling in circumstances like this would cause most any smaller airline to fold instantly. combined with the financial fallout of a public outburst following an incident of that nature, it could very well near shut down even a BA or Delta in time. they would not fly if they thought there was even a sliver of a realistic chance this could happen. risk-cost weighting just simply would not cause any airline executive to make that decision.

    in short, if the pilots will fly, i will fly. they know way more about flight than i or any politician. and the pilots have to risk their lives just the same as i, and risk their families well-being just the same as i, the politicians and bureaucrats don't.

    but mommy doesn't want you to ride your bike in the road because you might skin your knee, so listen to what mommy tells you or you'll be "grounded for a week." (sorry, had to throw that one in there, haha)

    April 20, 2010 at 2:43 am | Reply
  235. Lachman

    If one really cares for the family, then its not worth taking the risk.

    April 20, 2010 at 3:05 am | Reply
  236. Tony in Indonesia

    I think part of the issue is that even if you fly safely through the ash cloud it is difficult to measure the amount of longer term damage you might be doing to the aircraft. A Wikipedia article descibes the issues ash causes to aircraft and if you really go into the think of it see the quote from the same article below.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanic_ash

    After the Galunggung, Indonesia volcanic event in 1982, a British Airways Flight 9 flew through an ash cloud; all four engines cut out. The plane descended from 36,000 feet (11,000 m) to 12,000 feet (3,700 m), where the engines could be restarted.

    April 20, 2010 at 3:14 am | Reply
  237. derek

    Glide rate is 1/15, I would fly if I could get a ticket!

    April 20, 2010 at 3:21 am | Reply
  238. Bernard

    Has anyone forgotten about the British Airways flight 9 incident already? So much for the 'safety is our top priority' bull. Which airlines are saying we should fly again? Better avoid them next time.

    April 20, 2010 at 3:33 am | Reply
  239. James Burgess

    All you people who said you would be prepared to fly need to read the story of flight 9.

    A 747 that suffered complete engine failure on all 4 engines at night over the indian ocean and came extremly close to going down and killing all 268 people on board. Due to transit through a Volcanic ash cloud, its because of this incident the rule on flying through volcanic ash was made.

    Thank god you idiots arent in charge of anything more complicated than a blender.


    April 20, 2010 at 3:47 am | Reply
  240. Sinbad

    I am supposed to fly to London this Saturday to Heathrow airport. There I am to stay three nights and travel to Paris and fly to Barcelona for 7 nights and 8 days cruise to Italy..... Oh....What do I do? Some of the reservations I have made are nonrefundable and nonexchangeable. I will be with loss of $4000 – $5000.
    It's a trip I have been waiting for so long. But deep inside my heart, I am hesitant to fly....

    April 20, 2010 at 3:51 am | Reply
  241. Winnie

    Hell no! I would rather be on the ground than 6 feet underground or burnt to ashes. Its not worth the risk! I value my life more that the air ticket.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:03 am | Reply
  242. Kat C

    I was scheduled to fly on business tonight, 7pm ish, from NY to Switzerland. The flight left - it's one of the first to go there, since the eruption intensified last week - but i just could not do it. It felt far too reckless. I may not get a refund, since the flight was not "officially" cancelled. But in the end, my little boy and husband are far more important to me than a business meeting, as much as I wanted to go. And honestly – the conflicting reports from industry ("it's safe!") and military ("it caused damage within our engines!") just did not build up any confidence.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:21 am | Reply
  243. Tom Taylor

    If the pilot thinks it would be safe and would fly the airplane, I certainly would get on the plane. This is getting very frustrating. As an American stuck in London, I am getting quite upset as I see the UK attempting to do something for their citizens....sending in the Royal Navy....but see nothing coming from our government to address the plight of American citizens.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:10 am | Reply
  244. madeleine-claude

    air travel is basically very safe- flights do regularly get canceled or delayed for weather conditions, therefore what is the big issue about the volcanic cloud: i.e. when the weather and scientific personnel deem safe conditions prevail then flights will begin- why would any sane and responsible pilot want to bear the unnecessary burden of the safety of themselves, the crew and all of the passengers- maybe we all should have paid better attention to the message that Al Gore was trying to get across over the past 20 years AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH!

    April 20, 2010 at 5:16 am | Reply
  245. Carlos

    Completely agree with Frank D. Woodruff:
    It is not our safety but their money what is on airline companies' minds. To other passengers: please do not mistake your desire or need or wish to fly with security.
    I have to fly tomorrow but I still don't know if I will even if they release

    April 20, 2010 at 5:21 am | Reply
  246. Josh

    There are hundreds of flights over Europe at this very moment. Not one has gone down or experienced problems. Stop panicking.

    Look here: http://www.radarvirtuel.com/

    ...and then realize you're paranoid and probably haven't left Idaho in 20 years.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:28 am | Reply
  247. cocoa

    My flight was scheduled on Monday 19th, but with the spate of cancellations, I could rebook mine to a date in the coming few weeks.
    Personally, I do think the airlines are pushing the safety limits right now. I would rather be safe. I don't think their tests are enough at this point.
    They are losing millions everyday, true. But human life is worth way more than that.
    I didn't change my flight schedule until Saturday. But, I am not happy about people risking their lives here.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:29 am | Reply
  248. just do it

    ok first of all the european makiing big deal out of it ok we all know ashes are exteremly dangeres to the aircraft, the volcino affected only small part of north europe most probably northern uk but all the other part shall be good to fly based on test flight some air line done,one more thing if this volcino had happend in africa or asia or s.america turst me they would not be any problem.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:52 am | Reply
  249. George Winston

    Certainly I will not take an unsafe plane to fly. But should only the necessity now make the airplane industry cry like this. The technical department of all airline industries (airline operators & the aircraft manufacturers) to be blamed for this. Why haven't they given least thought about this earlier. We are not living in a perfect paradise. At times the aircraft should fly through some adverse atmosphere. It would be better for the airline industries to exactly come out (atleast now) with all these types of flying problems. There may be thousands of hidden unsafe conditions in the present flights.....if we have to discover all unsafe conditions only when we are there then it's highly unacceptable. This could have been predicted far far earlier if the right peole have worked in the right department. Nature again proved that we are fools.

    April 20, 2010 at 6:03 am | Reply
  250. Sonny

    "Despite growing pressure from air travel groups such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and major airlines like British Airways, the CAA said that all current jet engine manufacturers specify zero levels of atmospheric ash for safe flying."

    How often did they check for ash prior to this volcano erupting?

    April 20, 2010 at 6:06 am | Reply
  251. Ramadhani chanafi

    Yes, i could transport although am not living there but ash isn't a problem for me to transport that is my comment today!

    April 20, 2010 at 6:09 am | Reply
  252. SteveInSD

    I was in the Philippines at Subic when Mt Pinatubo went up. The ash felt like talcum powder, but it was incredibly abraisive. Not good for anything with moving parts, esp aircraft engines! I wouldn't think about flying, unless it was the only way to survive. Vacation? Not a chance.

    April 20, 2010 at 6:11 am | Reply
  253. John McLaughlan

    No bloody way!

    April 20, 2010 at 6:25 am | Reply
  254. Jeff

    If they are releasing airspace to domestic flights, why (at this point of unknown going forward) are they not considering the permission of the larger aircraft the same slots to get aircraft & people moving and hop-scotching back to the termination point?

    In my case the US from Paris.

    Also, I hear (on your station) much about what UK is doing; I'm not hearing anything about what US gov't is doing to help its citizens stranded in Europe/UK. Anything?

    April 20, 2010 at 6:36 am | Reply
  255. Paul

    Yes. I would fly. I will fly as soon as the restrictions are lifted. I am one of the pilots flying the plane. I think that what everyone is missing here, due to poor reporting, is that we are talking about a very small amount of dust spread over an incredibly large area.
    No one is suggesting flying into the actual plume of ash coming out of the volcano. That would be madness. This dust will be in the atmosphere for decades. There is still dust from Pinatubo, St. Helens, even Krakatoa floating up there. It will not just go away.
    I wonder how long it will be before the media realizes that this will impact the harvests across Europe this summer.............

    April 20, 2010 at 7:22 am | Reply
  256. Duncan

    It is outrageous that this question is being seriously considered. Flying under these circumstances is very risky to say the least. I am an engineer with 20 years' experience of surveying all sorts of machinery in both normal operation and after breakdowns. Anyone with proper professional knowledge is aware – beyond any doubt – that damage WILL occur after flying through volcanic ash. The only thing uncertain is the nature and dimension of the damage, so it's impossible to predict the consequences or the exact moment when these consequences will appear. Anyone allowing flights now is acting irresponsibly and gambling with other people's lives.

    April 20, 2010 at 7:22 am | Reply
  257. iGus

    It's important to remember that the airlines have nothing but their financial wellbeing at heart when they state that flights should continue. The Finnish Air-force have conducted tests in the last few hours showing that the ash is causing damage to aircraft engines.

    It 's your choice to fly or not. But personally I'd take a boat or a plane. Or walk.

    April 20, 2010 at 7:38 am | Reply
  258. PG

    NO!!! I would not be scared to fly through the ash cloud. this is a basaltic volcano and this means that there are no (or very few) quartz particles (quartz particles are what they say can destroy the engine). So I would fly.

    April 20, 2010 at 7:42 am | Reply
  259. Mili

    Even without ash I have problems flying , my plane is leaving on the 30th of April via – Vienna -Dulles and if the situation is like this ...there is no way I can fly...............just imagine being up in the air and having problems with the engine ......... that is not a good feeling .

    April 20, 2010 at 7:58 am | Reply
  260. Peter

    I would certainly be scared to fly through in the next few days anywhere near the UK or Norway...

    April 20, 2010 at 7:58 am | Reply
  261. Geoff

    Wow, some people amaze me, Someone here actualy compared volcanic dust (which melts and turns to glass inside the engine by the way) to flying threw snow and rain. I would like to volunteer that guy to do the test flights.

    Anyway Volcanic dust simply something a jet engine wasn't designed to fly threw, I am scedualed to fly from Moscow RU to Edmonton Can on Saturday.. looks like I'll be waiting a little longer before my trip home.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:03 am | Reply
  262. Tamara Knoefel

    I'm trying to get back home to my husband and 2 kids. But I'd rather get home weeks later, than never to come home at all.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:12 am | Reply
  263. Michael

    The airlines can kiss my ash.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:14 am | Reply
  264. Gina

    the ash will power down the plane and make it crash!

    April 20, 2010 at 8:16 am | Reply
  265. DC

    I felt scared to the comment made by those so-called Meteorologist more than the cloud itself, whatever they said are just pointless prediction. Have they provide any trustworthy / reliable information regarding the activity? All they keep saying is they need time to study the situation and follow the latest development of the volcano. I think they have already spent their whole life on their specialty and give us some constructive opinion. This is not time for their case study. It's time to act.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:19 am | Reply
  266. Gina

    stop volcanos god!

    April 20, 2010 at 8:19 am | Reply
  267. Ian

    If trials have been carried out & the airlines are happy to fly it should then be down to each individual to decide if they wish to fly. Some are more risk adverse than others, but for me, having flow in storms. strong winds, lightning – which are just as likely to cause problems with planes, I would take the risk.
    I have been stuck down in Johannesburg since last Thurs night & should have flown back for the week to sign papers on a new apartment, before flying back here next Monday. Now I could potentially lose it & be penalised for non signing legal docs on due date.
    I couldn't understand why all flights flying South could not have continued to fly last Thursday \Friday as only Scotland & Northen England were affected.
    Bottom lie – people know the risks & should be given the choice.

    Like everything else these days – certain people think they know what's best for us. We should have "freedom of choice". Are we living under a dictatorship ?!?!?!?!

    April 20, 2010 at 8:36 am | Reply
  268. Seif El Batanouni

    Since when did anyone care about the welfare of any citizen, at the end it all comes down to money, now the airline companies are loosing a lot day by day, thats all they care about . I don't think anyone is certain of the amount of risk involved and in which level of density. i agree that more test flights should be made to have a clearer idea of the amount of risk, what happened to traveling by Trains, Boats.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:37 am | Reply
  269. Patrick Michaud

    Calculated risk. Yes I would fly as long as the ash cloud is as thinly dispersed as it is today. No pilot would risk his life flying in a dense ash cloud. Test flights have indicated no ill effects to aircraft engines flying through the existing ash conditions. Yes test flights have indicated negative effects to military F-18 aircraft engines but those engines operate differently then commercial airline engines. I hope they restart flights soon and just use common sense in stead of irrational fear from past experience in the Alaska incident. I have no "death wish", but I want to go home and from what I know, I believe it would be safe enough to fly.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:42 am | Reply
  270. Mike

    I would rather be on the ground wishing I was up there, than being in the air wishing I was on the ground .... there is a very good reason why they have stopped flying !

    April 20, 2010 at 8:45 am | Reply
  271. Victoria Berends

    I would be completely terrified to fly through an ash clouds. I've been studying abroad for the past three and a half months, and in multiple travels not once have these planes, which are not updates as much as the U.S.'s have landed a smooth landing. Everyone's back was in pain after each one. If they can't perform a smooth landing, or at least acquire an updated plane, then how do I trust them to do this over the Atlantic. I need to get to Heathrow, and the Philadelphia International, put I'm not flying until they've had hundreds of successful flights. They really should just change people over to different parts of Europe and fly them out from somewhere more South. It's not worth human casualties, ever.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:59 am | Reply
  272. Darrey Osikoya

    I think most passengers are more concerned with the ban on the airspace being lifted and getting to their various destinations, but have giving less thoughts to safety implications. Personally, i would bother more on the facts of safety as opposed to just flying regardless of that. What is more important than life? So it's better to be late, than to be 'late'

    April 20, 2010 at 9:03 am | Reply
  273. Tracy

    It's not the "Airlines" that are most knowledgable to determine the safety of flight in these conditions. The aircraft (Airbus & Boeing) and the engine (GE, P&W, etc) manufacturers are the most qualified.

    What are they advising???????

    I would/will not fly

    April 20, 2010 at 9:09 am | Reply
  274. 2MonthsInLondon

    I have been working in London for two months and was due to fly back to the United States on Thursday. I've now been waiting for 5 days to fly home, and I am very anxious to get there, but I do not want to risk flying through volcanic ash. I understand that several test flights have been done, but all it takes is one plane flying through the wrong pocket.

    I hate the waiting game (just like everyone else does), and I have people I miss at home; however, I want to get home safely so that I can be with them. Perhaps we can begin looking into other options (such as traveling across water) rather than risking people's lives up in the air.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:33 am | Reply
  275. Emil L. Samuels

    How strange, how irresponsible of the European Commissoner for Transport and various individual European Transport Ministers to proclaim a semi-safe situation at the 19th April! They agreed to make differences between 1. no go airports 2. safe airports 3. 'depending on the actual situation' airports from and to which planes could start off or land.
    Do politicians have brans, one may ask?
    The second volcano near the first erupting one, is expected to explode soon, while the first vulcano is currently spitting out new heavy ash emissions ( 20 April ) heading towards the British Isles and undoubtly the rest of Europe and the North-Western hemisphere.

    Why do Nato and EU together not plan a rescue scheme with boats, trains and cars only to bring stranded passengers back home safely. New passengers should just stay home and use their internet communications, at least the coming months, if not years. Maybe also cruiseboats could replace our jet- lines, for some years? Remember that the volcanic eruptions in Iceland in 1783 and 1842 took at least two years.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:48 am | Reply
  276. Walther Schoonenberg

    No, I would not use an airplane wright now. Better to go by train.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:50 am | Reply
  277. ilya kharitonov

    I don't know a whole lot about planes, but the airline companies are definately more concerned about the money than our safety. My wife is supposed to fly to Pisa (with a lay over in Munich) after being away from me for six months due to a deployment, and i'd rather she wait and get here safe than not at all, and if she does land in munich safely i have no problem coming to get her by car. What i dont understand is, why not fly around the ash, to say...Pisa? And accomdiate your passengers with alternate transportation? Or why not fly below the ash?

    April 20, 2010 at 9:55 am | Reply
  278. Karmen

    Leave it to the experts, they will tell us when its safe to fly home, for now enjoy your time off. I just wish they would re route us or give us alternative options, as I am travelling from budapest to montreal and I can't figure out a second option....

    April 20, 2010 at 10:01 am | Reply
  279. nat

    It's always the same! The greed for money wins over common sense.
    I would never fly because I do not want to risk my life, fullstop.
    I booked a flight for the holidays, for the whole family it is very difficult for us to afford this. But why should I risk my or my families life ?? I guess the chances are high the vulcanoes activities will continue much longer than we like it. We have to accept that and find alternative ways for travelling.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:25 am | Reply
  280. Waiting for Paris

    I'm scheduled to fly to Paris tonight on vacation, on a flight postponed from Thursday. We've been watching the news and will make a final decision this morning. If we don't go today, we won't postpone again, we'll just cancel.

    However, in addition to thinking it's foolhardy to take chances when I can easily postpone my vacation, I'm also feeling guilty about having a seat on a flight when so many others are stranded. Also, if we get to Europe and the situation worsens, we'll just be adding to the problem by being stranded in Europe. So far, no one is asking non-essential travelers to stay home. Probably because they are desperate for the tourism dollars. But they probably should until this mess is sorted out.

    Until now, there has been no reason for airplane manufacturers to do the necessary testing to set a "safe" level of volcanic ash, or to design engines that can withstand it. It made more sense to tell the airlines to just avoid it. All that testing and design costs money, and there's been no compelling need to do it. However, this situation is going to go on for a very long time, so they'll do the testing, design new engines, and in a year or so we'll be able to fly to Europe again with confidence for our safety.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:34 am | Reply
  281. Rob

    Would I be prepared to fly through an ash cloud? Better asked am I ready to meet my Maker if called on to do so? No, not yet. When my knowledge base is equal to or better than the experts , then perhaps. Until then I will follow the engine manufacturers specifications which say ZERO ash is the only safe level for the engines.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:37 am | Reply
  282. Steve

    To the best of my knowledge there has never been any empirical scientific research done on just what is a safe concentration of ash to fly through.
    The test flights that have been up and sampled the air have gathered air samples which can't be measured against any baseline because we don't know where the threshold of ash concentration is. You sometimes can't see the ash ( and you certainly can't see it at night) that can stall a jet engine and neither can the aircraft's radar see it, so the test flights are not too sure just where they have been. All we know is they went into the sky flew in some random directions at random heights and returned to ground relatively unscathed.
    In another set of circumstances ( particularly at night) an aircraft could start a journey based on the presumption that the sky is clear of ash and then find itself in a section of the atmosphere where unseen ash can stall the engine.
    When KLM's flight 867 stalled all 4 engines outside Anchorage in 1989 the ash did not show on their radar, and the same was reported with BA's flight 9 in 1982.
    For this reason I would be a little nervous about flying particularly at night until the ash plume has fully dissipated.If what I have heard is true and cars on English roads have a fine layer of ash deposited on them overnight then the sky is a potential hazard for flying. Modern jet engines inhale vast amounts of air every second so there is just no way of telling when an engine might stall, especially when one is so far from land.

    I for one don't have a problem with the regulator's decisions to date. The commercial stakeholders however take a different view, but I would like to see who ducks for cover first when a fully laden wide body jet attempts to surf the Atltantic without power.....

    April 20, 2010 at 10:55 am | Reply
  283. John

    I would be very scared. Better to be cautious than to loose lives. People survived for thousand of years without planes and we could manage as well if we needed to.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:58 am | Reply
  284. sarah

    My 16 year old son is currently stuck in Finland. As most of the aircraft tests seem to have been carried out at lower levels or in gaps, and not higher up in the main part of the ash cloud, i would rather my son stayed in Finland, or found alternative means of transport than risk flying home. I believe that the airlines are just worrying about their lost revenue, and are trying to rush things through without thinking.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:04 am | Reply
  285. Michele

    I am concerned. I have a flight from Newark to Barcelona next week and I'm wondering if I should cancel. The experts are in unknown territory and are making their best judgements but there is also such pressure coming from airlines that I am concerned that safety is not the #1 priority.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:07 am | Reply
  286. Rhonda

    I would not fly till cleared......just because I have a vacation planned or business. Why risk my life when plans could be changed. Those same folks who are saying yes, why not, are the same ones who would be wanting compensation should something happen, or want others to risk their lives to save them. People are so selfish, they just dont want to be inconvenienced by anything

    April 20, 2010 at 11:23 am | Reply
  287. Ingrid

    I am thrilled that the airlines stopped flying. I would much rather be stranded (as I was in Nairobi for a few days) than fly through the ash cloud where there is no knowledge. I think that taking the time to wait (assuming that things would get better) and then doing the test flights and then letting people fly is the right way to go about things. I have to fly to Africa next month and am already considering trying to book through Jo'burg rather than through Europe...Just because I can!

    April 20, 2010 at 11:24 am | Reply
  288. Fabrizio

    As much as heroes are around, I think all should know that knowingly fliyng in ash cloud conditions waives the airline insurance; that means that any damage will not be covered by anybody. Any heroes of flight guess why?

    April 20, 2010 at 11:29 am | Reply
  289. maddawg

    i personally cannot wait until all you lemming iTards that say "yea...i'd fly through the ash cloud......duuuuuh..!!"

    actually do it and perish!

    it would be that many more iTarded imbeciles removed from the planet!!!


    these iTards think by saying "i'm not afraid to fly through an ash cloud maddawg; it's because i'm not scared and am a big boy now because i know because my mommy lets me out of the house without her with me now..." that they somehow think they look brave or cool...

    well world...give these iTards what they ask for....and give the rest of us a REAL break by removing their lives from this world....

    lmao....perhaps their gods will take care of them.....yea that's it.....eternal bliss for being exemplary idiots!!!

    we can only hope they do as they claim they are not afraid to!!

    April 20, 2010 at 11:33 am | Reply
  290. maddawg

    huge lols....

    look at all the cultists and religious ding-bats that think their god gives a crap whether they die or not....

    you'll end up a piece of charcoal....sent back to mother earth where you came from....

    no gods for you...all your cults can do is give you a false sense of security....

    (oh...and they can rape your children for decades and then cover it up and lie about their involvement and dodge all responsibility and acknowledgement of wrongdoing)

    April 20, 2010 at 11:39 am | Reply
  291. TOmek

    Holy crap you people are paraniod. Do you know the exact details of the volcanic ash before you comment? ie:
    The density of the ash as altitude increases?
    Exactly where the cloud is, and which part of it present risk?
    No, you don't. Because your just panicking. Wait a couple of days and you'll be aright.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:45 am | Reply
  292. Hannes

    Watch the Aircrash Investigation episode where it actually happened. This is an untested experiment and I do not believe the best test subjects are human passengers.

    We need to look at this with perspective. Dont say "I'll be brave and Im not scared".... believe me you will shiiiit yourself when engine number 3 of 4 also stops......

    April 20, 2010 at 11:45 am | Reply
  293. Denise

    If I were a wealthy entrepreneur, I would turn lemons into lemonade, by bringing back cruise service to Europe, but this time making it as rapid and low-cost as possible. Many people have a fear of flying, are nervous about the possibility of terrorism, and/or are just plain sick and tired of the arrogance of the airline industry. Their attitude is "You have to fly, you have no other choice", so they can hold whole planeloads of passengers hostage on the tarmac for hours, while charging more and more exorbitant prices for less and less service. (One airline is actually charging passengers or should I say prisoners to use the restrooms!!!) Though this would not be a viable option for all in every situation, it would provide a safer and less stressful alternative. Isn't it time we had some choices? Cruise line industry, are you listening?......Strike while the iron is hot!!!

    April 20, 2010 at 11:53 am | Reply
  294. peter archer

    It depends on where I would spend my eternal destiny.
    It would be the most important decision to make at this time.
    My SOUL has to be sure !!

    April 20, 2010 at 11:53 am | Reply
  295. RC

    It's better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air... as opposed to being in the air wishing that you were on the ground. Because of examples we've had such as BA009 over Indonesia, and KLM867 over Alaska, it's a shock that those two airlines are the ones spearheading a restart of operations into known volcanic ash....

    April 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  296. Simon

    >I want to be back to my children as soon as possible and will be willing to take ANY possible risks.

    Like the risk they might never get to see you again?

    April 20, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  297. Martin

    The general problem is that all predictions come from an untested model. They should send various planes up, test the model, and clear the mess of confusion up here. Sadly you have to look in great depth to actually see that none of the cloud maps shown in newpapers, websites is actually experimentally tested (UK websites such as BBC are worst at this, as BBC does not even mention that the maps are only simulations). I do a lot of simulations at work (not wealther, but something much clearer cut ... thermal simulation for semiconductors), and the simulation is only as accurate as its input parameters, and even for thermal simulation those can be quite off from reality if not checked experimentally ... I do not even want to think about the numerous simulation input parameter that go into weather simulations (and uncertainties in the model itself). It is scary to see how the people who do these simulaions believe them in bind. Do not understand me wrong ... they may be correct, but they could also be wildly off.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  298. Sharon

    We (my husband and two children) are scheduled to fly from Jacksonville Florida to Copenhagen Denmark on Friday. I am absolutely terrified to fly in this situation. Flying over land is one thing, but there are no emergency landing strips in the middle of the ocean...Delta phone lines are jammed, so we can't get any information that way, and there's no information on their website. I say they get as many of the stranded people home as safely possible, and those of us who don't need to travel should stay home.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  299. Ashley

    I don't think it's worth the risk. If the engines sustain damage from the ash cloud, it may not even affect those initial flights. Everyone may assume that everything is fine, then several flights later, the engines may have problems. By exposing the planes to that kind of physical damage, you are essentially creating ticking time bombs.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  300. Charlotte Feck

    I would not fly right now or be the reason a flight is in the air. The reason is money is not everything and not only are those in the air at risk but those on the ground. Our wars overseas have been plagued with aircraft problems due to sand and sandstorms. Why do we think this will be different? I dont I think we need to wait a bit more to see if this volcano will settle down and that the other bigger one does not start up. Is no one listening to the fact that this volcano could be going off now for two years if it follows the path of its last erruption. It is time in the cycle of things for the bigger volcano close to this one to blow? On top of that scientist are worried that this current erruption could play into causing the second volcano to errupt? I have taken a geology class so I understand what is going on under the ground deep into the earth. Why dont we listen to the scientist for a change this could mean life or death for many. I think we should have at least given it another week or two before flying again. I have tto say though that waiting will not solve it all as it could still happen. You know I dont know about all that altitude stuff but what I do know is that planes do not nose dive into landings, nor do they stand on there tails to take off. What I mean here is that to get into the air or ground you have to pass through all those particles floating around in the distance inbetween.

    Look back at our miliary aircraft problems. I am not panicky but I say right now lets take a boat for a couple more weeks at least if it sucks in too much no body has to die in the process of being rescued.

    April 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  301. Paul

    is anyone aware how often flights go right through clouds of African desert dust on a daily basis during the summer? pretty much the majority of flights from the south-east regions of North America and the Caribbean Islands to europe and Africa fly straight through dense clouds of sand dust particulates (glass, silicates, sound familiar?) with no worries. this dust blown into the air from western Africa is clearly visible by the naked eyed in the eastern US on a summer day, creating a noticeable haze over the sky that anyone can see, and this dust/sand is even responsible for replenishing beaches on the eastern US seaboard as it falls to the ocean an gets washed up on the shores. this sand dust is dense enough to essentially "choke" a hurricane, as the hurricane sucks up this dry sandy dust it weakens significantly. but nobody worries about flying through it. though somehow light dispersions of ash spread over thousands upon thousands of miles of airspace has the EU authorities chasing their tales looking for an answer.

    April 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  302. Mike

    And yet few people stay home when the roads are icy...

    April 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  303. Rob

    Sorry, but this is exactly the type of decision flight crew make every day. While it's not always ash cloud, there is always a risk / reward analysis. Taking people on their business trip or golfing holidays isn't enough of a reward to justify a significant risk.

    It sounds like people are 99.9% sure that we can fly through some parts of the cloud without a problem. Or, to put it another way, about one out of every thousand airplanes won't make it.

    Europe has about 28,000 flights per day. Would 28 airline accidents a day be tolerable?

    Sorry, but caution is important.

    April 20, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  304. M Tiffany

    Read the question again and then answer the question! I would never want to fly through an ash cloud! Most of you are answering the question as if it were asking you if you would be afraid to fly in European airspace.

    Frank D. Woodruff, I'm with you all the way!

    April 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  305. ruth

    Considering that the airlines are loosing millions each day, I don´t trust them. Unfortunately we live in a world were greed rules and human life is cheap.
    Some of those airlines will probably be facing bankrupcy soon, so to fly or not to fly is a question of company life or death. but it could also be a question of life or death to us. I will not fly until a real all clear has been given. One that comes from scientific trials or trials from the military, not trials from the companies themselves.

    April 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  306. Jennifer

    In the grand scheme of things a few weeks of inconvenience is minor. Yes it's a royal pain in the a$$. But this too will pass and life will resume normally again. Err on the side of caution.

    April 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  307. Pedro

    Dib's comment about "get-home-itis" is very pertinent. It should remind us that the worst ever airline disaster (collision of two 747's in Tenerife) was partly caused by this, when after a series of mishaps the KLM's 747 captain decided to take off while dismissing the First Officer's doubts concerning whether they had actually been given permission to do so. This captain was very experienced, indeed one of the flagship figures of KLM, but did a colossal mistake. Mind you, airline pilots are in general extremely competent and well trained and should be trusted, but one should also be realistic: pilots are humans, an this example shows how even the best of them can make a huge mistake. In this case it seems the captain's impatience was partly a result of the pressure to meet the airline's requirements concerning the maximum duration of the flight: impatience got in the way of safety. And now in this volcanic ash crisis the airlines' insistence (including KLM's) in getting up in the air is notorious.

    April 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  308. Lawrence

    Personally, I would fly through the ash cloud. Based on the current test trials conducted by certain airline companies and countries, I do not see any reason why one wouldn't fly. In certain countries I would not fly like the UK but in countries deemed safe enough, I would.

    April 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  309. uttara shah

    anybody who is willing to fly thru the ash cloud. read this first

    April 20, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  310. Jacob Kalensky

    No I would not fly. I have been stuck in Europe (Czech Rep.) since the 04.15.. My flight is through Londons heathrow airport, so I am out of luck for a while.I have a business to run back home in Seattle. However there is no way that I would fly at this point. I agree with the fact that the airline companies are loosing tons of money, but really don't care if one plane full of passengers does't make it.Simply said it will cost them less to loose one plane and pay off the relatives of the people that died
    (they are insured for such events), then to have their operations stoped for days. This just purely shows that nobody really cares about human lives-only about money.........may god and good spirits be with you all if you decide to fly.......

    April 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  311. Mikael

    I think this is stupid discussion. Why can't we decide ourselves. I have to get to Asia for my business trip and if I have to make it with 99.98% crashing risk instead of 99.99% I can accept that. I want to fly and airlines want to fly but some stupid officials just don't dare to take decision. So European.... I have it in my bucket list: fly through an ash cloud before you die.

    April 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  312. bill h.

    let's see, let's see....hhmmmm.....major inconvenience, or increased chance of DEATH? hmmmmm....nah, i think i'll stick with inconvenience.

    April 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  313. Bobbie K

    I managed to be one of the only flights that flew out of Charles de Gaulle on Friday headed for Atlanta. It was very scary not knowing what we were in for.

    April 20, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  314. redneck

    I would love to fly through the ash

    April 20, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  315. heather

    I was booked to Peru and should have been on my way to Machu Picchu, a long unfulfilled dream. My flight from Munich was cancelled and I lost a lot of money, but my life is to me worth exponentially more than the Euros I lost. I do not wish to fly through an ash cloud and I am not yet satisified with the test flight results.

    I too am weary of the pressure the airlines are putting on authorities to get flights back into the air so that they can put a stop to their loses. Better safe than sorry is my mantra in this case. My life simply isn't worth the gamble.

    April 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  316. Marie

    These feet will stay on terra firma until there is no risk. Our world has become so impatient and does not plan for possible inconveniences of natural disasters. Being a Floridian, we plan ahead because of hurricanes and tornadoes that come up out of nowhere. I think that flying to a destination also takes some forethought and if you're not prepared to hang in there a little longer, or even a lot longer due to some unexpected glitch, then you are way too 'living in the new millennium' without realizing that life was not always like this. Airlines get grounded.. time to get used to it. Maybe next time people will think more before they go on vacation as to whether they will be able to get back home when they want. This just happens to be a really long wait. Could be worse.. this thing could be shooting ash in the air for 2 years. Then what? PLANNING AHEAD IS THE KEY! They don't have an app to get you back home in 5 seconds. Microwave mentality will get you nowhere fast. And to the airlines that are risking tens of thousands of lives.. you suck! I think that human lives are more important than your precious profits. Too hell with the economy. Life is more than money!

    Time to realize that in the days of iPods, ATMs, cell phones, and fast food, there is still that little curve ball that can easily sink you right back into the 40's. Wake up time! This could be ongoing for a LONG time to come.

    God is speaking loudly. Forsake all your conveniences and start prioritizing what is really important in life.. for HE can mess it up for you for as long as He wants to.


    April 20, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  317. Ed

    There is fear and prudence. The volcano erupted and the situation is what it is. My wife is over there right now and will come home either around the cloud (via Egypt, Madrid or Moscow) or after it is gone. It is expensive and inconvenient but is the price we pay when a catastrophe occurs. Playing games with the safety of passengers for the sake of profits is insane.

    April 20, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  318. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello CNN friends,

    Our United Nations Government is not doing enough to help the thousands of people who are living in airports. If we cannot use the sky, then we have to travel by land and by water. This is the time that our Government have to work together to make sure that travelers are not stranded, we are not living in the Middle Ages!

    Let us Now Connect to make our world
    a Better Healthier and Beautiful World
    for You and for Me!

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    April 20, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  319. Lori

    I would not fly, I understand the frustration of the airlines because of the financial hardship, but overall, human life is more important.
    The plane might be fine this flight, but what about the next one.

    I am quite amazed that people are so upset at countries looking out for their safety and lives. I would like to know what would be said if they hadn't stopped the flights and a plane or two crashed.

    Be safe, I would certainly be willing to wait 2 or 3 weeks to see someone than to have to attend a funeral for them.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  320. DJ

    Having already been in an airplane accident, there is no way in hell I would fly through the ash cloud. One plane accident in a lifetime is one too many, thankyouverymuch.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  321. alberto

    There seems to be a divided opinion on wether to fly-or not . I say to all of you out there in the twilight zone : Don`t push your lucks to the limit, to save a few bucks, or to get back home in a hurry to kiss your girlfriend (those soldiers returning from duty) . It would be painful to learn of your deaths while returning from a tour of duty back home after risking your lives in combat. As well to all of you who are thinking to take the risk out there; read the facts, meditate, and you`ll find logic all out loud and clear to stay on the ground till this is cleared by authorities, not airlines.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  322. Zoe

    Why risk it? I was supposed to go for a fun trip to Paris this weekend (leaving tomorrow) and as much as I've been looking forward to it, is it really worth it to be on one of the first planes to fly trans-atlantic through a volcanic ash cloud? I'm a nervous flier to begin with, but I always make myself do it anyway because I love to travel. I have to say, this is where I draw the line. Paris can wait.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  323. DC

    All that ash in the atmosphere has to come down some where. Haven't heard anything about that. It could be a health hazard as breathing that stuff would be like breathing shards of glass.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  324. Bob

    They know nothing about how much ash is required to drop the plane out of the sky, they do know it can drop a plane out of the sky, long way across the Atlantic ocean and suddenly find out the ash cloud happens to stop the engines on your plane, we are treated like cargo on these international flights, now they want to try and beat the odds that an ash cloud will not cause a plane to crash. You can have my seat until this all goes away.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  325. Steve

    To the poster (Paul – April 20th, 2010 2:43 am ET) who said that whether or not to fly in the US is left up to the pilots and the airlines has no idea what he is talking about. I have worked as an aerospace deisgn engineer for almost 20 years, 13 of those years at Boeing, and I can tell you that the FAA has an iron grip on flghts. Simply put, if the FAA doesn't buy off on it then it doesn't happen. And they are not "some political bureaucracy that doesn't know a thing about flying " but are highly trained aerospace engineers. Having worked in this industry for many years, as I said, I can tell you that I would not put my faith either in the aircraft manufacturers or the airlines themselves to do the right thing. They are heavily driven by economic pressure to cut corners. The organizations and regulations are in place for a very good reason. People like Paul are the ones who are politically driven by an ideological position that is simply opposed to all government action. But history has shown time and time again that failure to properly regulate and police industries leads to safety disasters for workers and the general public. A simple fact of life and their conservative approach to safety is the only responsible one.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  326. D. Katz

    My husband and I have a once in a lifetime trip to Ireland planned for May 2 departure from Newark to Shannon. Not sure what we are going to do. Seems foolhardy to go unless we can be assured conditions are as they should be for safe flying. The bottom line.....do we want to risk our life for a vacation?

    April 20, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  327. Stefano

    Let's be reasonable: those apocalyptic comments that consider flying as a suicidal mission don't seem reasonable. I do agree and believe that the ban was lifted for economic reasons first of all, but I also believe that the situation is not so dramatic, and the responses have been excessive. Caution is always the right approach, but risk-free life is a dream. How many people died in car accidents today? We are not immortal, let's face it.
    I would not certainly fly through a dense cloud of ashes, as the BA flight did a couple of decades ago, that's suicidal. But none of the flights that took place so far in Europe reported any extreme situation, actually they did not have any problem at all. Some of us might still die for any reason other than volcano ashes even before a flight will crash for that reason, if it will ever happen...
    You may remember the story of an Italian woman who missed the AF flight that crashed on the Atlantic a few months ago, took a LH flight and had to drive from Germany to Italy.. and died on her car trip back to Italy. Let's take it easy!

    April 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  328. Bob - NH

    Everyone's complaining about being unable to fly and saying they're willing to take the risk, but let there be just one single death due to someone flying through an ash cloud, and people will be all over the government and the airlines and the aircraft manufacturers for flying unsafely and risking people's lives. Grow up, people! You can't have it both ways!

    April 20, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  329. Ed

    No one seems to be saying it is suicide, only that it is an unacceptable risk. This seems born out by the Finnish test flights and the opinions of responsible engineers and safety officials.

    Perhaps the airlines will be able to find takers by offering an unlimited waiver of responsibility for prospective passengers? That strikes me as reasonable and offers the choice to the passengers. You can fly, but only if you acknowledge that it is against the advice of the engineers and flight safety agencies and go at your own risk. Seems fair, the airlines get to sell tickets and don't have to worry about lawsuits in the event of a crash. "So what?", if your family members are dead or lose their homes and lifestyles without the deceased?

    April 20, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  330. Margroks

    Of course I'd be scared to fly through the ash cloud! The article adn the experts make it plain that this is dangerous and should not be undertaken.

    April 20, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  331. John

    No, I would'nt fly. We need to wait until sky is clear.
    Safety is first

    April 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  332. B Wright

    I can't believe it when I read that people just want to fly to their destination and would be willing to fly through an ash cloud. If there is even the least danger, I would think it's better to stay grounded. What's the point of hurrying to get airbourne if there's an increased chance that you are going to crash? I'm a frequent traveler but really prefer to delay my trips or go by train until even the smallest increased risk of flying is eliminated. It's not worth risking my life to fly to my work or holiday destination.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  333. Vasileios

    what people dont understand is this ashcloud could make their day turn into a nightmare...just like the BA flight that faced some ashcloud over newzealand...they were lucky to be able to start the engines again.the particles that enter the enginer will soon become small solid one that will begin chipping away parts of the engine...as a final year aerospace student i think people should value their lives and thank the authorities for protecting their lives...should they let the aircrafts to fly and one of them crahses people will start talking and accusing these authorities for not taking that into consideration...to those people who dont know what are the effects of ashclouds and their reaction not only to the engine but to the whole aircraft itself...please dont start spreading bullcrap!

    April 20, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  334. Enzo

    I would certainly not be afraid to fly through the ash cloud. People who say "...if there is any risk in flying, don't take it." have to realise that is never truly safe to, there is always a slight chance of a mishap. Why do you think that aeroplanes go down even in normal situations?

    But I wouldn't be afraid to fly through the ash-cloud because number one, I believe that the tests of British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, etc. are correct that the volcanic ash doesn't have any damage on commercial jets, which are the planes that have been affected. NATO, who states that it affects their F-16 fighters, the reason being I believe is that they high-performance fighter jets with jet engines optimised for maximum speed.

    Honestly, I just wish that airspace is reopened and flights can get back to normal ASAP. There was not enough research in the matter for the EU to completely shut down European airspace – Airlines were losing hundreds of millions a day; and over 6.8m people all over the world had their travel plans disrupted. People have missed work, school, other important events like: weddings, meetings,

    Thankfully, the EU have finally realised their mistake and reopened up a significant portion of its airspace. Hopefully, things will get better soon.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  335. rumiko

    For anyone who’s a frequent watcher of the Discovery Channel, you may have seen the recreation of an incident which occurred in 1982, when a British Airways flight lost power in all four engines after flying though an ash cloud over the Indian Ocean, on it’s way to Australia. I’m sure there’s passengers from that BA flight of over 25 years ago who’d have opinions on whether airspace over Europe should be re-opened or not …… >>>


    April 20, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  336. asdfjkl1234

    LOL everyone says that the airlines are more worried about money than lives. YES they are, but inversely: do you know how much a JET costs? Hella lot. They don't want to risk losing it. A JET has to fly many times to earn its cost.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  337. Karen

    After being in Alaska for the eruption of Mt. Redoubt here and watching all the havoc it caused, there is no way I'd get on a plane in the affected airspace right now!

    April 20, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  338. Sym

    Absolutely not. If it's unsafe to do so, it's just a matter of time before something goes wrong IF flying was allowed through an ash cloud.

    Science and the lives of passengers (and flight crews for that matter) must come before economics. After all, if a plane crashes, doesn't all this talk about keeping planes grounded backfire? Since each individual commercial plane costs up to US$300 MILLION and let's not forget the millions of dollars in compensation claims from the victims families (even more if it is determined the airline was negligent) and fewer people traveling with that airline in the aftermath of a crash, airlines can't afford to gamble with safety. Safety MUST ALWAYS be the number one priority for airlines at ALL TIMES. There CAN NOT EVER be any exceptions. Profits can therefore only be the second priority of any airline.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  339. Denis Sartain

    Britain's CAA and Eurocontrol went from adamantly saying that under no circumstances should planes fly into British airspace for days. Suddenly it became safe after the commercial airlines started putting pressure on them, suddenly after a few test flights by commercial airlines, they announced it was virtually up to them. Military planes have reported unfavourable affects to jets according to reports by CNN and others. I am waiting for a flight back to the UK but trust my own instincts and will wait until there is more conclusive proof than that offered by the airlines at this stage-God forbid that the disproof comes at the costs of lives.

    April 21, 2010 at 12:48 am | Reply
  340. Erik

    It can't be known what the safety tolerances are for ash. The reason that commercial flights will resume is that it has become politically impossible for them not to resume, not because it is safe.

    The airlines' willingness to glibly ignore information from scientists and the military that ash damages airplanes does not inspire confidence.

    There isn't a lot of scientific information about how bad the threat is or how to mitigate it. Separating Europe into three flying zones assumes that the distribution of ash will be uniform within those zones and nature need not comply with that assessment. If a pocket of high ash concentration is hit outside of the no-fly zone, that could be a disaster.

    The people flying in the next few days will be live test subjects in a massive experiment with potentially severe consequences if anything goes sideways.

    If there isn't a disaster in next few days that will be due to luck rather than diligence.

    The people running airlines right now are in a mental state that poker players call "on tilt", when frustration leads to unnecessary risk taking.

    Somebody's not going to leave enough margin for error.

    April 21, 2010 at 1:26 am | Reply
  341. Virginia Ann McHugh

    Does it make sense to put the Airplane in a position of limited ability...and also...do you really want to take any chance at all of breathing that ash? Why is everyone is such a hurry? Maybe this is a sign for the world to stop and relax a bit...so maybe Afraid is the wrong word...I would use the word reluctant in place of afraid.
    Therefore, I would be reluctant...not fearful. V.

    April 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Reply
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