Open Jaw: Thrilled by frills from ash-grounded easyJet

Where readers write back

Happily stranded

We cannot speak highly enough of our recent easyJet experience. We were due to travel back to Bristol from Madeira on 15 April, the day the ash struck, and were told by the airline we had to wait until 24 April . Fortunately, we are both retired so it wasn't much of a problem. The airline accommodated us in the Buganvilia Hotel in Funchal where we were offered three meals per day at their expense. The staff were all very friendly and went out of their way to make us feel welcome.

John and Olive Greenwood

Eastern hospitality

Our holiday in Muscat in Oman was due to end on the morning of the first volcanic-induced delays on 15 April. We were at the airport, checked in, at the gate ready to board – then Oman Air announced unconfirmed delays which, one hour later, became official. They promptly renewed our visas, sent us all by coach to a three-star hotel in Muscat, with full board (sadly no bar or pool, but hey!) and arranged with the hotel owner for day trips out, city tours, beach barbecues, even mosque visits for the Muslims in our party.

They gave us updates by fax every morning at 9am, which allowed us to spend days outside the hotel if we preferred. We were their guests for six days. Pretty good service: we were just economy, not first class or anything posh.

Steve Cook, London

We were in Brunei for a three-day stopover en route home from Auckland. We were obliged to stay on at The Empire Hotel until skies cleared. (Brilliant value, by the way, as you can get an online price of £100 per night, double with massive breakfast buffet.)

Royal Brunei Airlines kept us well informed and assured us that all expenses for accommodation and food would be met by them.

We had a brilliant extended stay until they could fly us home on Thursday 22 April.

Judy Otter, County Durham

Closing the skies: an overreaction?

The former head of research at Rolls Royce, Professor Alan Turner, said on BBC Radio 5 Live that there is no concentration of volcanic ash which will not adversely affect jet engines, it's just that a higher concentration will manifest problems sooner rather than later. Personally, I would give more credence to someone like Professor Turner than Richard Branson.

"Gonzologist"

I work for GreenSkies on the environmental issues of aviation. I don't doubt there is a safe-ish level of ash, which could be determined by combining all forms of observation, from ground lidar [a laser-based sensing technology] to satellite. But last month's problem wasn't really all that much to do with any of this, all of which worked pretty well – the difficulty was having an ash cloud over those bits of Europe with many major airports right underneath.

Jeff Gazzard, London

Putting Hereford straight

The spire of All Saints' church is, in fact, beautifully straight and perpendicular. The internal ironwork was corroded to a dangerous level. Scaffolding was erected and the top, twisted, portion of the spire rebuilt.

Michael Morris

All Saints' Church used to have the world's second- biggest chained library until, supported by the Getty Foundation, it was incorporated into the Hereford Cathedral library. Also, an excellent café has been incorporated into the ancient church to make it a vibrant community focus.

Fiona Mynors

Cuban comments

You say "restoring human rights" might do a better job in saving Cuba than tourism! Surely the human-rights abuses in Cuba all occur at the US end: Guantanamo?

Mertle Hill

We spent two fantastic weeks in Cuba in December. My husband needed urgent medical treatment which was provided quickly, professionally and free of charge.

I just hope that as Cuba modernises, which it so obviously needs to do, it doesn't forget or lose the successes they already have: free, good health care and education.

Helen Webster

A-Z of Ferries

In the last six years we have reached Iceland, Tunisia and the Canary Islands by train and ferry, as well as northern Spain. However, most of the ferries we have taken do not appear in the article. It would have been great to have seen some of these featured and give readers an idea of the scope of non-flying journeys.

Rowena Quantrill

You mentioned a Greyhound promotion from London to the Isle of Wight. I notice that it is only one-way. How much must you pay to be let off the island again?

"Blacknyellow"

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Service Charge Accountant

    30,000 to 35,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: We are currently recruiting on...

    Management Accountant

    28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive

    £20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...

    Day In a Page

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

    Time to stop running

    At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence