Monday, April 19, 2010

Mission impossible: Escape from Europe

clipped from

VIENNA – Stranded travelers are piling into buses, trains and high-priced taxis in a frantic scramble to accomplish an increasingly tricky mission: Escape from Europe.

Spain was becoming a dream destination not for its beaches and monuments but simply by virtue of the fact it's one of the few European countries unaffected by the ash cloud drifting across the continent.

Monstrous lines filled the departure terminals at Madrid's Bajaras Airport as people sought a chance to flee — and tempers were fraying.

"I am on the standby list and I am homeless right now," said Roberta Marder, 73, from Tulsa, Oklahoma. "I am here fighting in the line and trying to get a ticket."

Doug Hahn, 36, from Portland, Oregon was settling into his seat Thursday on a New York-bound plane in Amsterdam when the flight was canceled. He and three other stranded travelers rented a car and drove to Madrid — a 16 hour road journey.

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