Stranded Wrexham travellers 'remain laid-back'

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PEOPLE stranded abroad because of the volcanic ash cloud are generally remaining “laid-back” about their predicament, according to Wrexham travel agents.

Tim Morland, proprietor of Merit Travel, on King Street in the town centre, said in more than five decades in the travel industry he had never experienced a situation comparable to the current one.

Hopes that flights in and out of the UK could resume yesterday were dashed when it was decided by air traffic control company Nats that the flights ban would stay in place until at least 1am today.

Mr Morland said: “I’ve been a travel agent for 52 years and this is the first time anything like this has happened.

“We do have people abroad at the moment.

“Fortunately, they’ve booked with us as an ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) agent, so they are protected.

“They’re across the spectrum really. There are a couple in the States, we’ve got people in Spain.

“The general feedback is pretty laid-back – apart from people who are due back in work this week.

“There is more concern for people who are going to travel in the next few days.”

Howard Davies, a partner at Delmar World in Gresford, said: “I’ve spoken to one family in Florida and they are having a ‘blast’. They are not in any hurry to come home.

“All the people we have got are on an ATOL (Air Travel Organisers Licence) protected package which means there’s an obligation on the part of the tour operator to look after them.

“We are getting phone calls from people who have booked separate components, such as flights and accommodation, through different sources.

“It means they have not got protection. I think if there is any good to come out of this it is that the public are going to be far more aware of having a protected package through a travel agent.”

He added: “Every customer I have spoken to has realised this is a one-off situation and it is just a case of sitting tight.”

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