‘Absolutely buzzing’: Passengers left stranded by Bali volcano make it home

There were emotional scenes in Perth on Thursday as lucky passengers arrived home from Bali following the resumption of flights in and out of the island's international airport.

Jetstar and Qantas are operating 16 flights on Thursday and early Friday to try and get as many Australians as possible out of Bali, where airline staff are attempting to clear a backlog of about 100,000 international visitors.

School leaver Alastair McCoy was among those reunited with family and friends at Perth International Airport after a nervous wait and several cancelled flights.

Kathleen McCoy hugs her son Alastair at Perth International Airport.

His mother Kathleen McCoy spent hundreds of dollars on airline tickets trying to get her son home from schoolies week, before he finally managed to get on a Jetstar flight back to WA.

"Absolutely buzzing … couldn't think of anything better," Mr McCoy said.

He said many of his friends were still stuck in Bali and described conditions there as "full-on".

"Everything was getting put up in price," he said.

"[I'm] just completely happy to be home."

Ms McCoy said it was a "great win" having her son back.

Kathleen McCoy and her son Alastair stand side by side with their arms around one another at Perth Airport.

She said it had been a stressful time trying to get her son and two other nephews off the island, and called on the airlines to take more responsibility.

"It's cost heaps of money but that's not the issue, the issue is the kids' safety and the stress levels for everyone involved," she said.

Ms McCoy said two seats she had paid for on another flight home were going to waste because another airline would not let her change the passenger details.

"That to me is a disgrace that kids are going to be left over there in a vulnerable situation," she said.

Single father Phil Wickham scored a spot on an AirAsia flight after camping out at Denpasar airport for four nights and having three flights cancelled.

"I've got three little kids that I love and I needed to get home to them, so I was trying anything," he said after arriving back in Perth.

"I didn't want to stay there anymore, but the Balinese people are suffering too."

A view of the Mount Agung volcano erupting in Karangasem, Bali.

Groom determined to make Bali wedding

While some of those who were stuck in Bali have arrived home, others spent the day still trying to reach to the island, scampering to secure a seat on one of the resumed flights.

Allan Fairbrother is due to get married on Saturday afternoon on Kuta Beach in Bali, but the eruption of Mt Agung has played havoc with his wedding plans.

"It's really screwed things up. It's all booked and ready to go," he said.

"I didn't know the flights were going to open today. I've [already] had to reroute all my flights.

"Now they're opening up direct flights but it's all hit and miss."

Alan Fairweather stands in the airport wearing a backpack and t-shirt.

Mr Fairbrother said his wedding guests were due to fly into Bali from Jakarta, Melbourne and Perth, but many had cancelled because of the uncertainty.

He said there were originally 80 guests expected to attend, but now only about 30 were likely to make it.

"There are guests coming from all over. People are very anxious, not knowing what's going on," he said.

"It's all going to happen, but whether we get any guests or not is another story.

"I'll get there one way or another … if I get a direct flight I'll do it, otherwise I'll have to go the long way round. It's too difficult to call off."

Fellow traveller Josh Clift also spent the day at Perth International Airport trying to get on a flight to Bali.

A smiling Josh Clift looks into the camera, with an out of focus stairway and escalators behind him.

"I'll just get the next available one I guess, that's the plan," he said.

"They're going to tell me if someone hasn't turned up … if they don't turn up, they'll put us in seats."

He said he wasn't concerned about flying to Bali with ash in the air.

"I don't think they'd fly if they had too big a chance of crashing, surely. There's still a lot of flights flying in there, so it must be okay," he said.

However, there is still a strong chance of more cancellations and delays due to volcanic ash.

Jetstar is asking passengers due to travel to Bali before December 7 to consider cancelling their trip or changing the date of their travel.

Original Article

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *