April 18, 2010 — Check with your airline before leaving for the airport if you're planning to go to Europe. You might not be going anywhere. Click on the video to the left to hear why.
If you're eager to start your European vacations, you'll have to put your plans on hold.
A plume of volcanic ash continues to cloud European airspace, causing travel chaos all over the world.
On Saturday, flights to and from northern Europe were listed cancelled all over Canadian airports.
The erupting volcano has been sending massive ash clouds into the air for days, forcing the closure of most European airspaces. Major airport hubs such as Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle, and Frankfurt have all been closed.
The Spanish Authority is the latest to close airports due to the ash cloud. The international hub of Barcelona El Prat is one of 12 to be closed as the smoke plum moves in on southwest Europe.
All departures and arrivals between Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver and northern Europe were listed as cancelled by the airline or the airport.
World leaders are among the hundreds of thousands of passengers stranded. Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper travel plans were hindered. US President Barack Obama couldn't get in the air either.
They were unable to make it to Europe for the funeral of the Polish president, who died last week when his plane crashed in heavy fog, killing everyone on board.
European airspace restrictions have cancelled flights because of the dangerous ash cloud. It can stall engines, therefore, making flight's (including Harper's) “not possible and not advisable“ on Saturday.
The scores of cancellations are expected to last throughout the rest of the weekend. This has people scratching their heads wondering if they'll ever get to their destination.
Scott Armstrong is with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. He says Pearson International Airport is definitely feeling the effects. 'My understanding is that the airlines are making their decisions about cancelling purely on the safety factor.'
Although most travellers are eager to hit the skies, Armstrong says there are a few things you should do before running to the airport. 'Keep in touch with your airline. They're doing all they can to accommodate people and they've made allowances as far as rescheduling goes.'
For more details on the volcano's eruption, grounded planes across Europe and how the ash affects the air craft, click on the Related Links above.
You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV for updates on these stories.