Volcanic ash cloud disruption to air travel

Jain, Juliet and Guiver, Jo orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6126-3662 (2011) Volcanic ash cloud disruption to air travel. In: UTSG Annual conference, 3-5th January 2011, Milton Keynes.

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The severity and suddenness of disruption to European air travel caused by the volcanic ash cloud in April exposed the current reliance on air travel for maintaining social, family and business networks. This paper presents the results of an on-line survey of those affected, conducted during and just after the event. It shows how ICTs were used to inform choices, but sometimes failed because service providers were overwhelmed and people away from home could not access them. The impact of the disruption ‘rippled’ through the home networks of the stranded travellers, as they supported the traveller with practical assistance, information searches and fulfilled the duties they were unable to perform. The paper discusses whether the findings can provide insights into the consequences of reducing the volume of flights for environmental reasons and if the price of fuel increases.

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