Bandsmen left fuming after being stranded by volcano since Las Vegas contest
The effects of the clouds of volcanic dust that have caused the widespread grounding of commercial transatlantic air travel are being felt even in the pipe band world, after several members of the Simon Fraser University and Los Angeles Scots have found themselves stranded after travelling to the April 17-18 Las Vegas Highland Games. Some are concerned that they may not be able to return until May at the earliest.
London-based Peter Harvie, a piper with the LA Scots, is still in Las Vegas was told that he has a seat on a flight on April 22nd, but if it doesn’t actually leave he expects that it could be May before he gets back to England. Meanwhile, he’s racked up hotel charges and joked, “Some busking on the Las Vegas strip may be called for,” should he have to stay.
While he waits it out, Harvie’s been sightseeing to places like the Hoover Dam, about an hour outside of the city.
According to Pipe-Major Terry Lee, SFU personnel have also been impacted. Brittany-based Xavier Boderiou was finally able to fly back to Paris from Vancouver via Toronto. Drummers Ian Lawson of Belfast and Gordon Lee from Scotland have been stranded in Las Vegas since Sunday. Terry Lee was unsure about their status.
Travel chaos has ensued since the eruption of Iceland’s EyjafjallajÃ¶kull volcano, which sent ash into the atmosphere. The glass-laden ash will potentially damage jet engines, so airlines that operate in the affected regions halted flights until only yesterday.
Some 21,000 of the normal 28,000 scheduled flights will reportedly go out today, after more than 100,000 flight cancellations.