The volcanic ash over European air space is putting quite a strain on airline travelers this week. An interactive map on the New York Times website tracks cancellations in real-time. Many travelers are turning to technology and social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter for support, taking advantage of their many offerings in order to share information and build communities.
A couple stranded in London had quite a tale and decided to spread their story through a Facebook group titled When Volcanoes Erupt: A Survival Guide for Stranded Travelers. The group enables stranded passengers to share stories and offer advice. It currently has more than 1,600 members. The most popular hashtags among stranded passengers include #ridesharing, #getmehome and #putmeup.
Major airliners including United Airlines and British Airways are also turning to social media channels in order to reach their customers and keep them up-to-date on the latest information. Customers are very helpful in sharing this information by retweeting, enabling news to spread more rapidly.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg traveled to Washington, DC last week for the Nuclear Summit. According to Mashable, he is still stuck in the nation’s capital. Stoltenberg’s press secretary said he is “running the Norwegian government from the U.S. on his new iPad.”
For a couple stuck in Dubai on the day of their London wedding, modern technology enabled them to carry on with their nuptials while their family observed the event from London via webcam.
From the Haiti and Chinese earthquakes to the Iceland volcanic eruption, we are learning just how valuable social media and innovative technology can truly be.