Travellers stranded in transit

BANGKOK (The Nation): Many travelers who were only in transit when their trips were disrupted are mired in uncertainty and hoping that Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport will reopen soon.

Sixty-year-old Austrian Fink Viktor, who was on his way from Bali to Phuket with his wife, said the PAD blockade was terrifying, especially since they were traveling on their own and not with a packaged tour. He and his wife were stuck at Suvarnabhumi for 12 hours before they managed to hitch a ride to the Rama Gardens Hotel with 300 Thai Airways, El Al and Cathay Pacific passengers.

“Now we have to take a bus to Phuket because they say there are no flights,” Viktor said, while waiting for a bus at the Southern Bus Terminal.

Business executives are also caught up in the disruption. “We are looking for updates all the time. There is no clear information as to when the airport will reopen. We are also waiting for calls from the airline,” said Andreas Schule, a 40-year-old German businessman who was in transit from Frankfurt to Shanghai.

He is one of 128 passengers on the same flight whose ongoing flights out of Bangkok were canceled after the People’s Alliance for Democracy besieged Suvarnabhumi Airport on Tuesday night. He was also one of the many stranded travelers who have been given shelter at the Miracle Hotel on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road.

“We are businessmen; we have meetings and appointments. We were only here for a transfer,” he lamented.

Like other travellers, Schule wants clear information on how long the crisis is likely to continue, and when he can take a flight out so he can make plans with his business associates overseas.

“We are stuck inside the hotel waiting to hear if and when we can take a flight out,” he explained.

Another stranded executive is 38-year-old South Korean Jung Hoon-woo, who came to Bangkok to attend the three-day conference “BioAsia 2008”. He said he was very upset that he was forced to cancel a couple of important meetings in Mumbai and Singapore.

“I want to get out of here immediately as I have meetings in other countries too,” he said.

Phuket News

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