Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Iceland Volcano: how you can help stranded travelers

Across the world in hub cities are people stuck in airports for days without money, sleeping on chairs and living of vouchers for one (usually McDonalds) meal a day. Flights are starting again, but some travelers can still use your help. Here's what you can do if you live near an international airport.

First, online solutions for the tech savvy:

If you use Facebook, check , and  When Volcanoes Erupt -- A Survival Guide for Stranded Travelers. You'll find people looking for and offering help and advice.

If you use twitter, follow these hashtags: #getmehome#ashtag#putmeup and #roadsharing.

If you're on couchsurfing, search for your hometown, using the drop-down menus, and look for your city's group and any last minute/ emergency request groups.

If you're in New York City, and can host someone, contact the French Consulate. They need people and can point you to who else needs people.

Finally if these things seem too intimidating or you don't use the sites and can't sign up, do things the old fashioned way. Call or go to your airport, bring food, and look around. You can approach people, or even ask an airline check in desk to make a PA announcement. You might find more hungry people than people wanting to leave, as several will want to stick around to see if there are more flights.

Thanks to Tracy Staedter of Discovery News for the twitter and Facebook links, and "Stephanie" at Airbnb for the NYC/France tip.

Please pass this information along.

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