Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm making a real (h)ash of this volcano malarky

I've just spent two hours trying to find another hotel in the DC area that is not mega-expensive and isn't 30 miles out from the city or miles from public transport. There's a very limited choice. I'm assuming that DC is super-busy with both conferences and people stranded after flight cancellations, as within the city limits there are no hotels for under 250 dollars a night and the majority are fully booked. When we booked into the hotel we're presently in, we weren't quite sure where it was or what it was like, other than it was next to a freeway. We booked two nights initially to see whether we wanted to stay the whole week. When we went to extend the stay all the rooms had been booked out. Now we'll spend a chunk of tomorrow transferring hotels to one a bit farther out, but nearer to a rail link. The earliest we can get a shuttle bus to the station in the morning is 10am. Late with the hotel booking; late with the shuttle reservation! I've also spoken to my travel insurance company who have told me the maximum they will pay is £230 delayed travel fee. On the bright side, thanks to Patti, I have now have an office in George Washington University and I'm giving a seminar there on Wednesday. The news on the volcano and travel is presently a little confused - some news sites say that airports are going to open tomorrow, others that the volcano has just spewed out another batch of ash. Prospects seem to flucuate hourly. I'm just hoping that it's okay on Thursday when the first of our party is due to fly back and fully operational at the weekend, when I'm now due to fly.

6 comments:

Uriah Robinson said...

It sounds like a good opportunity for a day trip to Harpers Ferry WV. Sorry you are stuck but there are less interesting places to be marooned than Washington DC. ;o)

Rob Kitchin said...

Unfortunately I need to do some work to stay on top of things, and also to try and keep a lid on expenses given that the travel insurance doesn't cover any additional costs. I'm also not in the right frame of mind to be doing tourist stuff - perhaps if I wasn't having to prat about with hotels and airlines, etc, and I had family with me it might be different. I don't know. All I want to do right now is get home.

Jeremy Crampton said...

Rob,

If you or anybody needs accommodation, the AAG has organized a bulletin board that has lots of offers of space, in Dc and nearby areas.

http://www.facebook.com/geographers#!/board.php?uid=77790523238

pattinase (abbott) said...

I wish I were more up on hotels there. We stay in Virginia with my brother when we visit so I am woefully ignorant of hotel prices. I hope they are not gouging.

seana said...

I understand about not being in the right frame of mind to play tourist--feeling stranded is never nice-- but I do hope that you will find some unexpected benefit out of the trip in the end. That's great about the office!

I'm on the west coast, so have no practical advise to offer, but I hope your remaining stay is short and sweet.

Rob Kitchin said...

Thanks for all the help, also off blog. Sorted until Friday and will probably book the same hotel for Friday/Saturday. We're a shuttle ride away from the last stop on the metro. Hotels in DC itself have doubled or trebled in price. The hotel room I had last week is now 469 dollars. I'm giving a seminar in George Washington Univ tomorrow on the housing crisis in Ireland, so it'll be interesting to see what people make of it. It would be nice to see flights resume soon and that would give some hope that we will be out of here by Sunday. If Thursday's flight is cancelled then the first person in our party is projected to be here for another 10-14 days.