We did our best to ensure that the weather for ICTD2010 was fine and snowfree, but appreciate that for whatever reason those who tried to leave on Saturday 18th or Sunday 19th encountered extraordinary difficulties because of the snow that fell on Saturday. We hope that most people have now got away safely, but we are aware that flight changes mean that a few people are left stranded. We want to do all we can to help those in this position, and hope that the following information is helpful.
If you are stranded, please send Peter Dell’Osa an e-mail immediately indicating you name(s), a contact telephone number and your new scheduled departure times (if you already have these). We will then seek to contact you to check that you are alright.
The best advice about flights is to contact your airlines directly, either by ‘phone or online. This applies equally to those who received scholarships as it does to those who had booked their own tickets. You need to rearrange your flights with the airline(s) with which you are travelling. For scholarship recipients (only), our travel agent Key Travel can be contacted by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0845-1220106. Their out-of-office-hours number is 020-7843-9602. They may be able to offer additional advice or assistance.
We have arranged with the Royal Holloway, University of London, accommodation team that participants in ICTD2010 can stay on in their accommodation, but please do liaise with the reception teams in your locations (either Founder’s or The Hub). Either your travel insurance or the airline should be able to cover any additional accommodation expenditure that you encounter. As I am sure you can appreciate, we do not have an endless supply of funds to cover additional individual expenses. If anyone is in serious financial difficulties, though, they should contact Peter Dell’Osa on Tuesday 21st December.
Surviving at Royal Holloway, University of London
We want to do all that we can to ensure that your continued stay at Royal Holloway is as pleasant as possible. To this end, we have asked that the WifFi connectivity for ICTD2010 is continued until Christmas. Colleagues in the ICT4D Collective and UNESCO Chair are also eager to help out where we can. Many of us have meetings on Monday 20th December, but both Tim Unwin and Peter Dell’Osa will be in the Geography Department on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd December.
Anyone who is left in the UK on Thursday 23rd December is invited to contact Tim Unwin directly (preferably through this link and his personal e-mail).
The BBC has a useful page about passenger rights that notes the following:
“Passengers with a ticket have a contract with the airline to get them from A to B. So that means the airline must try to re-route the journey – even if that means a bus or taxi transfer to another airport for a flight with a different operator. Alternatively, passengers can choose to have a refund. The Air Transport Users Council says that airlines are usually quite swift to give refunds. If a flight is delayed, there are strict European rules in place, which mean that the airline is obliged to supply meals and refreshments, along with accommodation if an overnight stay is required. Whether passengers qualify will depend on the length of the flight and the delay. For example, for flights of 1,500km or less where there is a delay of more than two hours, a passenger should be given meals and refreshments, along with two free telephone calls, e-mails, telexes or faxes. If the delay is for five hours or more, passengers are also entitled to a refund of their ticket with a free flight back to their initial point of departure if this is relevant. People flying into the European Union from overseas are also covered by the rules, as long as they are travelling on a European airline. So are those on a non-EU carrier leaving from an EU airport. They also apply to passengers who have two single tickets.”