Richard McCrossan, from Lisburn, enjoys a well-earned cup of tea with sons Mathew, age 16 months, and Ben, age four, after a marathon 60-hour return journey across land and sea when volcanic ash flight cancellations left him stranded in Vienna. US1610-530cd
60 hours travelling across land and sea - that's how long it took a Lisburn business man to get back home after being stranded in Vienna by the air cancellations.
Father of two young boys Richard McCrossan was due to come home last Thursday after a one day business meeting.
With all flights grounded he kept his friends and family updated by posting comments on to Twitter and Facebook but as time marched on and he realised like thousands of people across Europe he wasn't going any where soon, he thought it would be a good time to start a blog he'd been threatening for a while.
And so http://richardmccrossan.blogspot.com was created giving frequent updates of Richards's travel experiences. Richard, 33, said: "I'm a frequent flyer and I know that when things go to plan, airlines are great. But throw a spanner in the works and they flail about like beached whales. Customer service is just shocking and it would be so easy to create a positive customer experience and minimize the loss to themselves. But no, they add inconvenience to the passengers and add to their own losses.
"So they lose any right to my sympathy."
On Wednesday morning, giving an update to the Star, Richard said: "I started a 60 hour land and sea journey on Monday morning. I've been through Vienna, Frankfurt, Paris and London. I'm now in Liverpool waiting to get the ferry to Belfast. I should be home this evening. Even if the planes do start running again, I'll still only be one day later back home going with my alternative plans, than I would if the flight flew.
The worst thing about this has been not knowing. At least now I have a confirmed option." Richard was looking forward to seeing his wife Emma and their two boys Ben, 4, and Matthew, 16 months. He said: "Emma tells me the boys are missing me, particularly Ben. He's been telling his school class all about it and how 'daddy had to go on a train under the sea'. I've been away from them before - maybe even for a longer trip, though you cope with planned trips differently - but it's been hard being away from them this time. Doesn't help when I hear how much he's missing me but I'll see him and Matthew soon." After an eight hour ferry from Liverpool then 20 minutes in a taxi Richard aimed to be back at his Mornington home by 7.30pm on Wednesday evening.
He said: "Never will my front door look so appealing."