Ash Cloud Risk – the impact of volcanic uncertainty on your air travel objectives.
I have an objective to fly to Toronto on Saturday for the World Conference on Disaster Management. There is a volcano in Chile that is spewing uncertainty into my travel plans.
Remarkably, this ash cloud is taking the long way around and is approaching Australia from the west. And to be fair, there are a lot of people worse off than me – at least I am at home trying to get away, rather than stranded at the other end.
Unfortunately my objective runs to the cheapest possible flight to Toronto, so I have a frequent flyer ticket, Sydney to LAX, via New Zealand. New Zealand is perhaps as badly (or worse) impacted by this ash cloud than Australia.
You need to understand that here in the southern hemisphere we do things the opposite way to you folks in the North.
With our Ash Cloud there is no Aviation regulator that is telling the airlines they cannot fly – the airlines are choosing to not fly. To be accurate the airlines are making different safety decisions.
Qantas (my airline) say it is not safe and have cancelled all flights to NZ. Air New Zealand and Virgin think it is ok, and are flying below and around the cloud.
It is interesting to learn about your own risk appetite, and to consider the upside of uncertainty.
Today I discovered and alternative travel option, that would cost me some money (an administrative charge, not a fare) but would mean I miss the Workshops on the Sunday.
I have’nt taken that option, yet. Risk has an upside, Qantas could still fly Saturday and get me there ontime.
Thats the thing we forget about risk and uncertainty – it can have an upside too.