I've deliberately not mentioned the volcanic ash cloud up to now, as I couldn't believe Europe as a whole had collectively taken leave of it's senses.
When Mt. St.Helens erupted over a far larger area of the United States in 1980, less than 1000 flights were cancelled, and those mostly because the airstrips were covered with ash which had to be cleared away.
The Met office is in full cover-its-backside mode. Quite apart from the fact that people who study volcanoes regularly fly through the ash to measure all sorts of things, IATA has roundly condemned Europe, lambasted European leaders for their inaction, and calling the travel chaos "a mess and an embarrassment. "
Iata chief Giovanni Bisignani said: "The decision that Europe has made is with no risk assessment, no consultation, no co-ordination, no leadership."
Well that shouldn't be such a surprise - that's Europe described perfectly.