Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
All this trouble with volcanic ash from Iceland has to be a matter of miscommunication. We asked them to send over tonnes of cash…not ash.
But seriously, it’s amazing how much is affected by the unpronounceable volcano. Teachers and schoolchildren unable to get back to school on time; Chris Moyles not doing his Radio 1 show; fish, fruit and vegetables rotting at airports; buses, trains, boats, hotels and B&Bs suddenly doing a roaring trade.
Can you do the same? Well it’s possible but you’d better be quick – it looks like the planes are starting to move already.
There are still people who will be stranded for a few days so now is the time to offer your spare room. Remarkably Spareroom helps you do exactly that and so does Staylocally (they’re offering a special deal to Moneymagpie readers, by the way, as you can sign up with them for free if you’re within the first fifty to do so). It’s a decent idea generally anyway to make some cash out of your spare space. We’ve got a lot of info on that in this article about renting out your spare room.
Now would also be a good time to offer to drive people (for a fee) to Paris or Rome or the south of France to grab a flight. Or even to go and pick them up and bring them back. It’s a long-shot but worth a try if you’ve got time on your hands.
You certainly wouldn’t be the only one profiting from the problem. Some companies are making the most of the PR opportunity for themselves. Eurostar is offering tickets at £89 (if you can get them) for people who’ve had to switch from the air to the ground. Megabus is putting on extra coaches to cope with the 70% increase in demand.
Not only that but now the banks have waded in. I’ve just had a few press releases from banks showing how public-spirited they are by advancing people some more cash while they’re stranded. If you, or anyone you know (and that’s going to be most of us) are stranded somewhere because of the flight cancellations, just get in touch with your bank (through the number on the back of your card).
So it’s not bad news for everyone. For some people it’s a chance to have an extra bit of holiday. Good for them! I REALLY hope it all finishes soon though (and really finishes, not an ‘on off, on off’ thing with the volcano holding us to ransom). Not only is it bad for the economy generally but I’m supposed to be travelling a bit next month and next month is looming closer and closer. I’ll keep checking NATS.co.uk for updates on the air situation and so will many thousands of others I think.