Couple stranded in Los Angeles after volcanic ash cloud grounds planes

PUBLISHED: 10:57 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 13:57 19 May 2010

Yelsel Geraghty and Tom Bradley are stranded in LA

Yelsel Geraghty and Tom Bradley are stranded in LA

A BACK-PACKING couple face a ten-day wait in America after flights were grounded by the volcanic ash cloud. Tom Bradley, 22, and his partner Yelsel Geraghty, 23, of Betjeman Road, Royston, had been due home on Monday after spending three months travelling

A BACK-PACKING couple face a ten-day wait in America after flights were grounded by the volcanic ash cloud.

Tom Bradley, 22, and his partner Yelsel Geraghty, 23, of Betjeman Road, Royston, had been due home on Monday after spending three months travelling around the world.

But their flight was cancelled when UK airspace was closed because of the danger posed by ash drifting over the country after a volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland erupted.

And although airports across the country re-opened yesterday (Wednesday), the couple have not been allocated a flight home until April 29.

Lesley Geraghty, Yelsel's mum, said: "They were only due to spend a few days in Los Angeles at the end of their trip, but now we've been told the earliest they will be home is April 29.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed they'll be back soon because everyone was looking forward to their return.

"The families are very disappointed and there have been a few tears on the phone."

Beauty therapist Yelsel and self-employed builder Tom had been looking forward to returning to their home after a holiday which included stays in Australia and Thailand.

"They've been put up in a hotel by British Airways, but I think they're down to their last £30 or £40 so it's going to be a worrying wait for them," said Mrs Geraghty.

"I can't believe this ash has caused too much damage."

Flying was banned for six days because of the danger posed by the ash, which can interfere with jet engines and cause them to fail.

Although airports have reopened, airlines now face a logistical nightmare to get stranded passengers home.

The flight ban has also hampered the investigation into the death of a woman in Royston, whose family were due to fly to the UK from their native Latvia last weekend to formally identify her.

The 43-year-old's body was found at a house in Ermine Close, Royston, in March. Tomas Navickas, 31, of Ermine Close, Royston, appeared in court last month charged with the woman's murder.

He has yet to enter a plea and is due back in court in June.

But a spokesman for Herts police said: "We had to cancel the visit because of the flight problems, and it's impossible to say when it will now take place.

"We hope to reschedule as soon as possible.

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