Captain Kirk escapes and other tales from the Icelandic volcano snarl

From businessmen to backpackers, the near-shutdown of European airspace from the Iceland volcano has disrupted thousands of plans. Nothing left to do but complain on Twitter.

Michel Spingler/AP
Passengers waiting for the car ferry in Calais, France Saturday. Many European countries suspended their air traffic due to ash clouds from the volcanic eruption in Iceland, again on Saturday. Train operator Eurostar said it was carrying almost 50,000 passengers between London, Paris and Brussels.

For the third straight day, European air traffic remained cut to the bone Saturday, with Lufthansa standing down its entire fleet – a first for the airline – amid concerns that an atmospheric cloud of glass, grit, and ash from an erupting Icelandic volcano could clog jet engines.

(CNN has the scoop on all the latest groundings.)

Airlines are taking a $200 million hit a day as the delays wear on. But much more than corporate bottom lines, the volcano-induced shutdown is affecting well-laid plans for tens of thousands of globetrotters, who are either staying put or piling into the Eurostar high-speed rail line.

IN PICTURES: Iceland volcano

So with nothing else to do, there's only one thing left: Tweet.

Captain Kirk, aka the actor William Shatner, for one, writes he can't be outfoxed by some wily volcano.

"I think networks tried to keep me from leaving Cannes, but the ol' erupt-a-volcano-so-the-airports-close trick can't stop me. My best, Bill."
Band Without Borders, a documentary film project aimed at playing live music in 100 countries, just hit a gigantic ash roadblock on their tour.

"Dan is stuck in France," the band tweets. "Thinking of stealing a yacht to get back home."

Tiptoesjungle echoed a common complaint from the volcano-weary: "No London after all. Stuck in Riga until next Saturday because of a volcano in Iceland-HILARIOUS!!"

Even for those not traveling, the volcano pinched comfort levels. "Can't get a room upgrade because of all the stranded Europeans who can't go home. This volcano is [bleeping] me off!" screenwriter and director Bob Weide tweeted from New York.

For some, it's a blessing in disguise.

"The Volcano in Iceland has my fam stranded all over the world...yeeessshh," tweets promoter Sidney Hoff.

While others tried to see the big picture:

"Love the volcano," tweets Cocoliine. "For remembering us that we can't control the world. And that we all live on the same planet.

Meanwhile, Norway's prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, kept his countrymen up-tweeted as he ran the country on his iPad from airports. (Mostly he asked followers about tips on good places to eat.)

To be sure, the volcano snarl has uprooted both old and new grudges between England and its former conquerors from the Viking Nation.

But this just in: Iceland apologizes -- via Twitter, of course.

"I'm likely to sprinkle a bit of ash on your home island too. Please do not take it too personally."

IN PICTURES: Iceland volcano

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.