In a gesture of goodwill holiday homeowners have been reducing their rental rates to help out fellow Brits whose flights back to the UK have been cancelled by the volcanic ash cloud.
One leading rentals website has even dedicated a section of its site to properties with specially reduced rates aimed at marooned – and in many cases penniless – travellers in need of a roof over their head.
“We have received some very generous offers from holiday homeowners offering to help those stranded, so we thought it best to put all these offers in one place,” said Ross Elder, MD of holidaylettings.co.uk.
“We have also now contacted most of our advertisers with homes across mainland Europe to help themhandle incumbent guests or cancellations due to the ash cloud. Many, however, are just keen to help.”
Many second homeowners had their return journey to the UK delayed by the ash cloud and chose to stay put at their property until Europe's skies reopened. Others with commitments back in the UK were forced to make alternative travel arrangements. Duncan Bannatyne of the TV series Dragons' Den, who was enjoying a family holiday at his villa in the south of France when the air chaos struck, had to rearrange his travel plans. Duncan's children were due back at school and Duncan had to be in London for the filming of the new BBC series.
Only days before the crisis A Place in the Sun editor Richard Way photographed and interviewed Duncan at his Cannes home – see the feature in the next issue of A Place in the Sun magazine, on sale on 29th April.