Volcanic ash strands Valley travelers in Europe

FRESNO, Calif. An excessive amount of online inquires forced travel information websites to crash. Now, people are turning to Twitter and Facebook for information and a way to express their frustrations.

Many think the flight restrictions are too extreme. But Fresno based aviation expert, Kent Scott says the wait is necessary. "This isn't something to toy with. It's not something to take a chance with. Even thunder storms are better than volcanic ash. Volcanic ash will bring down an airplane."

Scott says in the past, planes have nearly crashed while flying over volcanic eruption sites. "It's not just little fine particles like sand on the beach. There are big rocks in there and it's very, very dangerous. And jet engines are only designed to process air and fuel and a little bit of rain and some hail."

Several people from the valley are among the tens-of-thousands of passengers still stuck, waiting for a flight.

We spoke to Clovis native, Marc Rohrer, who was stuck at a friend's house in Munich after his Monday morning flight to Amsterdam was cancelled. "I called my travel agent last night and they weren't really able to give me any information. You know from one minute, they said the flight was gonna happen and a few minutes later, it said it was cancelled."

Travel experts warn even if planes start taking off on Monday there will still be a delay because of the massive back-log of passengers. "I was just about to get up, get in the shower, head to the airport and see what happens."

Monday, European travel ministers will have a video conference to hear results from flight tests that were conducted today.

But once flights are permitted, travel experts say they will likely take different routes to avoid any danger associated with the volcanic ash that is still in the air.

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