Was meant to be going to Dublin today with the group that organised the HK exhange.. we got to the restaurant we where eating in before checking into the airport hotel and one of the leaders told us that our return flight is cancelled because of an air traffic controller strike... I didn't believe him so I checked on my phone, and he was telling the truth
Apparently the air traffic controllers are demanding a 6% pay increase, dispite them having a 15% cut in productivity due to the declining tourism in Dublin. (More info here) Checked into the hotel and called a meeting. The youth leaders can't take the chance to take us to Dublin and not have return flights for us. So we instead decide to go on a day out around Liverpool.
Don't get me wrong, I had a fantastic day and it was brilliant to catch up with some of the UK group that I haven't seen since we got back from HK, but I am dissapointed we couldn't go to Dublin We stayed around the hotel and had breakfast (it was a Hilton so the hotel was REALLY nice ) Then we went to see the new film 'Avatar' in the cinema, and then for a meal out before doing some shopping and going home.
The worst part of it, is that the youth leader (Charles) is retiring this year, so as a 'reunion' he organised this trip for us. Some of it was paid for with the budget left over from our Hong Kong trip, however he paid for most of it out of his own retirement fund! He is one of the kindest people I've ever met and now he's lost out on a LOT of money as he won't get a refund for our outbound flights, and he won't get his deposit refunded for any of the stuff he pre-booked for us in Dublin.
BIG going to the Irish air traffic controllers! I'm VERY annoyed at them!!!