Stranded passengers helped by Honiton good Samaritan

PUBLISHED: 09:40 28 April 2010 | UPDATED: 01:11 16 June 2010

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A HONITON businessman came to the rescue of weary passengers after they were stranded because of travel chaos caused by the volcanic ash cloud.

A HONITON businessman came to the rescue of weary passengers after they were stranded because of travel chaos caused by the volcanic ash cloud.

John Capon, owner of Otter Windows, put on a mini bus for 14 people to travel to Heathrow, after the group arrived in Plymouth following a ferry trip from Santander.

John had also been stuck in Spain and realised many people had been 'in the same boat'.

He said: "I met several passengers all struggling to find their way home. Some had run out of money completely.

"People had budgeted for only one week away and nobody expected this crisis. Some found their travel insurance did not cover 'Acts of God' and were absolutely heartbroken.

"It was then that I had the idea of using my minibus, which is normally used for Honiton Football Club, who we sponsor, to help get people home."

John managed to get a driver for the day and the passengers arrived in Heathrow around four hours later.

He said: "I couldn't charge people - they had suffered enough. I was just glad to help get them back home.

"People had been helpful to me on my way."

He said people were grateful for his help - with some offering to make donations to charity.

One passenger, Mr William, from London, said: "The drive to London went perfectly and we were very grateful for John's generous offer."

John had been on holiday with his family for one week in Tenerife, but was delayed by a week when all flights were grounded. He said the holiday has cost him almost £3,000 more than expected, some of which he hopes to get back on his insurance.

He added it could have also cost him business, and he has a backlog of work to catch up on.

He said: "Like many people, I needed to get back as I have my business to run. I'm not sure if I will be travelling abroad in the near future - at least not until the memories of last week have faded somewhat.


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