TWO Marsden families face three more weeks stranded in Australia because of the volcanic ash cloud.
They have been told it could be May 11 before they can get a flight home.
And in the meantime they are racking up bills for food and hotels, and losing hundreds of pounds a week in lost wages.
Russell and Elizabeth Brown flew Down Under for a two-week break with friends and neighbours Jason and Helen Chapman and their teenage daughter Chloe.
Their dream holiday, which included a reunion with the Browns’ daughter Natalie, who now lives in Perth, Western Australia, should have ended last Saturday.
But they then discovered, likes tens of thousands of others, they were stranded because of the ban on flights across Europe caused by the ash cloud from the Iceland volcano.
Russell said: “We thought it may be a hitch for a day or two, but then we found out it could be much longer.
“We flew out here with Emirates airlines, via Dubai, and they have said that because it is such a busy travel hub it would be weeks before flights can be arranged.
“The date they have given us is May 11, which is almost three weeks away.
“People might think it’s great to be stranded in paradise for several more weeks, but not when you are losing money.
“I work for Camira Fabrics in Meltham and Elizabeth is a cook at Meltham Primary School. We have been in touch with our employers and they are very understanding but it means we are not going to be paid for the extra time we are out here.
“We have had to meet some very large hotel bills for the extra time and even though our daughter Natalie is able to help us out by putting us up for some of the time, it is a major worry.
“We have been in touch with Emirates many times but got nowhere. They simply say there are many thousands in the same boat.
“We also went to see the British Consulate and they also said it could be mid May before we can get home.
“We have been living like backpackers in the hotel, buying in sandwiches and food to see us through rather than paying for meals there.
“It sounds really glamorous to say we are stranded in Western Australia but that’s not the case. We are in limbo and we are not happy”.