IF THE hairstyles of New Mill are looking a bit unkempt, blame the volcanic ash cloud.
Terry Johnson, normally to be found manning the scissors at Terry’s Gents Hairdressers is one of the thousands trapped abroad by the restrictions to UK airspace.
What was originally intended as a brief visit to his 26-year-old daughter Laura in Jordan has now become an enforced absence shared with wife Helen and daughter Megan, 12.
It has left him not just concerned as to his business, but also infuriated with the handling of the situation by the airline BMI.
He claims the company has shown a complete lack of customer care as a series of phone agreements were contradicted by email bookings.
He said: “We found out on Friday our flight would be cancelled and were told we could have a flight on Wednesday. There was no email confirmation, however, so eventually got offered a Tuesday flight.
“Then another email cancelled that.
“When I did get through I made a booking for April 30, but the confirmation later showed it was only me booked on it, not Helen or Megan.”
He added that the need to return travellers home is not being reflected in the use of more expensive seats.
He said: “I thought it was reasonable in the circumstances to point out that if seats were available in business class then there should be upgrades.
“Their call handler said that wouldn’t happen because they were able to sell the seats at the full £4,400 value.”
Helen, a teacher in Oldham, says her school is being understanding but her daughter, Laura, is sleeping on the floor in the small apartment they are sharing.
Meanwhile, his barbershop remains closed. Hopefully I will have a business to return to,’’ he said.
“We are looking into every possible means of getting back.
“We’re fortunate to have a roof over our heads.”
A spokeswoman for BMI said: “Obviously we are encouraging people to re-book.
“Our advice is always to handle the booking through the call handlers as not everyone has email in these circumstances.
“The call handlers can also provide the booking reference numbers.
“The call centre is very busy but calls are being answered in five minutes and extra staff are being drafted in.
“It is a case of bearing with us and using the call centre.”