Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Safe travels, Mr. Thue


William Thue at the Hilton Dulles Airport Hotel, where he spent a week waiting for flights to resume to London. Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

There will always be those stories that compel readers to act, to want to help people we feature in articles in some large or small way. But it usually comes with stories involving grand hardships: poverty, illness, death.

Last night was the first time I heard of readers moved by this: boredom.

On Wednesday, The Post ran a story about a man stranded by the Icelandic volcano ash cloud in a Dulles hotel, hoping to get to Europe to celebrate his wedding anniversary and 85th birthday. One woman called to say we could have picked a more compelling person affected by the delays. I got your message. For most of the day, it was the only reader feedback I received.

Then, about 6 p.m. William Thue, the stranded man featured in the article, called to tell me about the day he had. He said about a half dozen people had called his room, offering to take him to lunch or to a museum. One woman, after reading he only had one book, even brought a stack of novels by the hotel.

“It’s overwhelming,” Thue said. “They were so concerned about my boredom.”

Unfortunately, he said, he couldn’t accept any of the offers because he had to remain in his room to wait for the call he’d been hoping to get for a week: the one from Virgin Atlantic saying it had secured a seat for him. By the afternoon, the call had come. And by evening, Thue was London-bound.

After I hung up the phone with him, I saw this email in my inbox: “Ma'am, If Mr. Thue or any other stranded passengers…are in need of a break from the boredom, please pass them my contact information. If nothing else, perhaps I can prepare them a meal and offer some time away from their hotel rooms.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

By Theresa Vargas  | April 22, 2010; 12:12 PM ET
Categories:  The Blowback  | Tags:  Dulles airport, Hotel, Travel and Tourism, Virgin Atlantic, ash cloud, travel delays, volcano  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: How crucial is it for food critics to be anonymous?
Next: Story pick: Appleseeders, shooting for America


Now, there needs to be a followup story. How was Mr. Thue's flight? Any problems? Did he get in to London okay, and did he have a good anniversary and birthday? We need closure!

Posted by: akchild | April 26, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company