Vikki Taylor back home from Bangkok after flight disruptions
HER desperate online plea for help to get home was watched around the world.
When Vikki Taylor endured days and nights stranded in Bangkok in the Icelandic volcano chaos she says she reached “breaking point”.
Vikki was on the final leg of a lone round-the-world trip when her plans were hit by the airspace lock-down over Europe.
Hundreds have viewed the weary traveller’s frantic message which she managed to upload on to video-sharing website YouTube from a cafe in the Thai capital.
Now back at home in Hadrian Park, Wallsend, North Tyneside, the 25-year-old told last night how her dream trip turned sour.
She was forced to travel to the city’s airport every day for over a week to try and secure a seat on a Qantas flight back to London.
“I didn’t know what else to do. It felt like I would never get home,” said Vikki, who works in online marketing.
“It’s quite embarrassing to see the video now but I was at the end of my tether. I was alone and just wanted to do anything it took to get back to England.
“My flights kept getting cancelled then I was put on standby but never managed to get on a plane. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t feel safe. It felt like a country on the verge of civil war.”
Vikki witnessed violent clashes between Thailand’s anti-government movement and hundreds of police officers and soldiers.
For six weeks, “red shirt” opposition protesters have converged on the capital in support of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006.
“The Qantas office is in the middle of the central business district where the protests were happening,” said Vikki. “I couldn’t get a taxi to take me there so I felt totally helpless.
“The whole city was on edge and it wasn’t somewhere I wanted to be by myself. I was at the airport again trying to get on a flight when I got chatting to a guy who had a ticket.
“He saw how upset I was and offered to pretend that I was his partner. He went to the airline desk with me and said he didn’t want to leave me alone and that I had a wedding to go to.
“I can’t thank him enough because I was able to finally get on a flight. I’ve never been so happy to be back in the North East.”
In her video, Vikki is visibly in tears and says: “I just want to get home. I’m on my own and I don’t know what to do. Can anyone help me to get home?”
Vikki touched down at London’s Heathrow Airport on Friday in time for her best friend’s wedding in the capital on Saturday. Her parents Kevin, 50, and Susan, 47, welcomed her back to the North East on Sunday with a glass of champagne.
Kevin, a mechanical engineer, said: “It sounds like she’s been through hell. She got to the stage when she was desperate and was willing to try anything to get home.
“The video was a drastic thing to do but I can understand why she did it.”
It’s quite embarrassing to see the video now but I was at the end of my tether