Home > Keeping 700 F1 clients on-track despite a volcanic eruption

Keeping 700 F1 clients on-track

despite a volcanic eruption

Having attended hundreds of Grand Prix and transported our F1 clients over hundred of thousands of miles throughout many consecutive seasons we’re used to last-minute changes both on and off the track – but a volcanic eruption and significant closure of global airspace in 2010 certainly posed a unique challenge for the team!

The challenge:

In 2010 the nail-biting tension wasn’t just confined to the Shanghai race circuit. After the race closed, volcanic ash spewed into airspace from a volcanic eruption in Iceland which severely disrupted return travel plans and the future of the F1 series that year.


How we did it:

Our experience in F1 and team travel meant that we knew to always expect the unexpected and to make travel plans flexible enough to accommodate changes due to race conditions, additional personnel and, in this case, even the force of mother nature.

We’d made sure each team member had a ticket flexible enough to carry out their role regardless of what happened on the track and by using our strong industry links we could source alternative transport providers to get people to their next destination whatever the means.

The incident wasn’t just a travel inconvenience – the start of the next race in Spain loomed on the horizon making it essential that the drivers, cars and their entourage reached the next destination for the sake of the entire World Championship.

Travel Places worked tirelessly to get all our clients to where they needed to be as fast as possible. Our clients were kept abreast of the situation by our dedicated team who provided a reassuring presence at the venue and were also regularly updated via text and phone. The team at our Head Office worked around the clock to re-hold flights, book new groups and look at inventive ways to get our clients home quickly.

The team on the ground liaised with airlines locally and negotiated with the airport to secure landing times to fly chartered planes. It was our strong relationships with key airlines that meant once the airspace was cleared, our clients were prioritised to make sure they were the first ones out of China.

The result:

Despite the immense pressure, our team kept a cool head. We ensured options were explored methodically and thoroughly and transport was sourced and booked in time to get our clients to the start of the next race, rested and raring to go.

It was a very tiring few days for our team but once the last client had left we headed back to the UK safe in the knowledge that everyone had been looked after and reached their next destinations successfully.

The experience shows the importance of planning for emergency situations, maintaining strong relationships with our travel partners and has strengthened our team’s belief that they can deal with anything that’s thrown at them!


What the client said:

‘What makes Travel Places unique is the support of a skilled representative at every event. This service results in the team being chaperoned from the time of arrival until the last person is headed home. This kind of support is crucial when things go wrong and Travel Places have always found a creative solution to such problems.’

Jonathan Wheatley
Team Manager
Red Bull Formula One™ Racing

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