As the air travel crisis caused by the ash cloud over Europe dragged into its fifth day, tempers among travelers stranded today at Logan Airport were growing short.
Desperate for any information, weary, frustrated travelers formed long queues behind unmanned ticket counters, and stared earnestly at departure screens in hope of good news.
Like scores of other tourists and business travelers milling about the international terminal, Paola Fomia was shuttling between hope and dejection. She exulted when she saw her flight listed on the schedule. Then it vanished, and an airline representative said it might be days before she got home to Milan.
But others were buoyed by news that a number of Lufthansa flights were cleared to return to Germany. Evita Kallitsi, a 21-year-old from Greece traveling home through Munich, said she was eager to be homeward-bound after a fun-packed but exhausting 10 days visiting friends in Boston. Ten days and counting.
"I'm extending my holiday," she said.
Nearby, 30 people stood in line at an unmanned Swiss Air counter, hoping their patience might pay dividends. About 45 percent of European flights in and out of Logan have been canceled today, the Globe reported.
Czege Zoltan, a 48-year-old from Hungary traveling on business with his wife, held a faint hope they could make it to France today, but was already resigned to another night in their hotel.
"It would be good to get back, we hope," he said. "We'd appreciate a ship transporting us from Boston to England!"
Even honeymooners were eager to join them. Rob and Mary Jones spent a brilliant two weeks touring the eastern seaboard, from Washington to New York City to Cape Cod. But their romantic getaway came to a jarring halt when their Saturday flight home to England was canceled.
Since then, the couple, who live near the city of Oxford, have worn a path from the hotel to the airport, all for naught.
"We leave the hotel at 11, get here at noon, sit here till around 4, then back to the hotel," said Rob Jones, 32. "By the time we get settled back at the hotel, we're knackered."
Kelly Pugh, a 26-year-old who works in publishing, arrived from London early this month for a training session in Ipswich. She was supposed to leave Thursday, but her flight was among the first canceled. In theory, that would rank her among the first to leave. But after four days, she was bracing for the worst.
"We have a small bit of hope, but I'm not holding my breath," she said. "Even when they do start flying, there's a backlog now."
Still, all the aggravation forged a strong sense of fellowship, with travelers swapping somber tales of delays, stress, and comic resignation. At British Airways, seven countrymen were commiserating, chuckling over the absurdity of being held at the whim of an Icelandic volcano.
Peter Davies, whose sight-seeing trip with his wife culminated with a weekend in Terminal E, said people have been working to stay upbeat. "We've got a war-time spirit,'' he said.
By mid-afternoon, a crush of travelers had descended on ticket counters, their hopes fueled by news of a few Europe-bound flights. The Walton family, from Durham, England, were angling for a potential flight to Glasgow, Scotland.
That would still leave an eight-hour bus ride home. But after more than two weeks away, it was a start.
At first, the Waltons' three young children liked the idea of missing a day or two of school. But as the airport's limited appeal evaporated, they reconsidered.
"I'm bored," said Mphilippa Walton, 7. "Really bored."
(Peter Schworm of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.)
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