Mesa resident stranded in London talks to 3TV

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LONDON  — Most airports in Europe are closed for a fifth day today because of the ash that continues to rise from a volcano in Iceland.

An air traffic agency in Brussels says fewer than one-third of flights in Europe are taking off today.

Mesa resident Debbie Achs is one of thousands stranded in London. She was supposed to fly back Saturday on British Airways. Her mother and aunt were booked on Delta.

Achs said there's not much the airlines can do while the restrictions are in place.  She said both airlines have issued temporary tickets for Friday, but that depends on whether the restrictions are lifted.

She said getting information has been very frustrating because the newscasts are focusing on getting British citizens home. She said all the American Embassy has been able to tell her is to stay in touch with her airline and wire home fro money if needed.

Achs said she's lucky because she are her family were able to extended their stay in a flat they had rented. Other stranded travelers have had to find other places to stay, which has been difficult for many.

"We can't see any of the ashes," Achs said. "You can't see anything, and the weather has been lovely."

While the British airports are closed, that's not the case in Spain. The country is offering to become the new hub of Europe to get stranded passengers moving again.

Airlines are pressing for restrictions to be lifted. Several airlines safely tested the skies with flights that didn't carry any passengers over the weekend. And the chief executive of British Airways says it proves that the sweeping flight restrictions are "unnecessary."

Britain said it was keeping flight restrictions on through early tomorrow, while Italy briefly lifted restrictions in the north then quickly closed down again after conditions worsened Monday.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)