Stranded Orillia couple coming home 0
After being stranded in Bangkok for six days, Ken (Jiggs) and Marilyn McDonald are on their way home, to Orillia.
The Canadian Embassy located a plane leaving U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, approximately 140 kilo-metres southeast of Bangkok, for Hong Kong, said the McDonalds' daughter, Susan DeSimone. The couple boarded the airplane for Hong Kong yesterday evening.
"I am very relieved," DeSimone said. "My worst-case scenario is things would flare up and they would be stuck, that they wouldn't be able to even get out of their hotel safely. For me, it was important they got out of Thailand before that happened."
A group of 78 tourists traveling with Expo Cruises and Tours were offered 68 seats on the Thai Airways plane for more than $630 a ticket. The McDonalds were among 37 Canadian citizens who accepted the offer.
DeSimone said she believes others are still hoping the Canadian government or tour company will step in with a "no cost solution." The group left Bangkok by bus yesterday evening headed for U-Tapao, where they were to take a flight to Hong Kong, then Toronto.
"I hope this is just the beginning," DeSimone said. "All anyone has been hoping for all along is that Canada would help to organize some effort, to give them an option to get out of there. I don't know if they have other flights lined up, or if they are making similar options for others."
This group of Canadians is among thousands of tourists grounded in Thailand after a throng of yellowshirted antigovernment protesters took the airport by storm, shutting down all flights last Tuesday.