Townsville travellers stranded due to Mount Agung ash cloud

A TOWNSVILLE mother planning to relax in Bali after the ordeal of caring for a son sick with a brain tumour will now be waiting on the whims of a volcano.

Jetstar yesterday cancelled all flights to and from Bali indefinitely.

A Jetstar flight was due to leave Townsville Airport at 9.45pm last night.

“Flying conditions in Bali have worsened due to the ash cloud from the Mount Agung,” a Jetstar spokesman said.

Virgin Australia also cancelled flights.

People within 8km of the volcano have been ordered to evacuate.

The mountain at one point sent a thick plume of smoke 4km into the sky.

The volcanic activity is not good news for Tracey Lines.

Her son Braithe Galea, 14, visited a doctor in May with sinus pain.

Doctors soon discovered he had a brain tumour and he was rushed to an intensive care unit in Brisbane.

Ms Lines stayed with her son for six months and they returned to Townsville on Saturday.

A surprise welcome home party took place at Townsville Picnic Bay Surf Lifesaving Club on Sunday and Ms Lines was expecting to fly to Bali this Saturday.

“I’m planning to have a week in Bali at a detox resort,” she said. “But now with the volcano I’ll be waiting to see if the flights are delayed or cancelled.”

Townsville aged care worker Phil Cairns and his friends are also trying to get to Bali.

They flew to Melbourne last night and will await developments from there.

Tina Andrews booked and planned a family holiday in July before the volcano activity began.

“It is frustrating also to hear that the airline is only offering those affected flight vouchers and not refunds.

“I may have to replan my holiday for next year and by that time there are no more flights out of Townsville to Bali, so this is all extra expense to us.

“Overall we are not angry at the fact the flight was cancelled for our own safety, more so the way they have handled the situation and their follow-up service.”

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