Travelers from Japan faces bumpy road home

Posted March 14, 2011 5:29 p.m. EDT
Updated March 14, 2011 6:22 p.m. EDT

— Dennis Williams, a professor at the University of North Carolina’s School of Pharmacy, was working in Japan last week when an earthquake and tsunami struck the island nation.

“There was a lot of concern and uncertainty,” Williams said Monday.

Though he was hundreds of miles from the epicenter, Williams still struggled to get home. His flight was canceled and the airport he was scheduled to fly out of was closed.

After some persistence, Williams was able to get a flight home, less than 24 hours after his original flight.

Other travelers haven’t been so lucky.

At Japan Travel Advisor in Raleigh, phones lines have been tied up with travelers trying to get back to the United States.

Travel advisor Eiko Goto said she has some clients who have been stuck at the airport since the disaster happened.

“People from Friday are still waiting and some of my clients have to wait to the 16th to come back,” she said. “(That’s) two more days that they have to wait in the airport.”