Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Friday, 16 April 2010 15:10 UK

Taxi driver's 'volcanic' windfall

Fonacab taxi driver
Joe Duffy is back in Belfast after his 24 hour journey

The cancellation of all flights out of Northern Ireland because of the volcanic dust cloud led to a windfall for one Belfast taxi driver.

The driver was asked on Thursday by a group of businessmen to drive them to London.

He took them to Stranraer on the ferry before driving the five passengers to Heathrow.

The 400-mile trip cost the businessmen £650 but they generously left him a £50 tip.

Taxi driver Joe Duffy said he initially thought he was taking the five men to the ferry terminal in Belfast.

"I got a call to go to the Hilton hotel in Belfast. On the way down to the ferry, they asked me if I would take them to London. I thought it was a joke and they said, no."

They told Mr Duffy they needed to get to Heathrow to pick up their cars and said taking a taxi would be a lot cheaper than paying for buses and trains.

"I agreed a price and ended up in London last night. I've been on the road since 1300 BST on Thursday and I can't wait to get home to get into my bed."

Fonacab said the trip was the longest and costliest, that any driver in the firm has undertaken.

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