I received this email moments ago from who I believe is Jiggs McDonald's daughter. Looks like some good news for the McDonald family as well as the fans old Jiggs still has.
Your update just came up on my Google alert. I just wanted to share with you that I think we have made some progress in getting them out of Thailand. The proof will be in the next 48 hours. This is what I sent to the various media contacts I've made over the past few days. Please let me know if I can answer an questions. And thanks for your eagerness to help and get others involved.
Thanks to all of you who have helped to draw attention to the plight of Canadians stranded in Thailand due to the political unrest. It appears that my Mom and Dad are part of a group of 37 from their tour who will be departing Thailand on Tuesday, headed for Hong Kong. That trip is the result of an offer of help from the Canadian Embassy in Thailand and, for that, we are extremely grateful.
We are also grateful for all of the attention you drew to this matter and for your genuine concern about my parents well-being, particularly those of you who know them personally. We are hopeful that this is just the beginning and that more Canadians will receive the help they need to get out of the country. And our thoughts are with those in the tour group who have chosen, for the time being, to stay behind.
I am sending this to all the journalists and media members that I have had direct contact with. I do not have all of the e-mail addresses for the many bloggers who have shared the story and posted links to the original articles. Please feel free to forward this to anyone who may have received my original release last Friday so that they can provide updates to their readers as well.
I will send a follow-up e-mail when we know that my parents have arrived safely in Hong Kong, and again when we have a specific arrival date/time in Toronto.
On Monday evening in Thailand, the Canadian Embassy made an offer of help to a group of 78 Canadian citizens stranded in Bangkok. John Kenneth “Jiggs” and Marilyn McDonald of Orillia, Ontario are among a group of 37 who have accepted that offer. They expect to be leaving their hotel Tuesday morning, 12/2 (the evening of 12/1 for us) to head to U-Tapao naval base for a Thai Airways flight to Hong Kong.
The Embassy said they had located 68 seats that were available Tuesday, 12/2 aboard a Thai Airways flight from U-Tapao to Hong Kong. The tickets are being made available at the travelers’ own expense and will cost $639 each for the one-way flight. (There is, from what we’ve been told, a slight possibility of being reimbursed by Thai Airways.)
The tour group was originally scheduled to return to Toronto on an Air Canada flight from Hong Kong last week Wednesday, 11/26 (Air Canada Flight 16). We believe that Expo Cruises & Tours will be able to rebook their original tickets for a new departure date once they arrive in Hong Kong. They may be able to depart immediately, or they may have to wait a day or two in Hong Kong, which would be at their own expense.
We have been told that 37 of the 78 members of this particular Canadian tour group have chosen to accept this offer from the Embassy. (Please note that we do not have names of the others who make up the 37 total passengers.) They will be departing by bus Tuesday morning from their hotel in Bangkok, headed to U-Tapao naval base for the flight. The remainder will continue to wait for alternate arrangements.
The Expo tour group was originally reported to have 82 Canadian citizens. Four of these tour members separated from the group on either Sunday or Monday. They had booked their own air travel initially, when the tour started, and had separate air travel plans for departure as well. We understand that they were able to make private arrangements to depart Thailand.