Flights Resume From European Airports

After days of paralysis, European airlines are back up and flying today. But although that news will hearten travelers who have spent days sleeping in concourses, experts warn that it will take weeks for the situation to get back to normal and all flights to be running on time.

Three quarters of departures are expected to leave today, according to a European agency, although London's Heathrow airport and Frankfurt International Airport are still running below that mark, according to The New York Times.

As Europe gets moving, the debate is now turning from when to why. Critics insist the delays were a result of overcautious officials working without adequate data. The British Meteorological Office is pushing back on reports that it made decisions based on mathematical modeling alone. Airlines are at least as unhappy as travelers: they say cancellations and delays have cost them $1.7 billion in lost revenue, and the International Air Transport Association says it will take three years for operators to dig out of their hole.

Read more NEWSWEEK coverage of the volcano crisis: how rail kept Europe moving, what it's like to fly through ash, and a roundup of history's most spectacular volcanic eruptions.