Ever had your air travel plans described as 'fluid'? It's not good news

GlobalPost
Tourists wait at the airport of Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh on Nov. 6, 2015. 
MOHAMED EL-SHAHED

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NEED TO KNOW:

Ever been stranded at the airport? Take a minute: Really go there. That's exactly how thousands of British tourists in Sharm al-Sheikh feel today after easyJet airline said it had been refused permission to fly some of its planes out of Egypt. Not. Happy

On Wednesday, Britain, which has about 20,000 tourists in the Red Sea resort town, called off flights to and from Sharm al-Sheikh on suspicion that the Russian plane which split apart in mid-air last weekend had been bombed. All 224 people aboard that plane died.

But Britain made contingency plans to have its citizens repatriated via 10 easyJet flights that were supposed to leave today. Not so much. Only two easyJet flights departed; the rest didn't get permission, according to easyJet. Egypt denies that claim, saying easyJet flights didn't leave as scheduled due to an airport capacity issue. 

Other airlines — including Monarch and British Airways — have said they are still planning to transport Brits back home today. All in all, eight of an original 29 flights will carry passengers to the UK from Sharm al-Sheikh today.

Though, those who do make it will only be traveling with their hand luggage. Passengers have been instructed to leave everything else in Egypt. 

Easyjet said the "situation for UK flights in Sharm el Sheikh remains fluid." And if you've ever heard your air travel plans described as "fluid," you know you're not going anywhere any time soon. 

Meanwhile, not much more is known about whether or not a bomb was aboard the Russian airliner, Metrojet Flight 9268. The onus is on Egyptian-led investigators to prove or disprove Britain's theory that the plane was downed by terrorists — with only scattered evidence, and Egypt's tourist economy at stake.

WANT TO KNOW:

And, too soon? France's Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine published two cartoons referencing the Metrojet crash that have infuriated Russia

One shows debris and human remains raining down on an armed IS militant. The caption says, "IS: Russian aviation is intensifying bombardments," a reference to its airstrikes in Syria. 

The other, titled "The dangers of Russian low-cost airlines," shows a skull with a pair of sunglasses hanging off it with the crashed plane in the background. You can see them here.

Did they cross the line? Russia thinks so. "In our country we can sum this up in a single word: sacrilege," said Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov. "This has nothing to do with democracy or self-expression. It is sacrilege."

Of course, Charlie Hebdo is known for controversial cartoons. It was just this past January that 12 of its staffers were killed by gunmen who stormed the magazine's Paris office after becoming enraged over a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. "Je Suis Charlie" was the meme that rose up in the wake of that horrific event. 

Today, in Russia, "I'm not Charlie" is among the top hashstags.

STRANGE BUT TRUE:

Elsewhere, life can be stranger than fiction. In India, life is more bizarre than Bollywood. Meet Geeta, an Indian girl whose life inspired a Bollywood film that has gripped India and Pakistan alike.

Geeta, now 23, was found as a girl over a decade ago by Pakistan border security personnel, alone on a train that runs between India and Pakistan. Geeta is deaf and has difficulty talking. Unable to tell the authorities where she came from, she was taken in by the Edhi Foundation, a Pakistani charitable organization.

GlobalPost's Nimisha Jaiswal reports that efforts to reunite Geeta with her family in India were unsuccessful — until Bollywood got ahold of the story.

“Bajrangi Bhaijaan” broke Bollywood norms by covering Pakistan and its people positively. It was an instant success in both countries, and changed Geeta's life forever. Out of the woodwork came various Indian families claiming that Geeta was their own. DNA tests pending — and perhaps a sequel.