$1200 cab to Sydney beats the ash

A Melbourne taxi driver hit the jackpot overnight when three men stranded by the volcanic ash cloud paid him $1200 to drive them to Sydney.

George drove the trio 800 kilometres to Sydney's western suburbs late last night and immediately returned to Melbourne, arriving about 8.30am today as delays and cancellations continued to affect passengers at Melbourne Airport.

George told 3AW that the men knew of the impending disruption to airline schedules about 3.50pm yesterday, well before other passengers discovered the extent of the problem.

"I didn't ask [how they knew], I didn't want to, but I certainly realise now that everything's going haywire," George said.

"These guys knew it was going to happen, they definitely knew it was going to happen so they took off."

He said they agreed on a flat rate of $1200 before leaving.

"I didn't have to go over the [Sydney Harbour] Bridge, otherwise I'd still be coming back and I've just come back right now," George said.

"I've already had a two-litre cappuccino and a one-kilogram muffin."

In April last year, three Melbourne men paid almost $4000 for a taxi ride from France to Spain after their flight home was cancelled due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Paul Toohey and his friends Roger Ellul and Shane Cumming were so desperate to get back to Australia that they made the 12.5-hour, 800-kilometre journey from Avignon to Madrid at a cost of €2400, plus road tolls.

They then flew from Madrid to Melbourne.