Holiday advice to people affected by volcanic disruption
Who do I submit my claim to?
Your flight, with an EU based airline, was cancelled
and the airline made alternative plans for your travel:
If your airline is based in the EU, the airline must, by
law, refund you for reasonable costs incurred during the
delay to your journey. They must refund reasonable costs
involved in buying food or refreshment; two telephone calls,
emails or faxes; hotel accommodation in cases where one
or more nights’ stay is necessary; and any transport
costs. There is no upper limit on the amount of money passengers
can claim back, although all costs should be reasonable
in relation to the waiting time.
Make sure you keep all receipts,
and send a copy of these receipts to your airline,
along with full contact details and any booking reference
you may have.
Unfortunately, if your airline was based outside the EU
you may not have the same protection. This is because the
cancellation rights under the European regulations apply
only if you are flying from an EU airport, or from an airport
outside the EU, to an EU airport, on an EU carrier.
However, all airlines will have their own policy on what
they will be doing in terms of compensating their customers,
and customers should contact their airline to find out what
they can claim for.
If your flight was cancelled but you chose to take a refund
and make your own travel arrangements:
The airline must refund you the cost of your ticket. However,
after that they have no duty of care to you. Call your travel
insurer to find out what their policy is on refunding customers
for costs incurred in making alternative travel plans before
making those plans. According to the Association of British
Insurers, there is no Act of God exclusion in travel insurance
policies. Insurers should not reject your claim on these
grounds; however, some have other exclusions, which they
may claim exempts them from paying compensation to passengers
affected (e.g. some insurers are not paying out because
they believe this falls under their definition of a ‘natural
If you have already travelled but didn’t first call
your insurer, it is still worth submitting your receipts.
Many insurance companies are taking claims on a case by
case basis and may refund you for extra costs. Again, these
should be for reasonable expenses.
If you do not have travel insurance, or if you were on a
flight with a non-EU based airline, and paid by credit card:
All airlines will have their own policy on what they will
be doing in terms of compensating their customers, and customers
should contact their airline to find out what they can claim
However, if you paid for your trip on a credit card it may
be possible to claim back the original cost of your cancelled
flights from your credit card provider under Section 75
of the Consumer Credit Act.
More information can be found at www.which.co.uk/volcano
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