Travelers whose flights are canceled due to volcanic eruptions may be denied refunds or compensation by their airline.
Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest and most active volcano, erupted yesterday and covered the city of Catania in ash. Although no injuries were reported, the eruption sent a plume of black ash into the sky, causing flights at Catania airport to be suspended. Today, many flights are still delayed or diverted to nearby Comiso.
Affected airlines include easyJet and Ryanair.
And on Saturday, Mexico City’s two main airports – Benito Juarez International and Felipe Angeles – were briefly closed due to the presence of ash coming from Pococatepetl, an active volcano a few miles from the Mexican capital. about 45 miles (72km). Again, no injuries were reported but schools in 11 different villages were forced to close.
But what right do you have if volcanic activity disrupts your travel plans?
A spokesperson for the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said: independence: “Flight disruptions due to ash from Mount Etna are beyond the control of the airlines so it is unlikely that passengers will be compensated for any delays and cancellations arising from these.”
While volcanic activity is widely monitored – for example, Etna is closely monitored by the National Institute of Volcanology and Geophysics – any delay caused by volcanic activity is considered an event. Exception.
The spokesperson added: “However, airlines are obligated to take care of their passengers if their flights are delayed or cancelled.
“In the event of a flight cancellation, airlines are obligated to offer passengers the option of a refund, reroute as soon as possible or reroute at a later date. However, on a case-by-case basis, passengers may not reach their destination as quickly as we or the airlines would like.
“We expect airlines to do what they can to minimize overall disruption for passengers, and this includes proactively providing passengers with updates and information about their rights. .”
You may not be able to claim any compensation if this happens, although airlines still have a “duty of care” to passengers and need to provide care and support. in case they are unable to fly due to such events. This obligation can take the form of accommodation, food and travel expenses; in 2013, Ryanair was asked for compensation after a woman sued the airline in court for €1,129 she had spent on meals, accommodation and transportation after being delayed due to delays caused by delays. Eyjafjallajökull eruption.
Under UK law, airlines are required to take care of and assist you if your flight is significantly delayed. According to Civil Aviation DepartmentThese delays are divided into three categories based on the distance and length of the delay.
For example, if you’re on a long-haul flight more than 3,500 km, airlines will have to compensate you for a delay of four hours or more. Necessary compensation includes:
- A reasonable amount of food and drink (usually offered as a voucher)
- A means for you to communicate (usually by reimbursing your call costs)
- Accommodation, if you are rerouted the next day (usually at a nearby hotel)
- Transportation to and from accommodation (or your home, if you can get back there)
In addition, the CAA states that “the airline must provide you with these items until they can get you to your destination, regardless of how long the delay was or what caused it.” .” If the airline can’t provide these right away, you should buy them yourself and claim the cost back later (just make sure what you’re spending is reasonable).
In 2010, the Eyjafjallajökull eruption affected 10 million passengers, with airspace in some countries closed or restricted for up to a week. While certain geographical factors mean this eruption — and its ash — is more disruptive than recent eruptions, knowing your rights in the event Quirky is always helpful.
EasyJet says independence that the closure of the runway at Catania yesterday has resulted in four flights between the UK and Italy being unable to operate, with one flight rescheduled to today.
A spokesperson said: “We have done all we can to minimize the impact of airport closures, including offering customers free transfers or refunds, as well as refunds. hotel accommodation and meals for those who request.
“The safety and welfare of our customers is our top priority and while this is beyond our control, we would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused.”
In a statement, Ryanair said: “Due to the eruption of Mount Etna, we were forced to cancel a number of flights to/from Catania yesterday and today. Affected passengers have been informed and advised of their options and we advise all passengers traveling to/from Catania today to follow the Ryanair app for more updates flight update.”