Passengers affected by the disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud are entitled to care and assistance under the terms of an EU law.
The EU regulation on denied boarding and cancellation continuers to apply during periods of exceptional and extended disruption, meaning travellers are entitled to a full reimbursement of their ticket within seven days, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed.
Should passengers not wish to choose this option, they are entitled to be re-routed to their destination at the earliest opportunity or travel at a later date according to when it is convenient for them.
If passengers opt to be re-routed on the next available flight, they are entitled to claim for the cost of meals and refreshments during the period in which they have to wait. This is in addition to hotel costs when a stay of more than one night is necessary and two telephone calls, emails or fax messages.
CAA chief executive Andrew Haines said the volcanic ash cloud had caused an "unprecedented situation" never seen before.
"At no other time has such an extensive amount of volcanic ash settled in stagnant weather conditions, over some of the most congested airspace in the world," he commented.