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Volcano Ash Cloud: FAQ

Volcano Ash Cloud: FAQ

volcano.JPG**Will planes ever be able to fly through the ash cloud?**
New rules from the CAA mean that aircraft will now be permitted to fly through airspace containing ‘medium density’ ash. This means that from now on, far fewer planes should be grounded during future eruptions.

Where can I find the most up to date ash cloud reports?
NATS – the UK’s leading Air Navigation Services provider – provides the latest news on the state of UK airspace.

Is there an ash cloud forecast?
The Met Office website are issuing the latest observations and 5 day forecasts for the ash plume as well as real time satellite imagery.

Where can I find out if an airport is open or closed?
Check the airport’s website. Check Skyscanner’s list of airports which has links to airport websites.

Where can I find live flight information?
Check the Departure/Arrival tab of Skyscanner’s Airport pages, which give live flight information for all airports in the world.

My flight was cancelled due to ash; will I get a refund on my flight?
If your flight is cancelled at short notice, airlines must normally either give you a full refund of any unused ticket or offer suitable alternative travel.

My flight was delayed, what happens?
If your flight is delayed by over five hours, you can choose not to travel on the delayed flight and get a refund for that trip and later flights on the same ticket – as long as the trip was booked as one journey.

How do I make a claim?
Contact your airline and ask about their claim procedure.

If I am stuck somewhere due to the ash, will I get extra compensation?
You should get food if stuck at the airport for over two hours for a short-haul flight or for up to four hours for a medium/long haul flight.

You may also get overnight accommodation, if appropriate. British Airways, for instance, says it will provide hotel rooms on a case-by-case basis. For example, if you’re from overseas and have nowhere to go you’re more likely to get accommodation than someone who lives in London and is due to fly from London.

It’s unlikely you’ll get anything more than your money back or food/accommodation because the volcanic ash is out of the airline’s control, and extra compensation is only due when the airline is at fault.

What if I had a hotel or car hire booked that I now cannot use?
It will depend on the conditions of your booking. In some case you may be entitled to a refund, in other cases you won’t be. Contact your supplier to enquire, and be sure to read the small print concerning cancellations when booking hotels and car hire in future.

Will travel insurance pay out for ash related claims?
Insurance is complicated. There is no universal answer as each policy is different. You will need to read the details of your policy and contact your provider for help .

Some insurers may decline a claim as natural disasters can be excluded from policies. Your claim may also get rejected if your flight is cancelled as many insurers say it then becomes the airline’s responsibility to cover all costs.

Not all firms will reject claims outright, so check.

What about if I paid on a credit card?
The cover you get under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act for items over £100 is unlikely to come into force. If you’re claiming for delayed/cancelled transport, this should be covered by the airline.

If claiming for hotel costs or alternative transport then, as Section 75 only kicks in when the retailer has broken their contract. As the hotel firm/alternative transport provider has done nothing wrong, it’s unlikely you’ll get refunded.

For more see our Volcano Advice and Updates page** or visit our Volcano Ash Forum where Skyscanner staff are on hand to help**