UK holidaymakers are being advised to take note of a series of handy hints issued by moneysupermarket.com, the leading price comparison website, if the recent eruption of Grimsvotn or any future volcanic activity threatens to hamper any upcoming travel plans.
Iceland’s most active volcano started erupting towards the end of May, immediately igniting concerns of a repeat of the scenes of 12 months ago when ash clouds from Eyjafjallajokull caused travel misery for millions.
Eyjafjallajokull made global news in April 2010 and led to the largest closure of airspace in Europe since World War II as nearly 10,000 flights were cancelled. The fall-out rumbled on for weeks and the financial cost was estimated to have been well in excess of £1billion.
Panic set in across airports throughout Europe as passengers struggled to come to terms with the news that they were stranded, while those without the best travel insurance faced the prospect of having to pay for extra accommodation and flights.
Turn the clock forward just over a year and another Icelandic volcano, this time Grimsvotn, has erupted.The natural disaster has fuelled fears of another shutdown of European airspace, although fortunately for now, the impact has been felt on a much smaller scale.
With the summer months upon us and thousands of people preparing to jet off to foreign countries, Bob Atkinson, a travel insurance expert at moneysupermarket, has revealed a few timely tips for anyone with concerns about the threat that the volcano poses towards their holiday.
Atkinson commented: “As news of the Icelandic volcano eruption hits, with it brings the same travel uncertainty as we experienced in April 2010. For those who have booked a trip to Iceland, check with your tour operator or airline for the latest travel information.
“If you are travelling as part of an ATOL covered package, your tour operator will be able to advise on your total travel plans. It is the responsibility of the tour operator to cover all costs should air space be disrupted. Those travellers still in the UK are entitled to refunds or transfers, and for those stranded overseas will be kept in accommodation at the expense of the tour operator.
“If you have independent arrangements then you need to speak to your airline as well as hotel companies and any others you have bookings with to check your options for cancellation, refunds and changes. Check your travel insurance policy, look for natural disaster and weather related clauses and understand what is covered in the policy. This will cover for things such as loss of travel arrangements, cost of new travel arrangements and travel delay.
“Should airspace actually close, travellers are urged not to do anything without speaking to their airline or tour operator first, checking their website for further information.”
Image Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video