Volcanic Ash Causes Cancelled Flights – Your Rights

My daughter was due to fly from Leeds/Bradford airport this morning to Pisa with Ryanair and at 6.30am this morning I checked the airport website to find out if the flight was on time. The flight to Pisa was cancelled along with all the other flights. There was no sign of any fog, which is often why Leeds/Bradford is closed and it was then that I noticed that there was an announcement saying that all flights were cancelled due to volcanic dust! I thought this was a bit strange as I had never heard of this event before. It then turned out of course that most flights from UK airports were affected.

As I live only 10 minutes drive from the airport we decided to drive up to see what the situation was and when we got there the airport was full of people wandering around trying to decide what to do. We went to the Ryanair desk at Leeds/Bradford and were given a slip of paper giving us details about a refund.

I feel really sorry for those thousands of people who have had their travel plans disrupted or holidays cancelled. Some passengers will have been going on holiday for a short break and there may not be another flight for a few days which effectively means the holiday is cancelled. I just hope that the people responsible for making this decision have not been too over cautious about the dangers of the volcanic ash cloud but I suppose that we have to respect their decision.

Your rights when a flight is cancelled

This event is yet another example why you should always look to book at ATOL protected package holiday rather than booking flights and accommodation separately. ATOL protected holidays will give give you a full refund for the whole holiday so you will not lose any money.If you have booked a flight only and seperate accommodation you will get a refund for your flight but you may not get a refund for the accommodation that you have booked. A further complication is that some travel insurance policies do not cover this type of event as it is classed as an “Act of God” exclusion. This could leave thousands of people with booked and paid for hotels and other accommodation with no way of receiving a refund.

Can you claim on Travel Insurance?

As mentioned above you may have a problem claiming for a volcanic ash event on your travel insurance. You need to check the small print in your policy to look at the exclusions.

8 comments

  1. My holiday as been cancelled, today due to fly out tomorrow. Was led to beleive that as i have booked more than 2 components it is classed as a package holiday. Booked with atol agent part of the global travel group.On contacting agent i am told i will only get refund for flight and not the full cost of flight at that, no refund for hotel or transfer.Was told at time of booking that there were limited seats and she really wanted to get them for me advertised flight cost £133 per person told that total cost of flight was £1060 for 6 people thay now say i am entitled to a refund of £945 for flight and nothing for accomodation.

  2. I dont know how global travel have the cheek to post advice regarding atol protected package holidays.I booked a package through tropical collection, part of global travel and was unable to travel due to the ashh cloud. After a lot of time spent on the phone i have been informed this morning that only the flight portion of the holiday will be refunded, this equates to only £1000 of the £3000 spent. What is even worse i have contacted the hotel chain, who have stated they are not penalising anyone who could not arrive due to the ash cloud. I bet global are rubbing their hands together right now.

    1. Paula. We are Global Holidays and are nothing to do with the Tropical Collection so I am not sure why you say we have a cheek giving advice. If you have been sold an ATOL protected holiday then you are entitled to a FULL refund. It’s as simple as that. You need to find out whether the holiday you booked is ATOL protected. If it isn’t you should have been informed before you booked the holiday. We suggest that you ask the Tropical Collection for the reasons why you can’t have a refund for the accommodation and ask more questions about ATOL and the financial protection that the company offer. The advice we give on this website is based on how we do business here at Global Holidays and based upon our knowledge of how holidays should be sold. For example, we had customers due to travel who had booked an ATOL protected package holiday with us and they have all either been re-booked on new dates or full refunds are being processed. We did one today for a customer who booked a holiday to The Maldives which was cancelled due to the volcanic ash and they are getting a full refund from the tour operator. Non of our customers have been left out of pocket.

      1. Global Holidays has been getting good comments from its customers regarding holidays that we booked that were affected due to the volcanic ash cloud. One customer wrote:-“I am writing about our recent flight back from The Maldives. We took off from Male airport on 15 April and we want to write and express our sincere thanks for the service that we received. Whilst in flight to London Heathrow we were informed that a volcano had erupted in Iceland and that we would have to land in Germany due to the fact that UK airspace was closed due to a volcanic ash cloud. The care and service that we received was exceptional and we were kept informed constantly of the situation. We are very grateful that the cost of two hotels was met and breakfast and lunch too. We were then taken to Calais where Sri Lankan Airways looked after us and they made sure that we caught the ferry back to the UK. We will definately be booking with you again and are very grateful for the great organisation which was magnificent considering the stress that everybody was under”.Note: All holidays sold at Global Holidays are ATOL protected package holidays meaning that you have better financial protection than you would get if you use a company that organises their own DIY holidays.

  3. admin :Paula. We are Global Holidays and are nothing to do with the Tropical Collection so I am not sure why you say we have a cheek giving advice. If you have been sold an ATOL protected holiday then you are entitled to a FULL refund. It’s as simple as that. You need to find out whether the holiday you booked is ATOL protected. If it isn’t you should have been informed before you booked the holiday. We suggest that you ask the Tropical Collection for the reasons why you can’t have a refund for the accommodation and ask more questions about ATOL and the financial protection that the company offer. The advice we give on this website is based on how we do business here at Global Holidays and based upon our knowledge of how holidays should be sold. For example, we had customers due to travel who had booked an ATOL protected package holiday with us and they have all either been re-booked on new dates or full refunds are being processed. We did one today for a customer who booked a holiday to The Maldives which was cancelled due to the volcanic ash and they are getting a full refund from the tour operator. Non of our customers have been left out of pocket.

    paula :I dont know how global travel have the cheek to post advice regarding atol protected package holidays.I booked a package through tropical collection, part of global travel and was unable to travel due to the ashh cloud. After a lot of time spent on the phone i have been informed this morning that only the flight portion of the holiday will be refunded, this equates to only £1000 of the £3000 spent. What is even worse i have contacted the hotel chain, who have stated they are not penalising anyone who could not arrive due to the ash cloud. I bet global are rubbing their hands together right now.

    ladyk :My holiday as been cancelled, today due to fly out tomorrow. Was led to beleive that as i have booked more than 2 components it is classed as a package holiday. Booked with atol agent part of the global travel group.On contacting agent i am told i will only get refund for flight and not the full cost of flight at that, no refund for hotel or transfer.Was told at time of booking that there were limited seats and she really wanted to get them for me advertised flight cost £133 per person told that total cost of flight was £1060 for 6 people thay now say i am entitled to a refund of £945 for flight and nothing for accomodation.

    admin :Global Holidays has been getting good comments from its customers regarding holidays that we booked that were affected due to the volcanic ash cloud. One customer wrote:-“I am writing about our recent flight back from The Maldives. We took off from Male airport on 15 April and we want to write and express our sincere thanks for the service that we received. Whilst in flight to London Heathrow we were informed that a volcano had erupted in Iceland and that we would have to land in Germany due to the fact that UK airspace was closed due to a volcanic ash cloud. The care and service that we received was exceptional and we were kept informed constantly of the situation. We are very grateful that the cost of two hotels was met and breakfast and lunch too. We were then taken to Calais where Sri Lankan Airways looked after us and they made sure that we caught the ferry back to the UK. We will definately be booking with you again and are very grateful for the great organisation which was magnificent considering the stress that everybody was under”.Note: All holidays sold at Global Holidays are ATOL protected package holidays meaning that you have better financial protection than you would get if you use a company that organises their own DIY holidays.

    admin :Global Holidays has been getting good comments from its customers regarding holidays that we booked that were affected due to the volcanic ash cloud. One customer wrote:-“I am writing about our recent flight back from The Maldives. We took off from Male airport on 15 April and we want to write and express our sincere thanks for the service that we received. Whilst in flight to London Heathrow we were informed that a volcano had erupted in Iceland and that we would have to land in Germany due to the fact that UK airspace was closed due to a volcanic ash cloud. The care and service that we received was exceptional and we were kept informed constantly of the situation. We are very grateful that the cost of two hotels was met and breakfast and lunch too. We were then taken to Calais where Sri Lankan Airways looked after us and they made sure that we caught the ferry back to the UK. We will definately be booking with you again and are very grateful for the great organisation which was magnificent considering the stress that everybody was under”.Note: All holidays sold at Global Holidays are ATOL protected package holidays meaning that you have better financial protection than you would get if you use a company that organises their own DIY holidays.

    admin :Paula. We are Global Holidays and are nothing to do with the Tropical Collection so I am not sure why you say we have a cheek giving advice. If you have been sold an ATOL protected holiday then you are entitled to a FULL refund. It’s as simple as that. You need to find out whether the holiday you booked is ATOL protected. If it isn’t you should have been informed before you booked the holiday. We suggest that you ask the Tropical Collection for the reasons why you can’t have a refund for the accommodation and ask more questions about ATOL and the financial protection that the company offer. The advice we give on this website is based on how we do business here at Global Holidays and based upon our knowledge of how holidays should be sold. For example, we had customers due to travel who had booked an ATOL protected package holiday with us and they have all either been re-booked on new dates or full refunds are being processed. We did one today for a customer who booked a holiday to The Maldives which was cancelled due to the volcanic ash and they are getting a full refund from the tour operator. Non of our customers have been left out of pocket.

    admin :Global Holidays has been getting good comments from its customers regarding holidays that we booked that were affected due to the volcanic ash cloud. One customer wrote:-“I am writing about our recent flight back from The Maldives. We took off from Male airport on 15 April and we want to write and express our sincere thanks for the service that we received. Whilst in flight to London Heathrow we were informed that a volcano had erupted in Iceland and that we would have to land in Germany due to the fact that UK airspace was closed due to a volcanic ash cloud. The care and service that we received was exceptional and we were kept informed constantly of the situation. We are very grateful that the cost of two hotels was met and breakfast and lunch too. We were then taken to Calais where Sri Lankan Airways looked after us and they made sure that we caught the ferry back to the UK. We will definately be booking with you again and are very grateful for the great organisation which was magnificent considering the stress that everybody was under”.Note: All holidays sold at Global Holidays are ATOL protected package holidays meaning that you have better financial protection than you would get if you use a company that organises their own DIY holidays.

    admin :Global Holidays has been getting good comments from its customers regarding holidays that we booked that were affected due to the volcanic ash cloud. One customer wrote:-“I am writing about our recent flight back from The Maldives. We took off from Male airport on 15 April and we want to write and express our sincere thanks for the service that we received. Whilst in flight to London Heathrow we were informed that a volcano had erupted in Iceland and that we would have to land in Germany due to the fact that UK airspace was closed due to a volcanic ash cloud. The care and service that we received was exceptional and we were kept informed constantly of the situation. We are very grateful that the cost of two hotels was met and breakfast and lunch too. We were then taken to Calais where Sri Lankan Airways looked after us and they made sure that we caught the ferry back to the UK. We will definately be booking with you again and are very grateful for the great organisation which was magnificent considering the stress that everybody was under”.Note: All holidays sold at Global Holidays are ATOL protected package holidays meaning that you have better financial protection than you would get if you use a company that organises their own DIY holidays.

    ladyk :My holiday as been cancelled, today due to fly out tomorrow. Was led to beleive that as i have booked more than 2 components it is classed as a package holiday. Booked with atol agent part of the global travel group.On contacting agent i am told i will only get refund for flight and not the full cost of flight at that, no refund for hotel or transfer.Was told at time of booking that there were limited seats and she really wanted to get them for me advertised flight cost £133 per person told that total cost of flight was £1060 for 6 people thay now say i am entitled to a refund of £945 for flight and nothing for accomodation.

  4. @paula Tropical collection is part of the global travel group of companies, my letter of complaint has been sent to global travel group as requested by tropical collection. This is my reason for posting on your site.

    1. Hi Paula. Thanks for your post, but we are not Global Travel Group. They are based in Chester and we are in Leeds. We are Global Holidays. I’m sure though that The Global Travel Group will reply to your complaint and I hope that you get a positive answer. Regards…David

  5. If you are no way conected with global travel group, then i do aplogise. As for global travel group contacting me, i won’t hold my breath, they have not done so once since the cloud went up.

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