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Volcano - Canceled Flights for Europe

By April 15, 2010

Flights are being canceled to/from airports in the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Scandinavia, parts of Russia, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland because of volcanic ash from an eruption in Iceland. Particles in volcanic ash are extremely dangerous for planes in terms of engine function. What some of the major airlines are advising:

  • British Airways is offering refunds/rescheduling for affected flights. "Since 11.30am [April 15] UK time there have been no departures from any British Airways served UK airport." As of April 20 - "* cancelled all shorthaul flights on Tuesday 20 April * cancelled all longhaul flights, departing from the UK, Tuesday 20 April * cancelled longhaul flights, arriving into the UK, before 12:00 UK local time Wednesday 21 April". British Airways now has a page dedicated only to flights affected by the Volcanic activity in Iceland. They are urging passengers to rebook any non-essential travel booked for the next several days.
  • Air France states "Air France has cancelled around a hundred flights to and from United Kingdom, Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Northern Germany and Russia today Av[p]ril 15, 2010.
    Customers whose flight has been cancelled will be able to rebook their flight or obtain a refund." As of April 20, Air France is stating that long haul flights out of Paris are now operating as normal.
  • SAS Scandinavian is offering rescheduling/refunds for affected flights. As of April 20 - "SAS Scandinavian Airlines would like to inform its customers that most flights are cancelled until 12 noon on April 21, 2010. Most of the flights to/from the US and Asia will be operated." Rebooking is now permitted through the end of December, subject to availability.
  • Ryanair is offering rescheduling/refunds for affected flights. As of April 20 they have canceled all flights between Ireland and the UK through April 23 at 1 pm in order to redeploy aircraft for continental European service. They are stating that northern European services are mostly canceled, but for southern Europe, flights have resumed.
  • Easyjet states "Volcanic ash can cause a significant safety risk. The suspension of operations could last for an extended period. Please keep checking the website for updates or information on any booked flights" and is offering rescheduling/refunds for affected flights.
  • Continental Airlines has begun updating its site with news about the volcano and canceled flights.
  • United Airlines has issued a travel waiver for London travel through April 16, 2010. As of April 20, the waiver has been extended to April 23 and includes all of their affected European routes.
  • Delta Airlines is permitting changes/refunds for affected areas through April 18, 2010. As of April 20 - Delta has issued a travel waiver  to April 23 and includes all of their affected European routes (stating new travel dates must commence by June 10, 2010).
  • Air Canada is permitting online rebooking for affected flights.
  • American Airlines - rebooking is permitted on affected flights for Europe.
  • Lufthansa - as of April 20, Lufthansa states that all long haul flights are operating. Passengers with canceled flights are permitted to rebook for travel dates through December 31, 2o1o.

What my fellow travel Guides are blogging about how the volcano eruption in Iceland is affecting their parts of Europe:

From Friday, April 16, 2010

  • Courtney Traub - Paris Travel Guide - "The DGAC also said that runways at airports in Calais, Merville, le Touquet, Dieppe, Cherbourg, Amiens, Lille, Valenciennes, Brest, Lannion, Deauville, Morlaix, Caen, Strasbourg, Vatry, Reims, Metz, Beauvais, Pontoise and Toussus-le-Noble in Northern France will remain completely closed until at least Saturday, April 17th at 8:00 am local time."
  • UK Travel Guide - Ferne Arfin - Eurostar Sells Out as Volcanic Ash Crisis Continues to Choke Air Travel : "Britain's National Air Traffic Service (NATS), announced that restrictions controlling UK airspace would continue until 1p.m. Saturday "at the earliest.""
  • Greece Travel Guide - deTraci Regula - Greece: How Is Greece Affected by the Icelandic Volcano Euruption?
April 17, 2010 at 3:42 am
(1) peter hepple says:

flight with ryan air Limoges to Leeds have used on-line check in site states no changes can be made to booking once online check in has been used when you ring customer services recorded announcement re-directs you to web site to re-book no-one answering the phone either

April 18, 2010 at 7:31 pm
(2) Shannon says:

Having the same issue rescheduling an Air France flight. Can’t get a live person on the phone, website won’t let me do anything.

April 19, 2010 at 7:20 am
(3) Dave says:

I tried air france number for 3 days solid from 8.am til they closed and could not get through.
As you said the site wont let you do nothing,my 14 year old son was “trapped” in london all this time,he eventually got a train.lucky he had money since i could not reserve the ticket with my credit card.

Despicable service by air france.

April 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm
(4) christina says:

Same here with air france I am going to the local office first thing in the morning this is crazy someone needs to teach them the meaning of customer service – am glad your son is safe

July 27, 2010 at 12:19 pm
(5) European Commission says:

As part of the European Commission Campiagn Your Passenger Rights At Hand, a website has been launched on http://ec.europa.eu/passenger-rights

Here people are able to find out what their rights are for each of the transport modes. Leaflets and posters outlining basic rights will also be available at anything from train stations to airports. All of this is available in all of the EU’s official languages so that it is possible to get informed in the own language.

Passenger rights stipulate what people are entitled to when things go wrong during their trip. For example when their journey gets delayed or cancelled, or when their luggage gets lost or damaged. They also guarantee equal treatment for people with a disability or reduced mobility.
The Commission is working on extending passenger rights to other transport modes. In particular, it has launched proposals for passengers travelling by sea or inland waterways and for those travelling by bus or coach. Depending on legislative developments at European Parliament and Council, such proposals might be adopted as early as this year.

July 27, 2010 at 11:12 pm
(6) asdas says:

Having the same issue rescheduling an Air France flight.

July 27, 2010 at 11:13 pm
(7) asdasd says:

Here people are able to find out what their rights are for each of the transport modes.

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