Last year’s volcanic eruption in Iceland is shortly followed by another. Iceland’s Gromsvotn (pronounced GREEMSH-votn) volcano erupted over the weekend and its ash plume is already affecting air travel in Iceland and Greenland. So far, only flights into and out of Iceland and Greenland are affected, but Norway’s Svalbard islands may soon be affected.
A recent study validated the previous ban on flights; stating that volcanic ash particles can be harmful to aircraft engines and thus put the crew and passengers in danger; however, better radar imaging, better preparation, and more knowledge should mean far less disruption than last year. That being stated, some UK airports are canceling flights already, so those flying to, from, and within Europe should monitor their flight schedules closely.
The EU Air Passenger Rights website site is posting updates on the developing ash cloud situation, including warnings and useful information. You can also see a map of the predicted ash movement.
Last year, many travelers who bought trip insurance before the larger Eyjafijallajokull volcano eruption were covered for trip delays and cancellations. Once an event becomes a known event, travel insurance companies cannot cover it – therefore travelers who purchased their plans on or before May 21, 2011 should be in luck.
Check your travel insurance policy for natural disaster and weather-related clauses to understand what is and is not covered in the policy. Similar to having trip cancellation coverage for hurricane disasters, you must have purchased your plan before the volcano erupts, not after.