In the event a volcanic eruption in Iceland disrupts scheduled airplane flights, would-be passengers should know what their rights are.
Volcanoes are unpredictable and uncontrollable, but that does not mean that travellers are out of luck in the event their flights are delayed or cancelled as the result of an eruption. The Consumer Agency points out that there is some compensation to be had.
If a flight is delayed or cancelled due to an eruption, airlines must provide passengers – free of charge – with food and drink appropriate for the length of the delay and two phone calls, text messages or e-mails.
In the event that the delay lasts one night or more, passengers are entitled to a free hotel room, and free transport between the airport and the hotel in question.
In the event that the delay lasts five hours or more, and the passenger decides they want to cancel their flight, they have the right to a full refund and a flight back with the first available departure.
It should be noted, however, that passengers are not entitled to damages, as volcanoes are considered a force majeure.