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Iceland is currently experiencing heightened activity on its land, particularly in the Reykjanes peninsula located southwest of Reykjavik. This has resulted in numerous small earthquakes being recorded.
The city of Grindavík, located only 10 miles south of Keflavik International Airport, has been cleared as a precautionary measure.
However, flights are still operating according to their regular schedules. The following are the essential inquiries and responses regarding consumer protections.
Can I depart from Iceland?
Assuming the international airport remains open, operations have been running smoothly thus far. If you are looking to depart earlier than your scheduled flight in order to ensure your departure, please note that you will incur a penalty for changing flights at this time.
A representative from British Airways informed The Independent that our flights are proceeding as scheduled and we are keeping a close eye on the situation.
If there are any changes, we will contact customers directly.
The statement from easyJet is quite similar: “Our flight schedule is currently running as usual, but we are closely monitoring the situation. If there are any changes, we will directly inform customers about their flights.”
However, didn’t a volcano in Iceland cause a one-week shutdown of European flights?
Travellers may recall the events of April 2010, when the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted. As a result, the skies of northern Europe were closed to passenger flights for nearly a week due to concerns about the potential damage to aircraft engines and safety of travellers.
Over 50,000 flights were cancelled, affecting eight million passengers with booked travel plans.
As of now in 2023, ash has not posed a problem in the ongoing geological eruption.
What happens if I have a reservation for a bundled vacation?
The Foreign Office’s advice does not recommend avoiding travel to Iceland, allowing holiday companies to operate normally. Customers do not have the automatic right to cancel their plans.
The British Foreign Office is advising travelers that there is a growing possibility of a volcanic eruption. The official alert regarding “volcanic eruptions and earthquakes” states that there has been an increase in earthquakes and signs of volcanic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula, located southwest of Reykjavik.
“The Icelandic authorities continue to monitor the area closely, particularly the area northwest of Mt Thorbjörn near the Svartsengi power plant and the Blue Lagoon. On 10 November, a Civil Protection Alert was declared after an intense swarm of earthquakes.
As a safety measure, Grindavík town was evacuated. Certain roads have been shut down and tourists are advised to avoid the region.
“Keflavik International Airport is operating as normal. While there is no current eruption, it is increasingly possible that one could occur.”
As long as the Foreign Office does not advise against traveling, the expectation is that everything will proceed as usual.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office recommends that travelers consult the following sources for any recent updates:
The only case where this does not apply is for vacationers who intended to lodge at the Blue Lagoon, a growingly sought-after spot for relaxation with a luxurious hotel on the premises. At the moment, the Blue Lagoon is not open.
Only those booked for a stay have the chance to cancel; if you were hoping to pop in as a day visitor for a steamy stop in the volcanic rock pools, you will need to return at some time in the future.
Is it possible for me to make a claim with my insurance?
Sorry, but unless it falls under the extremely rare “cancel for any reason” policies, “disinclination to travel” is not a valid reason for a claim on regular travel insurance.
Are you considering traveling to Iceland right now?
I would eagerly welcome the chance. Late November is a great time to travel to Iceland for a good deal. Currently, the conditions are ideal for a potential sighting of the Northern Lights, which are at their highest point in the typical 11-year celestial cycle.
Additionally, I am aware that the Icelandic government is highly skilled in managing seismic activity, with exceptional surveillance and emergency protocols in operation.
I am considering booking a package vacation, but I am also aware that if there are any disturbances in the area, I have the option to cancel and receive a full refund.