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Currently, the earth is highly active in Iceland. The area of Reykjanes, located southwest of Reykjavik, is experiencing frequent seismic activity, resulting in numerous minor earthquakes.
The town of Grindavík, located only 10 miles south of Keflavik International Airport, has been cleared out as a safety measure.
However, flights are still operating according to their regular schedules. Here are the primary inquiries and responses regarding consumer entitlements.
Am I permitted to depart Iceland?
Assuming the international airport remains operational, everything has been running as usual. If you’re hoping to leave earlier than your scheduled flight, you may face a penalty for changing your reservation.
A representative from British Airways informed The Independent that their flights are running as scheduled and they are closely monitoring the situation.
If the situation changes, we will contact customers directly.
The statement from easyJet is quite similar: “We are currently maintaining our regular flight schedule, but we are closely monitoring the situation. If there are any changes, we will directly notify our customers and provide information about their flights.”
However, wasn’t there a week-long shutdown of European aviation due to an Icelandic volcano?
In April 2010, the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted, causing disruptions for travellers. For almost a week, the skies over northern Europe were closed to passenger aviation due to concerns about potential damage to aircraft engines and the safety of travellers.
Over 50,000 flights and eight million passengers were affected by cancellations.
As of now in the year 2023, ash has not been a problem during the current geological eruption.
What happens if I have a reservation for a packaged vacation?
The Foreign Office guidance does not discourage traveling to Iceland, allowing holiday companies to operate normally without the obligation to offer cancellations.
The British Foreign Office is advising travelers that there is a growing likelihood of a volcanic eruption. The official alert for “volcanic eruptions and earthquakes” states that there has been an increase in seismic activity and signs of volcanic activity in the Reykjanes peninsula, located southwest of Reykjavik.
The Icelandic government is closely observing the region, specifically the northwest part of Mt Thorbjörn near the Svartsengi power plant and the Blue Lagoon. On November 10th, a Civil Protection Alert was issued due to a significant series of earthquakes.
As a precaution, the town of Grindavík was evacuated and certain roads have been shut down. It is recommended for visitors to avoid the area.
The Keflavik International Airport is currently functioning normally. Although there is currently no eruption, there is a growing likelihood that one may happen.
If the Foreign Office does not issue a travel warning, it is assumed that all plans will proceed as usual.
The FCDO recommends that travelers refer to the following sources for any updates:
The only exemption applies to travelers who had intended to stay at the Blue Lagoon, a trendy destination for “wellness” activities, which includes a luxury hotel on its premises. Currently, 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?
Unfortunately, “disinclination to travel” is not a valid reason for making a claim unless you have a “cancel for any reason” policy, which are extremely uncommon.
Are you currently considering a trip to Iceland?
I am looking forward to the chance to visit Iceland in late November, as it offers great value at that time. The current conditions are also ideal for viewing the Northern Lights, which are currently at their peak in the typical 11-year cosmic cycle.
Additionally, I am aware that the Icelandic government has expertise in managing seismic activity, as they have highly effective monitoring and emergency systems established.
I would reserve a bundled vacation, with the assurance that if the area becomes too turbulent for comfort, I could cancel and receive a complete reimbursement.