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Currently, Iceland is experiencing a high level of geological activity. The Reykjanes peninsula, located southwest of Reykjavik, is experiencing frequent seismic activity, resulting in numerous small earthquakes.
The city 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 schedule. The following are the important inquiries and responses regarding consumer rights.
Can I depart from Iceland?
If the international airport stays open, then it is possible. Currently, everything is running as usual. There are a total of 14 scheduled arrivals and departures from and to the UK on Saturday, and there are no indications of any flight interruptions.
Currently, you are unable to change your flight without incurring a penalty, even if you wish to leave earlier than originally booked in order to ensure your departure.
A representative from British Airways stated to The Independent that our flights are currently running as scheduled and we are closely monitoring the situation.
If the circumstances alter, we will communicate directly with our customers.
The statement from easyJet is almost identical, stating that their flights are currently running as usual but they are keeping a close eye on the situation and will inform customers directly if there are any changes to their flights.
However, wasn’t there a week-long disruption in European air travel due to an Icelandic volcano?
Yes, individuals who were traveling in March 2010 may recall the occurrence of the eruption of the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull. The airspace in northern Europe was shut down for approximately a week due to concerns that the volcanic ash traveling southeast from Iceland could potentially harm aircraft engines and put travelers at risk.
Over 50,000 flights were cancelled, affecting eight million passengers who had made reservations to travel.
As of now in 2023, ash has not posed a problem during the current geological eruption.
What happens if I have a reservation for a pre-planned vacation?
The recommendations from the Foreign Office do not advise against traveling to Iceland, allowing holiday companies to continue their operations as usual. However, travelers do not have the automatic right to cancel their plans.
The Foreign Office advice to British travellers is that it is “increasingly possible” that a volcanic eruption could occur. The official warning on “volcanic eruption and earthquakes” reads: “Earthquakes and indications of volcanic activity have increased above normal levels on the Reykjanes peninsula, southwest of Reykjavik.
The Icelandic government is closely monitoring the region, specifically the northwest area of Mt Thorbjörn near the Svartsengi power plant and the Blue Lagoon. A Civil Protection Alert was issued on November 10th due to a significant series of earthquakes.
As a precaution, the town of Grindavík was cleared of residents. Certain roads have been shut down and visitors are cautioned to avoid the vicinity.
“Keflavik International Airport is currently functioning without any disruptions. Although there are no ongoing volcanic activities, there is a growing likelihood of a potential eruption.”
As long as the Foreign Office does not issue a travel warning, it is expected that everything will continue as planned.
The sole exemption applies to travelers who had intended to lodge at the Blue Lagoon, a rising “wellness” spot featuring a luxurious hotel on its premises. Unfortunately, the Blue Lagoon is presently not operational.
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 file an insurance claim?
Unfortunately, “cancel for any reason” policies are extremely uncommon. With regular travel insurance, a reluctance to travel is not a valid justification for filing a claim.
Are you currently considering a trip to Iceland?
I would love the chance to visit Iceland in late November, as it offers great value. The current conditions are also ideal for seeing the Northern Lights, which are currently at their peak in the typical 11-year cosmic cycle.
Additionally, I am aware that the Icelandic government is highly skilled in managing seismic activity, with excellent surveillance and emergency protocols in place.
I am willing to reserve a vacation package, but with the assurance that if the area becomes too unstable, I can cancel and receive a complete refund.