Emirates has put a cost of $10 million a day on the volcanic ash crisis, Singapore Airlines says it is too busy looking after passengers to start counting, and Qantas agrees.
This is the Emirates assessment:
A Qantas spokesperson says that it is providing whatever assistance it can to passengers, and has been able to find accommodation for the stranded in Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong in most cases.
The cost for passengers is going to depend on the fine print in insurance policies, where passengers have them, as well as the likely forfeiture of much or a large part of pre-paid travel arrangements, as holiday arrangements like tours may prove impossible to rebook to a future date.
If the insurance policy has an ‘act of God’ escape clause, well, ‘God’ hates you, and you may well not get anything back. The potential for long and bitter consumer disputes with travel suppliers is obvious and will take a considerable time to be resolved.
On the other hand, many of the stranded are taking up the offer of a refund of their fare and a free early return to Australia. If trips can be rescheduled, the volcano and the clouds relent, and you travel again, some hotels and tour operators may well be very keen to talk a good price as they struggle to make up lost revenue.
A reporter since November 30, 1960, Ben Sandilands looks at what really matters up in the sky: public administration of air transport and its safety, the accountability of the carriers, and space for everyone’s knees.
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