tip off
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The ash cloud costs soar for passengers and airlines

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:

EK cost

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.

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  • 1
    Ben Sandilands
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    An industry veteran and friend of Plane Talking has sent me this suggestion:

    Here’s a thought based on the premise that all Turkish Airports are currently open and that there are literally ’00s of Australians trying to get to Gallipoli for Anzac Day. The novel thought is this: fly a two-class B744 with the Anzac pilgrims to either Istanbul or Anatalya, park the aircraft and crews there until the dust really settles, ferry to Heathrow or Frankfurt and then operate a relief flight back to Oz. This little plot would not only help out the (once-in-a-lifetime) pilgrims but also get relief out of UK/Europe much quicker than setting out from Oz when the coast is clear.

    I couldn’t agree more with this suggestion.

  • 2
    Wobbly
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Fixed

    Here’s a thought based on the premise that all Turkish Airports are currently open and that there are literally ’00s of Australians trying to get to Gallipoli for Anzac Day. The novel thought is this: fly a two-class B744 with the Anzac bogans to either Istanbul or Anatalya, park the aircraft and crews there until the dust really settles, ferry to Heathrow or Frankfurt and then operate a relief flight back to Oz. This little plot would not only help out the (once-in-a-lifetime) bogans but also get relief out of UK/Europe much quicker than setting out from Oz when the coast is clear.

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