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Volcanic ash "Act of God"

Chiang Khong...
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Volcanic ash "Act of God"

Hi

Is the ash cloud considered an" act of god "so cancellations

and any flight disruptions will Not be covered by insurnance or airlines ?

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Volcanic ash "Act of God"

Some insurers think so. Don't think it's consistent, so good idea to check with your insurers.

Also airlines look after you differently dependent on where yo are on your journey.

There was a family today saying their flight ex-US was diverted to Belgium (rather than UK), yesterday and they were abandoned by Delta. They had to get the group - babies, grannies, sick etc - on a coach (self-hired) then ferry, then overnight stop. Insurance cover is unclear.

Whereas others are stranded on homeward journey at Frankfurt and are being put up in hotels with meals....

Bangkok
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2. Re: Volcanic ash "Act of God"

Hi,

I think that, as peter mentions, it will be how the interpretation or contract is written or interpreted by the party concerned.. I do however think that the majority will deem it to be an Act of God-- and the majority (but not all) policies have this as a defined exclusionary clause.

While you will hear reports of accommodations and such being provided by various airlines at some stations, it's important to note that some of these accommodations may have been provided *voluntarily* by the carrier and *not* due to any mandatory regulatory requirement.

A quick look at the T&C's of the four major US-based carriers (DL, AA, CO & UA) shows that Acts of God are in fact a named exclusion.

Travel Safe,

London
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3. Re: Volcanic ash "Act of God"

We had a U.K. insurance spokesman on TV this morning. He estimated that about 50 pct of insurers would pay out and the rest would stick with the line 'act of god' or 'adverse weather conditions' as some are citing and not pay out. So a careful read of insurance conditions are needed for anyone needing to claim.

UK
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4. Re: Volcanic ash "Act of God"

<<There was a family today saying their flight ex-US was diverted to Belgium (rather than UK), yesterday and they were abandoned by Delta. They had to get the group - babies, grannies, sick etc - on a coach (self-hired) then ferry, then overnight stop. Insurance cover is unclear.>>

I heard that interview, sounded awful, I think Delta are going to be in big trouble on that one, they were contracted to send the family to the UK, not Belgium, so once they are in Belgium, they still, AIUI, owe a duty of care to get them back to the UK,whereas they just seem to have abandoned them "you're in Europe, that's close enough"..

Bangkok
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5. Re: Volcanic ash "Act of God"

Hi,

Joe, I'd agree.. I do however, think that there is more to the story than just what was disclosed or reported by the interviewees, but that's my opinion...

There is nothing in Delta's CoC that permits final discharge in BRU and to not provide onward transportation-- even if that is not by air-- to their final ticketed point of the UK. You can do so in some cases, like some cities in the US that are co-terminals (like JFK vs EWR and SFO vs OAK/SJC)

However, I don't think that there is anything in their contract that requires DL to provide for hotels and such in diversion cases such as this-- but as a matter of internal policy I suspect that they would.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 16 April 2010, 18:13
UK
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6. Re: Volcanic ash "Act of God"

<<However, I don't think that there is anything in their contract that requires DL to provide for hotels and such in diversion cases such as this>>

According to the lawyers on the flyertalk forum there is in fact such a duty even though not all airlines are being very forward in letting customers know.

Bangkok
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7. Re: Volcanic ash "Act of God"

Hi,

Joe, I'm not surprised that there's contrary opinions.. it would seem logical from an attorney's viewpoint, but I can also see the contrary opinion that the *reason* for the diversion is an Act of God and wasn't under the airlines control. Yes.. they still need to get them to the UK as ticketed and there's no way around that nor point of disagreement... but I'm somewhat skeptical as to the *legal* requirement that they (Delta) pay for any en-route expenses under these exact conditions.

Travel Safe,

UK
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8. Re: Volcanic ash "Act of God"

<<but I can also see the contrary opinion that the *reason* for the diversion is an Act of God and wasn't under the airlines control. .>

Apparently the EU regs specifically exclude act of god type stuff from the duty of care to get you there , if you are on the return, (outbound they can say, tough luck, would you like money back or reschedule?)

The act of god stuff exclusion clause is for compensation only so the lawyers say. :-)

Isle of Man, United...
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9. Re: Volcanic ash "Act of God"

This is gonna run and run.

There was a case where "Acts of God" were disallowed.

No proof of gods existence and therefore no way can an event be one of his Acts.

Yes. The Volcano cannot be within the airlines control or foreseen but they have a contract to deliver with best possible despatch to the ticketed destination not some place else.

I see nothing in EEC261/2004 to indicate otherwise.

Travelling The World
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10. Re: Volcanic ash "Act of God"

> I see nothing in EEC261/2004 to indicate otherwise.

Apart from the option of a full refund of course. :-)