Volcanic Eruption Information and FAQs
Since the eruption of Eyjafallajökull in Iceland in April 2010 we have created a list of frequently asked questions, relating to this issue, as posed to us by our clients. Iceland is not the only volcanic destination we travel to, Italy is home to Mount Vesuvius and Mount Etna and we hope that the answers below offer you reassurance that, whichever destination you travel to, we have a robust safety management system in place to deal with such events.
Be assured that we are experienced in dealing with such issues; in 2010 we successfully and efficiently repatriated 290 passengers when UK air space was closed due to the eruption of Eyjafallajökull in Iceland.
If you do not find the answer to your question below, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What happens if flights are operating but we decide we do not want to travel?
If flights are operating and there has been no official advice against travel, yet your group has opted to cancel, then your cancellation is totally subject to our booking conditions.
Period before departure within which written notification is received by Rayburn Tours Ltd:
Amount of cancellation charge (expressed as a percentage of the total holiday cost)
70 – 15 days before departure
14 – 1 day(s) before departure
Departure date or after
We will, however, discuss partial refunds with our suppliers and assist you where possible.
What would happen if our return flight is delayed or cancelled?
In the event that your flights are cancelled or delayed by the airline, then the airline will offer us an alternative flight for your group and payment under the delayed departure section of your insurance would be applicable.
Most airlines operating from within the EU are subject to EU Directive Regulation 216/2004, under which airlines do have certain responsibilities to passenger’s welfare in times of delays and cancellation. Please note that it is not applicable to all airlines.
Most insurance policies will cover delayed flights and in the first instance Party Leaders would need to call the insurance company for further details. For groups traveling with our insurance (provided by Fogg) we would be able to call on your behalf. Delayed cover through Fogg entitles each person to claim up to £100 (less excess) dependant on the length of delay which can then be used to offset additional expenses incurred due to delays.
We will offer your group continued support via our 24 hour emergency phone; we will liaise with our contacts at the relevant Icelandic airline and accommodation centres, if necessary, and continue to communicate with you throughout until your flight departs.
What happens if, due to indefinite flight cancellations, we have to cancel our tour?
We would discuss the options with the party leader and school. We are happy to assist you in the rearrangement of your tour at a later date. If this is not acceptable, then between us and your insurance company you would receive a refund.
Do insurance companies now offer additional cover for disruption caused by volcanic ash?
At present our insurers (Fogg) do not offer additional cover, the general precedence following disruption caused by the volcano in 2010 is that this is not something that they, or many other insurance companies, will offer in the future, due to the unpredictable nature of the events. However this is subject to review.
For clients traveling with their own insurance we would advise that you check with your individual insurers on inclusions/exclusions.
What help do you have in Iceland to assist us in the event of future disruption?
Our main accommodation centres are contracted solely to us and are able to offer substantial support in terms of advice, accommodation extension and local safety issues. One of the centres is earmarked as a rescue centre for the community should there be an eruption event. Alternatively we work with hotels in other locations, such as Reykjavik which we could utilise.
Our Icelandic coach operator has robust transport resources to quickly implement changes.
Our Geography Tours Development Manager, Ian Hardie, is based in Iceland during busy periods and is available 24/7 to advise and assist Party Leaders. He has excellent local knowledge as he lives in Iceland for many months of the year. He also has first-hand experience of Iceland’s safety management procedures and will provide the best possible support for your group.
What happens if we are unable to complete our planned excursions whilst in Iceland?
Our Geography Tours Development Manager has numerous, well researched alternative excursions which can be implemented if needed whilst in Iceland. Additionally Ian has written a new study unit relating to the volcanic eruption in 2010.
Experience has shown us that with some minor changes we are able to carryout the majority of our itineraries.
What happens if there is a further volcanic eruption whilst we are in Iceland?
In Iceland every community, by law, has a set of very rigid logistical procedures in place to deal with natural disasters and these have proven to be effective. The whole of Iceland is hazard aware. There are systems in place and sequences of events all worked out. Systems are robust and vigorous. Safety procedures are only stepped down after a full assessment is carried out by the experts.
In addition, we have local knowledge and direct communication to the safety authorities to ensure a calm, efficient evacuation to safety, if required.
We also have access to accommodation in different locations.
We have 24 hour contact available to both Icelandic airlines and we have experienced the high level of support they offer during the repatriation process.
What help do you have in Italy to assist us in the event of disruption?
We have a strong relationship with our agent in Italy, therefore in the event of any disruption to your tour we will liaise with them promptly to ensure that they can offer us all the local support and assistance we need.
Our Italian coach operator has robust transport resources to quickly implement changes where necessary.
What happens if we are unable to complete our planned excursions whilst in Italy?
With excellent local knowledge, our internal Italian specialists, in conjunction with our Italian agents, will also be on hand to discuss alternative excursions and activities and changes to your itinerary should they be required.
Experience has shown us that, during times of disruption, with some minor changes we are able to carryout the majority of our itineraries.
What happens if there is a volcanic eruption whilst we are in Italy?
Throughout your tour you will have 24 hour access to a member of our team, if you do have any concerns or require any assistance.
IWe also have a strong relationship with our agent in Italy, therefore in the event of any disruption to your tour we will liaise with them promptly to ensure that they can offer us all the local support and assistance we need.
This local knowledge and direct communication means that in the event that you are directly affected by an eruption we will be on hand to offer a calm, efficient evacuation to safety, if required.
We have access to accommodation in different locations, should your group need to be relocated. Should your return be affected we will be on hand to offer support and assistance until your group is safely back in the UK.
We have 24 hour contact available with the majority of airlines and we have experienced the high level of support they offer during the repatriation process.
Please be assured that your tour is in safe hands and that the safety of our groups is our top priority.
Additionally, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries or require any additional information at this stage.
Your Tour Coordinator
01332 347 828
Zoe Tolley, Customer Relations Manager
01332 347 828