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Volcano Ash Cloud in Europe

16 May 2010 James K said

James K
Hello all,<BR><BR>Since the majority of Contiki tours start in London I am sure the recent events with the volcano in Iceland have alot of people worried. I am one of those people with my tour starting in London on the 20th June 2010.<BR><BR>I would like to know what the procedures are if our flight is cancelled. Our flight gets us to London at 8.30pm the day before the tour starts so even a 12-24 hour delay sees us miss the start of the tour. And I am not up for wasting even more time trying to catch up with the rest of the tour and missing out on places I have paid to see and visit.<BR><BR>I have paid for Gold Seal protection, would that mean I get a refund from Contiki? Because I would much rather get my money back and do my own private travels than to try and catch up with the rest of the group.<BR><BR>Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. <BR><BR>Thanks
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  • 16 May 2010 Erin said


    Um try leaving tonight!!! – i just heard the news and i am freaking – i would be more concerned if you were leaving sooner rather then later, if the volcano starts up again your travel insurance and contiki should refund your trip

  • 16 May 2010 Explorer1132402 said


    James, its hard to know whether to be worried or not. The news seems to change daily and you flight is about a month away so its hard to predict.

    You have left things very tight though with getting to London in time because by the time you get your luggage and go through passport control you will not be at the hotel until probably 11.30pm and the tours normally leave around 6am. if your plane does get delayed depending on your first stop I would say that you need to at least attempt catching up with the coach.

    I have just been on a ten day trip which was majorly affected by the first ash cloud, we had five people that met up with us enroute. If your first stop is Paris then it would be relatively easy to catch up.

    If you have any scope though I would suggest changing your flights so that you get to London earlier because ash cloud or not, you are leaving things very tight.

  • 16 May 2010 James K said

    James K

    Thanks for feedback. I would have, however my girlfriend is a uni student and she has an exam the day before we leave in the afternoon so that’s the only reason we are leaving it so late.

    Thanks again

  • 16 May 2010 Amy Cheverton said


    I am also concearned about this
    if the valcano ash keeps flights to london grounded does the gold deal proection offered by contiki cover the trip, and we get a refund?

  • 17 May 2010 cdm115 said


    From what others have said, you will not get a refund but instead be given a credit – possibly taking another tour from London that fits your schedule or another tour at a later date.

    This is generally what I’m hearing from the whole travel industry and insurance from other compaies isn’t any better. I think they’ve all agreed the ash cloud falls under the same rules as weather related delays.

  • 17 May 2010 James K said

    James K

    Yes I understand weather related delays e.g 12 hours max however when it starts getting to days and we start missing whole countries that’s when I start worrying. I wish I could just opt for doing a tour for another date however I do work and unfortunately only get a certain amount of annual leave. I was expecting a refund since I am paying so much for this Gold Seal protection. Very dissapointed.

  • 17 May 2010 James K said

    James K

    Just located this: Got my hopes up now Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Gold Seal Protection
    Coverage for Cancellation & Return Flight Security: Most tour operators are interested in their passengers only after they reach their destination. With Contiki, however, you get a great deal even before you leave home.

    Pre-paid Cancellation Option A$89 per person: By paying A$89 per person Cancellation Option Fee with your deposit, the full amount of your deposit and/or payment to Contiki Holidays will be refunded should you cancel your tour for any reason prior to departure from Australia. This cancellation option covers the Land arrangements made by Contiki Holidays only.

  • 17 May 2010 Amy Cheverton said


    oh that is very good to know

  • 19 May 2010 LJ_Traveller said


    I’m a bit worried too. Especially since I’m going with Emirates and apparently their response to customers stuck is crap. Qantas apparently is the best, they’ve set up their passengers in hotels, and even reimburse them should they take up the offer.

    I’ve made a Plan B should I need it. Should it erupt I’ll fly to Tangiers, take a ferry to Gibraltar, and take a train to London via Paris. Hahaha

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