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My apologies for disappearing temporarily from the blogosphere.  I to have been left grounded by the volcano!

I was in Strasbourg at the European Court of Human Rights, but that is a story for another day (and yes, the court covers plasticine rights as well as Human Rights!).

There has been a lot of confusion regarding whether stranded fliers like me can claim compensation due to the volcanic dust from Iceland. There seems to have been a big difference in the way travellers were treated depending on which airline they flew with.  In many cases the party line was that the airline owes compensation to a delayed passenger if the cause of the delay is not ‘due to exceptional circumstances’. 

Understandably then, a few airlines said that the volcanic eruption was both exceptional and unforeseeable.  It is fair enough to say that however, what they failed to mention, is that under EU legislation, airlines have a duty to take care of stranded passengers even if the cause of the delay was exceptional!!

This means that while they don’t have to compensate you for money you may have lost as a result of the volcano causing delay, they do however have to compensate you in a more civil way such as making sure you are alright for food and a place to stay.

If your airline has shirked this obligation then they have broken the rules and they owe you compensation!

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