Bali’s international airport has re-opened but many flights are still disrupted due to volcanic ash. Since last Thursday, many flights between Australia and Denpasar have been delayed, diverted or cancelled. And most passengers won’t be covered by travel insurance.
Bali’s Mt Agung, which first erupted in November last year, is once again the culprit. The volcanic ash being released into the air has been making it unsafe for aircraft to fly.
Last Thursday, two Qantas flights and one Jetstar flight bound for Denpasar were turned around mid-flight. Jetstar, Air Asia and Virgin Australia also cancelled some flights to Bali. Then, on Friday, Denpasar Airport closed completely. It has since re-opened but some delays and cancellations are still expected as airlines deal with a backlog of stranded passengers. It is possible that the airport could shut again if the volcanic eruption continues. If you’re scheduled to fly within the next few days, make sure you check the flight status with your airline.
The chaos is compounded by school holidays, which start this week in many Australian states. As a result, most flights to and from Bali in the coming weeks are going to be full even without the disruption caused by the volcanic eruption.
As one member discovered during the chaos of last year’s volcanic eruption in Bali, it can be very hard to leave Bali once the main airport closes.
At the time of writing, none of the airlines flying between Australia and Denpasar have offered to waive change or cancellation fees for travellers with upcoming flights booked to Bali. So passengers wishing to change their destination or travel dates – or cancel the trip altogether – may need to pay a fee to do so.
Unfortunately, most travel insurance policies won’t cover you either for Bali flights cancelled. The ongoing eruption of Mt Agung has been a known event since September 2017. If you purchased your travel insurance after this date, you’re likely not covered.
This does depend on your policy. Some travel insurers will still cover you if you bought a policy before 22 November 2017. But if you purchased travel insurance after this date – like most people – travel insurance won’t cover any expenses incurred if your flight is delayed or cancelled by this volcanic eruption. Check with your provider to see whether you are covered.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Something’s up with QF to Bali?