Yet again a volcanic cloud disrupts air travel… where this time?
As per this BBC article, a Chilean volcanic ash cloud is disrupting flights in Perth, Western Australia.
Last year Europe experienced some of the worst natural disaster disruptions to air traffic thanks to an Icelandic volcano with a hard to pronounce name: Eyjafjallajökull. Travelers in South East Asia may have also experienced recent travel disruptions from ash plumes over Bali in Indonesia.
So what should you do when a volcano threatens your travel plans? Many parents may feel uneasy especially when traveling with children. Best advice is to stay tuned to the news from your airline, and most importantly make alternate plans, both when it comes to flying and ground trans
portation options. Often times airlines leave people stranded whether at the point of origin or destination because of airplane positioning restrictions. Many frustrated European travelers had to wait for days, on perfectly sunny days I should add, until flights are available to take them to their destination. Knowing what alternatives you have in advance could save you time and money, as airline customer service is typically overwhelmed by demanding customers in cases of natural disasters. Being able to cancel your flight (with fees typically waived) and taking an alternate mode of transportation could save both you and the airline a lot of headaches.
PS. Worried your flight may fly over an active volcano prone to spew dangerous ash clouds into the atmosphere? Don't! Airplanes at their cruising altitude fly well above any danger. Typically, problems arise during take off and landing when engines are at their full capacity and dangerous ash particles are heated by the turbines as cold air and jet fuel are mixed to thrust the plane forward, thus clogging the system.