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What To Do If You’re Bali Flights Are Delayed By Volcanic Ash Cloud

What To Do When Your Bali Flights Are Delayed By Volcanic Ash Cloud

Are you’re Bali flights delayed by the volcanic ash cloud? Then read on. We may not be experts on the situation, but we had our very own volcanic ash cloud experience last year on our way to Bali.

You know that feeling when you’re on the plane, so excited knowing that you’ll be soon landing in another country? Well, how about that feeling when the captain announces you’re turning right back around to where you came from because of a volcanic ash cloud? That’s what happened to us last year, about 2 hours into our flight from Sydney to Bali. At the time, sure we were disappointed, but I was also very happy to be safely on land. And fortunately, we made it to Bali the next day.

The current volcanic ash cloud seems to be a little bit more persistent. So I thought I would put some of the things we learnt to good use and share them with you to hopefully put you at a little bit of ease.

What You Can Do If You’re Bali Flights Are Delayed By Volcanic Ash Cloud

Understand No Ones To Blame

When a volcano erupts and the wind pushes volcanic ash in certain directions, it’s completely out of anyone’s control. The reason the planes aren’t flying is because it’s not safe to do so.

Stay Up To Date

Airlines are putting updates on their websites and on social media. If they have your contact information like email or phone you may also be receiving information this way. Keep checking and follow their advice. If they advise not to go to the airport, then don’t.

Contact Your Travel Insurer

Contact your travel insurer to let them know what has happened and what it means for your trip. See what advice they give you, what you are covered for and what documents and receipts you need to keep.

Do What You Can Do

Don’t just think that if you have travel insurance you are covered. Even when you make an insurance claim, you still need to wait and see how much they cover you based on your policy, what documents you have etc.

The absolute best thing to do, even if it takes a little time, is to do what you can do.

  • Flights got cancelled – Are the airlines offering to re-schedule at no charge? Take them up on their offer.
  • You have accommodation booked but can’t get to Bali – Contact your accommodation and see if they can re-schedule due to the situation.
  • You’re at the end of your Bali holiday and have no accommodation booked – book some accommodation within areas that are still close to the airport (e.g. Tuban, Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua) at around the same rate per night as you had been previously staying or less. Depending on your policy, you may be covered for extra accommodation costs but usually this is based on the price you had been paying for accommodation previously. Keep all receipts.

When we had our Bali volcanic ash cloud experience, we contacted who we booked our accommodation with and changed our dates without losing any money. We also accepted rescheduling of flights at no extra cost, even though it meant catching two flights there and back. At the end of our ordeal, we didn’t lose any money or even need to make an insurance claim. Obviously this is best case scenario, but doing the things above can help.

Bali Flights


Will My Insurance Cover It?
It depends on your policy. Contact Your Travel Insurer and make sure you keep all receipts and see if you need any other documentation to support a claim.
What About Medications?
If you are currently in Bali and require medications there are pharmacies, doctors, medical facilities and hospitals not too far from the airport. If you are yet to arrive in Bali, take enough medication to get you through an extra week, and make sure you take a letter from your GP stating what you are taking.  
What Do I Do If My Flights Delayed?
The airline will advise you if you should wait at the airport or stay at your accommodation. Listen to their advice and stay on top of updates.

If the airline has advised not to come to the airport, you may as well still try to enjoy the day. Being the end of the holiday, I understand money might be low, but there are some great free or cheap things to do in Bali. Take a swim in the hotel pool, walk along the beach or go for a swim, have lunch at a warung or pick a great spot to watch the sunset.

What If I Will Now Overstay My Visa Due To The Volcanic Ash Cloud?
Contact your airline, immigration and the consulate for advice. I cannot say for sure, but after a little research online of people who have been in the same situation, it appears there may be an exception if it’s due to the volcanic ash cloud. This may or may not be the case, and you may require documentation.

Things To Do For Your Next Trip

Buy Your Travel Insurance As Early As Possible

Buying your travel insurance early can sometimes cover you for more. For example, if something happens in the lead up to your trip that affects your trip, you may still be covered. And obviously you will never be covered by travel insurance if you buy it after something occurs.

Make Sure You Know What You Are Covered For

There are a few things you should look out for when buying travel insurance, including knowing what you are covered for. At least if something goes wrong you have a fair idea of what cover you have, which in itself can relieve some stress.

Give Full Details When Buying Airfares

When you buy your tickets, give as much detail as possible like email address and mobile phone number of a phone you will be taking on holidays. This way the airline can keep in contact via text message.

Pack Enough Prescription Medication

If you need medications, always pack more than required (within reason), and a letter from your GP stating what you are taking.

What Now?

It can be frustrating and worrying to have your flights delayed and cancelled, especially when it’s due to a volcanic ash cloud which is out of your control. However, it’s usually a day by day thing. So today you might feel like you are never getting home or getting to Bali, but in a couple of days the situation could have changed for the better.

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