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November 29, 2017

Air Travel: Bali Airport Reopens

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Virgin Australia will attempt to operate relief flights. 

In this week’s air travel news affecting the meetings and events industry, Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport has reopened, pending the wind-blown movement of the ash from the eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Agung, our partner publication Travel Agent reports.

Virgin Australia reports that, subject to a review of flying conditions, it will operate recovery flights to help stranded guests return home. Guests can check the status of their flight here.

KLM said that it has adjusted its departure times during the daytime, when the ash cloud is clearly visible, to allow flights to avoid the cloud. The airline said it plans to operate its first flight from Denpasar to Singapore at 8:50 a.m. Friday morning, arriving at 11:20 a.m. and continuing on to Amsterdam, with arrival scheduled for 7:20 p.m. (all times local). The airline said it is contacting affected passengers personally, including those with KLM tickets booked as part of a package deal from another travel organization.

The BBC reports that, as of Wednesday, the volcano was still emitting thick ash clouds in addition to streams of rock mixed with water called lahar. Officials have ordered an evacuation in a zone extending 6 miles from the volcano, affecting 100,000 people. Thus far, 29,000 have moved to shelters, with others fleeing to nearby locations like Lombok. Bali officials told the BBC that the airport might have to close again if the wind changes direction.

According to The Australian, Jetstar and Qantas have scheduled six relief flights in addition to the 10 already scheduled from Denpasar to Australia Wednesday, which will be able to carry 3,800 stranded customers. These flights could still be subject to last-minute cancellations due to the unpredictable nature of volcanic activity. The airline will not conduct flights from Australia to Bali until the area surrounding the airport is completely cleared of adverse flying conditions.

Flight Waivers

Airlines are continuing to offer cancellation and change waivers to customers affected by the volcano.

Delta is allowing travelers scheduled to fly through December 4 to rebook through December 12, with the new ticket to be reissued on or before that date.

Guests scheduled to fly on Virgin Australia through December 8 can either opt to receive a full travel credit; change their booking to the same destination on a different date within 30 days of the original booking date with no difference in fare; change their booking to Nadi (Fiji) or Port Vila (Vanuatu) no later than 30 days from the original booking date without change fees; or change their booking to a different destination within 30 days of the original booking date, subject to fare differences.

Singapore Airlines will help guests rebook or request a refund if they were scheduled to travel through December 4. Rebooked travel must begin on or before January 31, 2018.

Customers scheduled to fly on KLM through December 4 can reschedule through December 12.

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