What happens if there is disruption?
If you’re an independent holidaymaker, the first thing to do when claiming costs in the event of any disruption, is to contact the airline or tour operator. If you’ve booked on a package deal, the tour operators must deliver the promised holiday or refund you the costs if they cancel your trip.
If your flights are cancelled, the airline must rebook you on alternative flights under EU law. Their priority should be to find you a seat a new flight at the earliest opportunity.
If, as in the Icelandic eruptions, airspace is closed, the airline should provide hotel accommodation, meals and refreshments until a new flight is provided. They’ll usually give you a daily allowance for the extras.
If you organise your own travel or hotels stays you can apply to the airline for a refund on your return. Be careful with the costs and keep your receipts though, as airlines won’t pay amounts they deem unreasonable.