Volcanic ash disrupts flights in and out of Bali

19 Nov

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By Alex McPeak and Kelsey Meleady, Bond University Journalism Students

Volcanic ash clouds in Bali are still preventing people from flying to and out of Bali, interrupting people’s vacations and everyday lives.

While some people have been stuck in Bali, unable to board a return flight, others are seeking alternative options after realising they will not be able to fly into the Denpasar airport at their booked time.

According to Jetstar and Virgin Australia online, several flights to Bali have been cancelled while Jetstar’s priority is to bring customers home from Bali instead of bringing more in.

Customers are being offered alternative flights to at no extra fee to New Zealand, Cambodia, Hawaii, Thailand, or Fiji.

Virgin Australia customer and Bond University student Christopher Stone said that he found out two hours before his flight was to leave that it would be cancelled because of the volcanic ash.

He was given the options to take a voucher for the price of the ticket or choose a different flight to one of 10 locations, and ended up changing his flight to Fiji free of cost.

Chris said he saved a lot of money since flights to Fiji are usually about $1000 more expensive.

“It was a blessing in disguise,” Chris said.

“I’d much rather go to Fiji.”

Though Chris was happy with the outcome and the way Virgin Australia handled the situation, he did said switching the flight and cancelling accommodations already booked in Bali was a process.

It took three hours to switch the flight on call with Virgin Australia customer service, and he had to put a block on his credit card so he wouldn’t be charged for his hotel in Bali.

Nichole Desantis, Jetstar customer and Bond University student, said Jetstar was handling the situation exceptionally well.

“They are giving people options which is most important. Because business is so hard, they are going above what I expected,” she said.
“They could simply say screw everyone, natural disasters happen.”

 

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