Credit Card Companies Address Volcano Delay Questions
European branches of major credit card companies are bracing for the financial impact of April's volcano eruption. Unprecedented travel delays prevented thousands of airline passengers from completing scheduled flights. As some vacationers scrapped travel plans, Americans stranded in Europe turned to credit cards and to the kindness of local business owners when ash-filled skies prevented them from returning home.

Now that flights have resumed across the Atlantic, lawyers and consumer advocates have started figuring out how a tangle of American and European laws can ease the burden of paying for unexpected stays and nixed holidays. According to reports in British newspapers, travelers stranded by European airlines may be able to seek reimbursement for unplanned expenses directly through their credit card companies.

Americans traveling on U.S.-chartered airlines don't enjoy the same protections, but credit card companies may still be able to help. Disputing a charge for a trip that never took place may force an airline into providing a full refund instead of an airfare voucher. Some credit cards offer automatic travel insurance that may credit portions of a required hotel stay during a travel delay. Experts interviewed by the British press suggested that travelers contact credit cards' customer service hotlines to learn about refund or reimbursement programs already underway.

About the Author


Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.