Has the Bali ash cloud left you stranded?

What to do about your flight, and will your travel insurance cover you if you're stuck in Bali?

Bali ash cloud

Yet another Bali ash cloud has Jetstar and Virgin cancelling flights in and out of Bali. So what can you do about your holiday?

  • Before you go to the airport check with the airline if your flight has been delayed or cancelled
  • If it has, then contact the airline to re-book or claim a refund.
  • Then contact your accommodation to re-arrange your booking or try to get your cash back
  • Contact your travel insurer to ask if they'll cover you for any remaining out of pocket expenses, and remember to keep receipts for anything you spend.
Have a trip to Bali coming up but don't know if you should go? We help you weigh up your options.

Jetstar's advice

If you're in Bali, you don't need to take any action. The airline will notify you when flights resume and advise on how to re-book a new flight.

If you're in Australia and your flight has been cancelled or you are booked to travel on 4 November and wish to amend your travel plans:

Go to 'Manage booking' on Jetstar.com and choose from the following options:

  • Rebooking your travel free of charge to an alternative date, within 28 days of original departure (same destination)
  • Rebooking your travel free of charge to an alternative date, within 28 days of original departure (any destination). We will waive the change fee however fare difference may apply.
  • Request a Jetstar travel voucher to the value of the fare purchased on the original affected booking. Travel vouchers can be used within six months to book future travel up to 12 months in advance.

Contact Jetstar on:

  • 131 538 in Australia
  • +65 6499 9702 in Singpaore

From Indonesia: 

  • +61 3 9645 5999
  • +62 803 852 9779 using an Indonesian SIM card
  • 001 803 852 9779 using a non-Indonesian SIM card in Indonesia
  • Free Skype call, use Skype ID JetstarAirways

Virgin's advice

Guests whose flights have been cancelled will be advised of their new flight details via SMS or email, or they can contact the the airline on the numbers below. If travel was booked through a travel agent or a third-party website, Virgin Australia advises guests to make contact with that party.

Virgin is advising guests currently in Bali not to travel to Denpasar Airport without a confirmed rebooked flight. Guests whose flights have been cancelled as a result of the volcanic activity will be able to change their booking to another date or alternative destination within 30 days without fee or receive a full travel credit.

Contact Virgin on:

  • 07 3119 7019 from Australia
  • 00 1803 061 2002 from an Indonesian landline (won't work on mobile or payphone)
  • +61 7 3119 7019 from other international locations.

Travel insurance

Most but not all comprehensive travel insurance policies cover cancellation expenses for events such as flight cancellations due to a natural disaster (you know, like an ash cloud). If you're already in Bali, many policies will also cover you for additional reasonable accommodation and meal expenses. By 'reasonable', they mean if you were staying in a Villa in Canggu, don't try upgrading to a penthouse in Nusa Dua at their expense.

But, and it's a big but, most policies will exclude cover for the ash cloud if you bought your travel insurance after it became a known event in the media. So check with your insurer if they'll cover you.

If you're not satisfied with the travel insurer's response you can lodge a complaint via their Internal Dispute Resolution, and if that doesn't resolve your grievances, contact the Financial Ombudsman Service

Smart Traveller

Register with Smart Traveller and check travel advisories. This makes it easier for DFAT to contact you in an emergency, whether it's a natural disaster, civil disturbance or family issue.

Going to Bali? Check our Bali and Indonesia travel guides.