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Volcanic ash causes complaints rise

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Air traveller complaints soared after the Icelandic volcanic ash crisis - news which will be sure to focus attention on travel insurance policies.

A passenger watchdog revealed that during the period between April and June 2010, the Air Transport Users Council (AUC) received 7,519 complaints and inquiries - twice as many as the 3,086 figure for the same period in 2009.

The ash cloud crisis caused misery for air travellers across Europe, while no flights were allowed in or out of the UK for several days.

The news came as the AUC published its annual report for April 2009 to March 2010 - a period of time which did not include the volcano crisis.

The AUC said that in 2009/10 it had received 14,503 complaints and inquiries - a 7% rise on the 2008/09 total.

Complaints rose from 5,953 in 2008/09 to 6,296 in 2009/10, with the biggest moan from passengers being cancellations (2,200 complaints).

In her introduction to the 2009/10 report, AUC chairman Tina Tietjen said: "Not all passengers are receiving their rights under the law."

© Press Association 2010