Confusion is common when it comes to EU Flight Cancellation and Extraordinary Circumstances versus non-extraordinary circumstances. Airlines are not liable to pay out any Flight Delay Compensation (EU) or offer any Flight Delay Services if the delay or cancellation was due to an extraordinary circumstance. On the other hand, they are 100% liable if the explanation was due to a non-extraordinary circumstance (something within the airline’s control). In July 2013, European regulators created guidelines to differentiate between scenarios in which passengers can claim compensation and the scenarios in which they cannot. Staffing problems, under-booking and even technical faults that were previously rejected by airlines are all valid when seeking Flight Delay Compensation. Political factors or bad weather on the other hand are viewed as extraordinary circumstances, as they are outside of the airline’s control.
EU Flight Cancellation Extraordinary Circumstances
Firstly, an extraordinary circumstance has to meet three criteria: unpredictable, unavoidable and external. Secondly, the air carrier must provide proof of the circumstances alleged and must also clearly explain how these circumstances resulted in the flight disruption, in addition to explaining the measures in which it took to avoid the disruption. To expand further, here are some examples of extraordinary circumstances following the National Enforcement Bodies (NEB) meeting held on 12 April 2013.
Reasons for Extraordinary Circumstances Flight Delay include:
war or political instability which led to an unforeseen disruption, unlawful acts (such as terrorism), and security breaches such as bomb scares or the closure of an airport. The removal of an unruly passenger from an aircraft (due to security reasons), which thereby causes a flight delay or diversion. It also includes any meteorological issues whereby weather conditions constricts the safe operation of a flight, this could be forecasted either at the airport of arrival or departure, or along the intended path of the aircraft. Anything based on medical grounds, for instance if a passenger or crew member became seriously ill during a flight, any unsuspected flight safety shortcomings where technical issues arise or any problems with air traffic management are seen as extraordinary circumstances.
If any of the above situations occur during your flight then you are not eligible to claim Flight Delay Compensation (EU). It must be the airline’s fault to claim compensation. Above all, flight delays must be over three hours to claim compensation (the length of the delay will determine how much you are entitled to). It is very important that you are fully aware of these extraordinary circumstances before seeking the advice of professionals. Please don’t forget that airlines will try to use the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ excuse for 95% of claims but services such as Blueway Limited are experts at counteracting this. Blueway Limited uses a team of aviation specialists, legal experts and solicitors to battle against airlines, in order to receive flight delay compensation for their clients.