A number of new safety recommendations have been set after a cabin crew member sustained a serious injury as a result of severe turbulence on board a Ryan air flight. The severe turbulence came without warning during a flight from Rome Ciampino to Leipzig Germany, so the crewmember did not have time to fasten her seat belt. The cabin crew were undertaking their routine cabin service as the aircraft was still climbing in altitude. However, during the climb the aircraft flew through some cumulonimbus clouds which are extremely dense thunderclouds, capable of producing severe and dangerous weather conditions.
The pilots of the Boeing 737 were not to blame, they couldn’t even give warning as it all happened so suddenly. Before departing Rome there was no indication of bad weather over the Italian peninsula, which is why the turbulence was so unexpected. The female cabin crew member reportedly flew out of her seat, struck the ceiling and fell down onto the floor where the impact fractured her pelvis. Luckily none of the 129 passengers on board were injured – all of them were wearing seat belts. The severity of the crewmembers injury was only discovered once the aircraft landed in Germany, when it was found that she had fractured her pelvis. Bad weather is the number one cause of flight delays and disruptions. It is often unpredictable (seen with the severe turbulence). Sometimes cases of bad weather can be predicted and so flights can change paths to avoid problems occurring. Fog, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, thunder, lightening, ice and snow are just a handful of weather elements that can cause heavy delays and in extreme cases flight cancellations. Generally speaking, if your flight has been cancelled due to bad weather then the airline will have a policy in place to facilitate an alternative route for you. The airline could offer you flexible changes to tickets meaning that you have the option of moving your entire itinerary up to seven days before or after the originally scheduled date. Or you may have the option to change your ticket completely, to a different destination. In cases of really bad weather, where flights are estimated to be affected for days rather than hours airlines tend to offer passengers refunds if there is no alternative option. However, sometimes airlines can be very uncooperative and will leave passengers in the dark about flight delays and cancellations. Passengers are often left waiting in the airport for hours and hours waiting for information concerning their flight. According to European Regulation, a passenger is entitled to claim 250, 300, 400 or 600 Euros worth of delayed flight compensation if they are subject to a flight delay of 3 hours or more. But the unfortunate thing about bad weather is that it is classed as an extraordinary circumstance or ‘an act of God’. Because of this, airlines cannot be deemed as responsible for any flight delays or cancellations that are a direct result of bad weather (although many airlines will try to use this as an excuse when the weather only affected a previous flight and therefore their timetables were disrupted).
Normally, according to EC Regulation 261/2004 airlines should offer passengers hotel accommodation and transport if their flight has to be rescheduled. But in cases of bad weather, airlines have no legal obligation to provide such services. If you are unsure about whether you qualify for compensation or not contact a flight delay refunds company to receive the best advice. Blueway Limited is an example of a legitimate flight delay refunds company that can assist you with your claim.