What are ‘Extraordinary Circumstances’ for a delayed flight?

It can be extremely frustrating if you’re stranded because of a cancelled or delayed flight, especially with young children. However, you do have rights to compensation if you are travelling from a European Union airport or on a European Union airline.

You can only claim against the airline if the reason for the delay is the airline’s fault. Sometimes an airline can claim that there have been extraordinary circumstances so compensation is not due. An extraordinary circumstance is something that it out of the airline’s control.

Extraordinary circumstances are:

  1. Acts of Terrorism or Sabotage

If an act of sabotage or terrorism could include hijacking of a plane or the discovery of a bomb in the airport.

  1. Risks to security

Risks to security could include the closure of an airport where a plane needs to land as a consequence of security concerns, flight delays due to suspicious luggage or the need to divert a plane to remove a disruptive passenger.

  1. Medical Emergency

You may be delayed due to a medical emergency on board. If no doctors are on the plane and a passenger or crew member becomes ill, the staff may choose to land early for medics to intervene.

  1. Adverse weather conditions

The airline must prove that the weather conditions prevented your flight from operating. Adverse weather conditions include; fog, hailstorms, volcanic ash, snow or severe temperatures.

None of the above are the airline’s fault so under EC regulations they do not have to pay you compensation.

However, there can still be a possible fight delay claim if the flight is delayed due to; late staff, denied boarding due to an overbooked flight, understaffed flights and technical problems with the plane.

If you are still unsure whether you could claim for a flight delay, it’s worth giving us a call to check, as we have a team of experts ready to take your call.

Annum Ghafoor


Nayyars Solicitors

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