Airline says extraordinary circumstances!

What are the extraordinary circumstances?

Are airlines exempt from paying compensation if the event is caused by extraordinary circumstances? There is an additional condition for that: The event must be caused by extraordinary circumstances AND these extraordinary circumstances “could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.”

Now, I understand that there is not an exhaustive list, but how do I know then?

There is caselaw decided by the ECJ, and we can also rely on the practice of the local courts. We just want to give you some example:

  • Technical fault of the planes (even if they occurred just before the takeoff) are generally cannot be seen as extraordinary circumstances. The normal operation of an airplane generally includes minor faults, and this falls into the scope of the normal operation of airlines.
  • Airline personal strikes generally cannot be seen as extraordinary circumstances, as they are part of the normal operation of the airlines.
  • Bad weather can be a very nuanced problem, and subject to individual assessment. We can check our database, and assess the weather conditions individually, please contact us.

What are the extraordinary circumstances?

We have a long list for that, let us give you some example:

  • Severe weather conditions
  • Political unrest
  • Extraordinary measures by the local authorities
  • Accidents at the airport
  • Bird strikes

It seems that something really serious happened in my case, what can I do?

Contact us! It is possible that although extraordinary circumstances indeed happened, but that was not the direct cause of the flight delay, or the airline could have reasonably expected to avoid that. These cases are sometimes difficult, and needs individual assessment.

Can you give me an example?

Well, let say that you travel from London to Budapest. There was indeed an accident two days ago, (two planes collided, fortunately no one was harmed), but there was a slight disruption in the operation of the airport, and therefore some planes were delayed, but it is hard to believe that this can reasonably affect any flight two days later.

Right to care

Even if the claim for extraordinary circumstances is justified, you have the right for meal and accommodation, and if you (reasonably) spent more than the value of the voucher that the airline provided you, it must be reimbursed.

Was your flight delayed, cancelled or overbooked?

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