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Flight Delays & Cancellations – What Are Extraordinary Circumstances And How Do I Know If I Can Claim?

Extraordinary circumstances are defined in EU Regulation 261/2004 – the law enforcing compensation delayed flights, denied boarding and flight cancellations.

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EU Regulation 261 is intended to enhance and enforce passengers’ rights, compensating them for the loss of their time and the inconvenience if their flight has been delayed.

What Are Not Extraordinary Circumstances?

If your delay was caused by one of the following, you may be entitled to compensation according to EU261.

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    A History Of Success

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What Are Extraordinary Circumstances?

The term ‘extraordinary circumstances’ may apply to a number of scenarios where the delay or flight cancellation was caused by something out of the ordinary; things like:

  • Acts of terrorism or sabotage
  • Security risks
  • Extreme weather conditions e.g. volcanic ash cloud
  • Political or civil unrest
  • Hidden manufacturing defects
  • Industrial action (strikes unrelated to the airline such as baggage handlers or air traffic control)
list of flight delay compensation extraordinary circumstances

Did You Know?

Technical problems’ was once used as by a number of airlines as an excuse to avoid paying compensation in the UK, but Bott and Co put an end to this in 2014.

We took a flight delay claim all the way to the Supreme Court, arguing that technical problems should not be considered an extraordinary circumstance because they are to be expected in the running of an airline. We stated that airlines should have measures put in place to prevent delays under these circumstances.

We won the court case, bringing England and Wales in line with European law and unlocking approximately £750million in compensation for delayed passengers every year.