What Are Extraordinary Circumstances
The term ‘extraordinary circumstances’ may apply to a number of scenarios where the delay/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)
What Are NOT extraordinary circumstances?
- Issues with airline staff e.g. crew turning up late or understaffing
- Bad weather affecting a previous flight, causing your flight to be delayed
- Denied boarding due to the flight being overbooked
- Technical problems with the aircraft (except hidden manufacturing defects or problems caused by sabotage)
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.
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