About 500 000 flights of 2 million per month are delayed, about 1%, i.e. 5000 flights are eligible for compensation under the EU261 Regulation. But what are the reasons for this? Technical errors, air traffic problems, strikes or adverse weather conditions can be possible causes.
Although the EU261 regulation is a European regulation, essential parts and especially the so-called “exceptional circumstances” are usually only regulated by national law.
Here, we examine excuses of the airlines in the area of “extraordinary circumstances” for Germany. Often the airlines present the circumstances as if they themselves had little control over them, thus justifying their rejection of a claim.
But are the arguments we receive from airlines really justified? In the following, however, we would like to focus on four frequently cited reasons that airlines often cite as “extraordinary circumstances” in order to reject passenger claims for compensation:
How many times have we heard that? Airlines operating regular flights must always ensure that their aircraft are in top condition and usually have to keep technical spare parts etc. in stock. According to German case law, so-called “unexpected technical problems” are therefore usually not a reason to refuse compensation.
Waiting for passengers with a connecting flight
Airlines are responsible for the proper planning of departures and arrivals. They should therefore also ensure that there is sufficient time between a feeder flight and its connecting flight so that the transfer can take place without problems and time pressure and no flight has to wait for a passenger. If your feeder flight is delayed and you have booked your trip when checking in at the point of departure up to the destination, you are usually entitled to compensation based on the delay at the destination and the total distance. An example: the Berlin – Frankfurt feeder is (slightly) delayed, which means you miss the connecting flight Frankfurt – New York and land there considerably delayed. Then they are normally entitled to compensation of 300 or even 600 euros.
Bad weather conditions
To what extent can passengers recognise that adverse weather conditions are hindering a flight? As a layman this is extremely difficult to assess. There is no doubt, however, that airlines often take advantage of this ignorance to convince affected passengers that the weather conditions are much more dangerous than they actually are. That is why, in some cases, compensation can be claimed for this. We recommend proactively taking a picture here and there, which can later be used as evidence if necessary. Of course refund.me also checks all weather information and other flight operations at the departure/destination airport. All this can be used as a counter-argument and may allow a claim for compensation.
Mouse on board
Small animals such as mice etc. are sometimes encountered on board. This leads to an additional cleaning of the aircraft and an extended technical inspection. All this costs time and often leads to considerable delays.
But: A clear rule states that small animals on board are NOT an “exceptional circumstance” and therefore usually lead to a justified claim.
Have you ever heard something similar?
When you claim your compensation with refund.me, you don’t have to worry about anything yourself. Our team of experts will take care of everything for you and fight on your behalf for compensation of up to 600 euros for a cancelled or delayed flight or a missed connection. In particular, we will carry out the sometimes complex arguments in court about “extraordinary circumstances” in order to fight for your claim. And all this without any risk for you, because refund.me works basically according to the principle “no win no fee”. And if we win the case for you, you only pay our commission at refund.me.