What are the extraordinary circumstances?

Damages that are attributable to exceptional circumstances are not compensable. But what is an exceptional circumstance?

Any air carrier such as Air France or a non-European operator such as Emirates flying flights departing from an airport in Europe is exempt from any obligation to compensate passengers in case their plane lands after an excessive delay (+ 3h) is worth a flight cancellation, and which is due to major forces that can be:

Unfortunate weather and climate factors: Hurricane, snowstorm, tornado, torrential rain, …

Medical emergencies: Sometimes one or more passengers succumb to a heart attack in mid-flight. In this case, the pilot is forced to land the aircraft in an emergency situation, at the airport closest to his position. The flight can accumulate significant delay before its arrival.

Political instability: causing a significant delay, this is a major force, therefore, you are not eligible for compensation.

Natural disasters: An important part of the European airspace can be closed following the eruption of a volcano, earthquake or earthquake, which can cause the cancellation of several rotations, consequently, your company is not supposed to pay you compensation.

Air traffic controllers strike: Air operator traffic can be paralyzed due to a surprise strike, announced by air traffic controllers and ground staff.

Collision between plane and bird: An aircraft can hit one or more birds in full flight, this may require pilots to make an emergency landing because of the explosion of the windows of the cockpit or a failure detected in the reactor swallowing them, …, therefore, the flight can accumulate several minutes, or several hours late to take the path to the final destination.

Important: If your plane has to land urgently because of a sudden engine failure, your company is obliged to compensate you because technical failures are not considered extraordinary circumstances.