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.