Does Rain Delay Flights? Understanding Rain-Related Disruptions

Does rain delay flights? Exploring its facts and your rights

Have you ever arrived at the airport only to find out your plane has been delayed or cancelled due to heavy rainfall? Under some situations, you might be eligible for compensation.

It’s an inevitability that all air travelers face issues with rain and thunderstorms at some point. But do planes really take off in the rain? That’s a question we’re here to answer.

Our aim in this article is to give you insight into your question, Does rain affect flights? and explain “What are your rights when your flight is delayed or canceled due to rain?

We’ll be examining what happens if your flight is rescheduled or canceled and explaining the EC 261 rule which stipulates the circumstances under which you may be entitled to compensation.

Whether you’re a frequent flier looking for information or someone who has been caught in a sticky situation caused by a delay, read on to learn more about if rain can delay flights and how ClaimFlights can help.

The Impact of Rain on Planes’ Takeoffs and Landings

Can planes take off in the rain? It’s a common misconception that airlines never take off in the rain. Sure, it’s generally more dangerous to take off in the rain, so unless it’s absolutely necessary, the captain won’t fly through it to save time. But they do!

The impact of rain on planes can vary depending on the severity of the rainfall and the specific situation. In general, rain itself isn’t a major obstacle for modern planes, but it can influence flight operations in a few ways:

  • Visibility: Heavy rain can significantly reduce visibility, making it challenging for pilots to see the runway and surrounding environment, particularly during takeoff and landing. This can lead to delays or cancellations, especially if minimum visibility requirements aren’t met.
  • Turbulence: Rain is often associated with wind shear and turbulence, which can cause a bumpy ride and potentially affect aircraft control. While trained pilots can navigate turbulence safely, it can be uncomfortable for passengers.
  • Aerodynamics: In extreme cases, heavy rain can affect the aircraft’s lift due to water accumulation on the wings, but this is rare and typically only happens during icing conditions or thunderstorms.
  • Flight performance: While rain doesn’t significantly impact lift or engine performance, it can cause some drag, leading to slightly increased fuel consumption.
  • Aircraft Systems: Rain can potentially impact some aircraft systems, like pitot tubes used for airspeed measurement or wing de-icing equipment. Modern planes are equipped with redundancies and backup systems to minimize such risks, but thorough pre-flight checks are crucial.
  • Ground Operations: Wet runways can be slippery, requiring extra caution during taxiing and takeoff. This may lead to slower taxi speeds, airport congestion, adjustments in takeoff procedures to ensure safety, or mishaps like aircraft completely veering off the runway.

Airlines must adhere to strict safety regulations, which include only taking off and landing when visibility is good enough. The aircraft must also be able to be navigated safely on the ground and into the air.

Fortunately for passengers though, when flight delays or cancellations occur due to airlines’ fault, they may be entitled to compensation under EC 261 Regulation from their airline.

Can planes fly in heavy rain?

Passenger Aircraft are meticulously engineered to withstand adverse weather conditions, including heavy rainfall. The structural components, such as the engines and wings, are designed to operate effectively without being compromised by rain and thunderstorms. These aircraft undergo rigorous testing, including planes through extreme weather conditions, to validate their resilience and ensure they can maintain their integrity and functionality.

The primary challenge heavy rain poses to aviation is not about the aircraft’s ability to fly but concerns visibility during critical phases of planes like takeoff and landing. When pilots face reduced visibility, it becomes challenging to navigate runways and taxiways safely. Consequently, air traffic control may delay or cancel flights to prioritize safety.

Do Flights Get Delayed or Canceled Due to Rain?

Yes, rain can impact flight takeoffs, leading to delays or cancellations if conditions become hazardous due to limited visibility and wet runways.

However, when rain affects flights, Air Traffic Control (ATC) can authorize the pilot to land if they feel the conditions are favorable for landing. Severe weather can lead to delays due to congested airspace or safety concerns.

If your flight encounters delays of over 3 hours on EU flights due to airline negligence, you may have the right to claim compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004.

Eligibility for Compensation in Rain-Related Flight Delays

When it comes to flight delays, rain is one of the major culprits. If a flight gets canceled or delayed because of rain, who’s liable for the inconvenience?

Airlines are required to assist when faced with unexpected delays due to weather, making sure you have food, drinks, and a place to rest (if necessary).

Plus, if your flight delay was long enough, more than 3 hours for EU flights or more than 4 hours for US and other international flights—you may be eligible for financial compensation under the EU 261 rule (for European flights).

So if your flight is delayed due to rain or any other form of bad weather, are you eligible for compensation?

In certain cases, ClaimFlights is here to help with its Flight Compensation Service following EU laws when cases involve delays or cancellations due to normal weather conditions.

With ClaimFlights taking care of things on your behalf, all you need is patience while they handle the paperwork and deal with an air carrier to get your well-deserved compensation under EU regulation.

EU Law – Here’s a summary of what it does

Under EU law (known as EU 261 Regulation) airlines have the responsibility to compensate passengers if their flights are canceled or delayed by 3 hours or more.

This means that even if a delay or cancellation was caused by poor weather conditions, you’re still entitled to seek compensation on affected flights if there’s news on other airlines being operational.

Eligible Flights

The EU 261 law applies to all types of flights departing from the country in the European Union as well as all direct International arrivals with an EU-registered airline into these countries.

Essentially, this means that if your flight is delayed as a result of bad weather within European countries — be it rain, fog, or snow — you could receive compensation depending on how long your flight was delayed.

ClaimFlights – Flight Delay Claims Made Easy

It’s easy to feel helpless when a flight you’re anxiously waiting for takes off late or worse, cancels due to rain. But don’t be too disheartened. ClaimFlights is with you every step of the way when it comes to filing a flight delay claim under EU261 legislation.

ClaimFlights simplifies the process of claiming compensation for delayed, canceled, or overbooked flights by taking away all the tedious paperwork and waiting. What’s more, their service tracks your case for you and offers a maximum payout for your inconvenience around the clock.

Here’s how ClaimFlights makes things easy:

  1. Submit a claim: All it takes is your flight details and evidence to get started. This way, ClaimFlights can keep track of all your claims in one place, making it easier for you to find out exactly what’s happening with your application.
  2. Claim submission: It only takes two minutes for the automated system to take care of the entire process for you. You won’t have to worry about overcomplicated paperwork or long waiting periods!
  3. 24/7 tracking: The automated system will send out notifications when your claim is accepted or rejected—no need to keep checking manually!

Don’t let flight delays get in the way of your travel plans anymore—take advantage of ClaimFlights’ easy-to-follow service and get your compensation fast and hassle-free!

Was your flight delayed? You may be eligible for compensation

Has your flight been delayed for more than 3 hours or even canceled? Don't worry, you may be eligible for compensation up to 600€ under the EU Regulation 261/2004.

Check if You're Eligible

We offer "No Win - No Fee" Services, so claiming is Risk-Free!

Which is the best company to claim flight delay compensation?

ClaimFlights is the best flight delay claim company when it comes to the payout after their 25% service fee. Through ClaimFlights, you could get 75% of the receivable compensation.

The following table gives you a direct comparison of flight delay compensation claim companies.

Your payout* (as Flight Delay Compensation)

for less than 1500 km for 1501 to 3500 km for more than 3500 km
ClaimFlights 187.50 € 300 € 450 €
Flightright 125.75 € 201.20 € 301.80 €
AirHelp 125 € 200 € 300 €
ClaimCompass 125 € 200 € 300 €
SkyRefund 125 € 200 € 300 €

* Source: Price comparison of flight delay claim companies, as of 8th August 2023.

FAQs on Flight Delay Compensation During Rainy Weather

When it comes to flight delay compensation during rainy weather, a lot of questions come up. Let’s run through the most important ones here so you know what to do if your flight is canceled or delayed due to rain.

Can a plane take off or land in the rain?

Generally, yes. Pilots have the skills and training needed to safely fly in bad weather. That said, different airlines have different policies when it comes to flying in bad weather—so check with your airline for their specific policy.

What if my plane has been delayed due to bad weather?

If your plane has been delayed by more than three hours due to bad weather, you may be able to receive compensation from the airline—which can be between 250 – 600 euros per passenger depending on the distance of your flight and other factors.

To learn more about flight delay compensation—and file a claim for your delayed flight—you should contact a professional flight rights company like ClaimFlights for advice.


So here’s the final answer to your question: Do planes take off in rain? Yes, planes can take off in the rain and planes can land in the rain, but we recommend that it’s best to double-check with your airline before making any assumptions because flights can be cancelled for rain, which can disrupt your plans. your plan.

And if your flight experiences a delay due to bad weather, you may be eligible for compensation from the airline and ClaimFlights can help you with that too!

Esenia Ulbrich

Esenia Ulbrich

Founder & Legal Head

Esenia Ulbrich is the founder of ClaimFlights and heads the legal team. She holds a master's in business administration and loves sailing in the Saronic Gulf, hiking in the Alpes, and spending time with her daughter.

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