Flight Delays Due To Bad Weather

If your flight was delayed or canceled due to normal bad weather you may be eligible to claim compensation from the airlines under EC Regulation 261/2004.

Claiming Compensation for Delayed Flights due to Bad Weather

Bad weather conditions have a significant bearing on safe flight operations. Airlines can thus deny compensation claims for flight delays or cancellations due to extraordinary bad weather conditions since the safety factor obviously cannot be compromised. However, constant or customary “normal bad weather conditions” at any airport cannot be considered as an “extraordinary” situation there and the cancellations or delays are not justified in such cases.

The airlines ought to take into account the normal and foreseeable weather conditions before making schedules. In other words, they should prudently decide in advance whether they wish to allow the aircraft to fly to and from certain airports, given the weather conditions expected to be prevalent there.

The final adjudication of extraordinarily bad weather conditions remains a grey area. The comprehensive overview of several court decisions and rulings on the matter can be referred at Claim Flights free database to have a vivid understanding of the complexities involved in the matter.

Is Bad Weather considered an Extraordinary Circumstances?

The interpretation of extremely bad weather conditions as extraordinary circumstances sounds reasonable. Many recent court decisions have set rigid parameters which should be looked into carefully before concluding that bad weather condition was an “Act of God”.

Now, if any airline could operate any flight to or from the airport in the prevalent bad weather conditions, then every airline is expected to operate the flight for their passengers by taking equal measures.

However, if it was not possible for any airline to operate any flight from the airport due to bad weather conditions, then the compensation claims for flight delays or cancellations can be denied by the airlines.

The European Union laws covering air passenger rights and the US Federal laws for the same objective provide for adequate compensation to the passengers for flight delays or cancellations.

Any air passenger traveling within to or from EU nations can claim compensations for flight delays or cancellations within the framework provided by EC Regulation 261/2004. All air passengers, including US citizens traveling within or from Europe, can make the claim for compensations in the event of delays within the definition of the EU 261/2004.

According to EC 261/2004, the extraordinary conditions which could be the basis of denial of compensation claims by airlines includes meteorological conditions which make it impossible to ensure safe operations of flights, political instability, strikes and security risks, among other reasons.

Further, if bad weather conditions cause one particular flight to be delayed and this subsequently delays a later aircraft, it could be possible to claim compensation for the delay of the later flight.

EU Air Passenger Rights in conformity with EC Regulation 261/2004

The EC regulation 261/2004 ensures that all air passengers in the EU jurisdiction are entitled to claim between 250 Euros to 600 Euros for flight delays or cancellations due to normal weather.

US citizens can also benefit equally from these provisions. The amount of claim compensation that can be made by any air passenger for delayed or canceled flights is dependent on the distance of travel which can be seen from the table below:

Flight Distance Extent of the Delay* Amount of Compensation
Up to 1500 km 3 hrs. or more €250 ($280)
1500 km to 3500 km 3 hrs. or more €400 ($450)
Over 3500 km Crossing EU borders and 3 hrs. or more €600 ($680)
*complex rules apply to cancelled flights

Passenger Rights in case of Flight Delays due to Bad Weather

Regardless of whether or not the flight delay was caused by an “Act of God”, if the delay due to bad weather is of around two hours or more passengers are entitled to:
  • Hotel accommodation (in case passengers need to stay overnight)
  • Food and drink in relation to the waiting time
  • Two telephone calls/email messages/fax/telex
  • Transportation between the hotel and the airport.

Flight Compensation Calculator

We at Claim Flights help EU air passengers to claim compensation for flight delays or cancellations. Following your delayed or canceled flight (due to bad weather) you can use the Claims Flights flight compensation calculator to find out exactly how much compensation you are entitled to claim.

It will be important to clarify here that we undertake claim services for the flights operating in EU skies and jurisdiction only. All air passengers, including those from the US, traveling in EU jurisdiction, can use our services.

Esenia Ulbrich

Esenia Ulbrich

Founder & Legal Head

Esenia Ulbrich is the founder of Claim Flights and heads the legal team. She hold a master of business administration and loves sailing in the Saronic Gulf, hiking in the alpes and spents time with her daughter.

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