Rights for Bad Weather Flight Delays or Cancellations

Flight Delays or Cancellations Due To Bad Weather

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

Flight Delays or Cancellations Due to Severe Weather

Bad weather conditions have an immense impact on safe flight operations. Airlines can thus deny compensation claims for flight delays or cancellations due to severe weather conditions since the safety factor obviously cannot be compromised.

However, usual weather conditions at any airport cannot be considered an “extraordinary” situation, thus cancellations or delays are not justified in such cases.

The airlines need to take the weather forecast into account before making flight 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.

Flight delays or cancellations due to bad weather occur when weather conditions make it unsafe to operate a flight. These can include conditions such as:

  • Thunderstorms
  • Snowstorms
  • Icing
  • Fog
  • Gale

Airlines have the responsibility to ensure the safety of their passengers and crew, so they will delay or cancel flights if they believe that the weather conditions are too dangerous to fly in.

The final judgement of extraordinary circumstances remains a grey area. The comprehensive overview of several court decisions and rulings on the matter can be referred to in ClaimFlights free database to have a vivid understanding of the complexities involved in the matter.

Ready to take off? Keep in mind, EU law might have your back with compensation for flight hiccups. Learn your rights today!

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 compensation between 250 Euros to 600 Euros for flight delays or cancellations.

US citizens can also benefit equally from these provisions. The amount of compensation that can be claimed by any air passenger 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 hours or more €250 ($280)
1500 km to 3500 km 3 hours or more €400 ($450)
Over 3500 km Crossing EU borders and 3 hours or more €600 ($680)
*complex rules applies to canceled flights compensation calculation.

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

Any air passenger traveling within or from EU nations can claim compensation 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 claim compensation in the event of delays within the definition of the EU 261/2004.

Additional Rights

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.
  • Meals in relation to the waiting time
  • Two telephone calls, email messages, fax, telex
  • Hotel stay in case passengers need to stay overnight
  • Transportation for transit passengers between the hotel and the airport

Is Severe Weather considered as an Extraordinary Circumstances?

Severe weather is any weather condition that has the potential to cause significant damage or disruption. It can include things like thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, gale, and fog. While severe weather can cause flight delays, it is not always considered an extraordinary circumstance.

Extraordinary circumstances are events that are beyond the control of the airline and could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

For example, if the delay is caused by a freak weather event, such as a volcanic ash cloud, the airline may be able to claim extraordinary circumstances and avoid paying compensation.

The interpretation of extremely bad weather conditions as extraordinary circumstances sounds reasonable. Many recent court decisions have established rigid parameters which should be looked into carefully before concluding that bad weather conditions were 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.

It’s the airline’s responsibility to ensure the safety of the aircraft to and from by taking the weather forecast into consideration.

However, if no airline could operate any flight from the airport due to adverse weather conditions, then the compensation claims for flight disruption can be denied by the airlines.

According to EC 261/2004, the extraordinary conditions which may lead to the denial of compensation claims by airlines include poor weather conditions that bring a halt to safe operations of flights, political instability, strikes, and security constraints.

Further, if bad weather conditions cause one particular flight to be delayed it causes a domino effect on other flights. It could be possible to claim compensation for the delay of the later flight.

Your flight, your rights! EU law might entitle you to compensation. Investigate flight compensation claim companies that flight for your rights – it’s a matter of justice!

Free Flight Compensation Calculator To Check If You Can Claim

We at ClaimFlights help stranded air passengers to claim compensation for delayed or canceled flights.

Following your delayed or canceled flight (due to bad weather) you can use the ClaimFlights flight compensation calculator to find out whether you are eligible for compensation or not, and 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.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Which is a common first indicator of bad weather approaching?

The most common early sign of approaching bad weather is the presence of dark, thick clouds. These clouds form when warm, moist air rises and condenses.They have the ability to obstruct the sunlight and create a gloomy appearance in the sky.

Other warning signs may include

  • Changes in wind,
  • Temperature drops,
  • Increased humidity,
  • Distant thunder,
  • Fog.

How to find if there is any severe weather alert in my area before leaving for the scheduled flight?

There are a few ways to find out if there is a severe weather alert in your area before leaving for the airport or taking any flight:

  • Check the website of your national meteorological service. For example, in the United States, you can check the National Weather Service. Make sure you check the weather in advance on websites like Windy, AccuWeather, MSN Weather
  • Check the website of your airline. Many airlines have pages on their websites that list current weather conditions and any severe weather alerts that may affect their flights.
  • Use a flight tracking app. There are many flight tracking apps available for smartphones and tablets. These apps often provide information about weather conditions along the flight path.
  • Listen to the news. Local news stations often report on severe weather alerts.

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