What are “extraordinary circumstances” in cases of flight delay?

Sometimes a flight delay or cancellation will not qualify for compensation as the reasons behind the disruption were deemed to be “extraordinary circumstances”. They are factors beyond the airline’s responsibilities or control. These circumstances include:

  • Airport closures
  • ATC strike
  • Airport employee strikes
  • Political instability
  • Bomb Threat
  • Strikes
  • Birds flying into the engine
  • Animal strike (eg. Rabbit in engine)
  • Bad weather conditions
  • Medical Emergency landings

There are exceptions to the rule – for example if it is shown that the airline could have avoided the problem by taking reasonable measures, it will be liable for the delay of the aircraft. For eg. If only a specific airline has strike its considered as a company problem that could have been avoided so in this case passengers are entitled to compensation if there are flight irregularities for that reason.

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