Passengers who suffer delays on flights due to weather may be able to claim compensation of up to the equivalent of $700 thanks to EU regulation EC 261. There are several conditions that passengers must meet to be able to claim. These include the amount of time after its scheduled arrival time that a flight lands, whether it was within the EU or operated by an EU airline, that the passenger arrived at the airport and checked in on time for their scheduled flight, and that this delayed flight took place within the past three years.
Generally speaking, a passenger doesn't have the right to compensation if the delay was caused by circumstances outside of the airline's control. This means that in many cases, delays caused by serious adverse weather events such as lightning strikes and heavy storms cannot be claimed. However, there are some situations where the airline is still responsible for a weather-related delay: if they have not taken all possible precautions to prepare for predictable weather events.
For example, if a flight departs late due to heavy snowfall and having to remove ice from the wings, but the airline had failed to stock up on enough deicer for the coming winter, then they could be deemed responsible for the flight delay. Flight delay compensation weather claims in these cases are even stronger if other flights were able to depart within the same time period as the delayed flight was scheduled to take off.
AirHelp is the world's largest air passenger rights organization, here to help air travelers secure compensation for delayed, canceled, or overbooked flights.
We make claiming compensation easy and stress-free. Whether you are unsure of your rights, lack the time, or simply want an expert to handle your entire claim for you, AirHelp can help you get what you are rightfully owed.
We operate on a no win, no fee basis, so you can check your compensation risk-free.
How do you know when you should claim compensation for a delayed or canceled flight? Though the law can be complicated, we're here to break it down for you:
Delayed flights: you may be able to claim compensation if your flight arrived 3 hours or more late.
Canceled flights: you may be eligible for compensation if your flight was canceled less than 14 days before it was due to depart.
Overbookings: you are owed compensation any time you are denied boarding through no fault of your own — so long as you didn't voluntarily give up your seat.
We should note that if extraordinary circumstances were involved, arirlines are under no obligation to pay compensation. Examples of extraordinary circumstances include bad weather, travel restrictions, and air traffic control strikes. Though these situations cause delays and cancellations, the airline isn't at fault, so can't be expected to offer compensation.
Remember these are European flight regulations and so only apply to flights departing from an EU airport, or flights landing in the EU with a European airline. The table below makes it clear which flights are covered:
|All flights under 1,500 km||Up to €250 per person|
|Internal EU flights over 1,500 km||Up to €400 per person|
|Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 - 3,500 km||Up to €400 per person|
|Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km||Up to €600 per person|
Table shows values in € as specified in EC 261
In some circumstances the compensation amount may differ from the standard amounts shown above. The easiest way to find out what you’re owed is to use our Compensation Calculator.
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