Fog! Can You Claim Compensation For Bad Weather Flight Delays?
If you have been lucky enough to escape from flight delays due to the weather, there is still a very good chance that you have seen news reports of delayed and cancelled flights from time to time.
However, if you were affected do you know your rights in terms of compensation?
In the article below we outline some of the circumstances which may allow you to submit a claim.
Be prepared to put in some effort
Airlines make it very difficult to apply to any kind of compensation so if you think you are eligible you will need to put in some effort.
Added to this there is an ‘extraordinary circumstances’ clause which covers just about anything that will delay your flight for any length of time. These are meant to cover unforeseen circumstances; events that the airline could not have predicted or prevented. These include:
- Bird Strikes, either mid-flight or during take-off.
- Personnel Strikes, unless ample time was given between the announcement of the strike and its occurrence.
- Bad weather conditions; including snow, fog, lightning, storms etc.
- Technical problems with the plane from the point it left the blocks (i.e. from when it left the gate).
- Restrictions with air traffic control.
- Illness to a passenger or crew member immediately before the flight.
There are definite instances of passengers being compensated for weather delays, as evidenced in this Telegraph article.
If your flight’s delayed for 2 or more hours
Your airline has to give you:
- food and drink
- access to phone calls and emails
- accommodation if you’re delayed overnight – and journeys between the airport and the hotel
The airline might give you vouchers to get these things at the airport. Ask someone who works for the airline if you’re not offered any help.
If they don’t give you help at the airport, keep receipts for expenses and try to claim from the airline later. Airlines only pay for ‘reasonable’ expenses – you are unlikely to get money back for alcohol, expensive meals or luxury hotels.
If your flight’s delayed for 3 or more hours
You already have a legal right to food and drink, phone calls and accommodation – you get this when the flight is delayed for 2 hours or more.
You’re also entitled to get compensation if the delay is the airline’s responsibility – for example, if they didn’t get enough bookings or there was a technical fault.
You’re unlikely to get compensation if the delay was because of something outside the airline’s control, like bad weather or a security risk.
You’re entitled to a set amount of compensation depending on:
- the distance of the flight – check the flight distance on the WebFlyer website
- the length of the delay – how late you are getting to your destination
- whether you’re flying to an EU or non-EU destination
For more on this, please click here, to visit the Citizens Advice
Third party options may offer some help
There are many companies who offer a refund claiming service for delayed or cancelled flights and you might decide that it is worth using one of these simply to save yourself the trouble of going through the process.
However, Money Saving Expert has an excellent guide to how to claim which is worth reading before you give up hope.
In many cases, you will find that you have a legitimate claim and these are all covered in great detail.
Please Note – For further insight, Thomas Busson at the Claim Compass offers an in-depth look into the options available. Find out more by clicking here.
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