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Strikes, bad weather, technical issues: In which cases is an airline not obliged to compensate you?
If the cancellation or delay of your flight is caused by extraordinary circumstances not inherent to the airline and which could not have been avoided by reasonable measures, the airline is not required to compensate you.
Mrs Van Der Lans was travelling from Ecuador to Amsterdam with KLM. The flight was delayed and took off 29 hours late. The delay was caused by a technical issue owing to defective pieces. These had to be conveyed from Amsterdam to Ecuador.
Mrs Van Der Lans brought the issue to the competent court in Amsterdam in order to get compensation. The matter went to the European Court of Justice (C-257/14), which held that such an event in the flight industry was an inherent risk and therefore not an extraordinary circumstance.
The claimant received compensation.
The burden of proof lies with the airline: the airline must demonstrate, with evidence, that the cancellation or the delay of your flight was caused by an extraordinary circumstance (Article 4, European Regulation 261/2004). Unfortunately, the airline rarely details the exact reasons for the cancellation or delay.
30 April 2019
Written by Frédéric PELOUZE, Weclaim Founder & Director
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