Delayed or cancelled flights are a concern for anyone travelling, as they can disrupt your travel plans. Companies like Flightright have been helping air passengers over the years fight for their rights and get compensated for unjustifiable flight disruption. While this is great, you should also be familiar with some of the top reasons why your flight can be delayed or cancelled.
1. Weather Conditions
The weather at the take-off point or arrival point or in-between can determine whether an aircraft can move or stay grounded. This is a common reason for flight delays and conditions. Not all weather conditions are enough to disrupt a flight, so when asking the airline for the cause, ensure they specify the weather condition. Most times, it is in severe unpredicted situations such as earthquakes or hurricanes that flights are mostly cancelled. This is classified as extraordinary circumstances, in which case the airline is not held responsible and you may not be compensated.
2. Air Traffic Control (ATC) restrictions
Sometimes, there may be restrictions on the number of aircraft permitted to take off within the same time interval. Every year, there are new aircraft and the need for more flights, which means the traffic continues to grow yearly. Despite how organized airports are, this could result in a clash in schedules. When this happens, restrictions are placed on some flights to avoid collisions in the air. This could lead to long flight delays or cancellations. In this case, the airline is not fully responsible, so whether or not you get compensated could depend on them.
3. Technical Issues
A lot happens in the background before a plane can take off and if there’s any slight error in the process, the aircraft could be grounded for a while. This is to ensure the safety of air passengers and isn’t considered to be out of the airline’s control. You can get compensated if the airline presents this as a reason why your flight got disrupted.
4. Security Threats
Security at the airport is taken seriously, and they wouldn’t mind cancelling or delaying any flight if it means that air passengers are safe. If anything threatens security, it can eventually affect your flight. Examples include fire explosions, civil unrest, terror attacks, etc. Getting compensated in this situation would depend on the kind of security threat and also what the airline’s policy is on that.
The EU 261/200 regulation protects your rights as an air passenger if your flight ever gets delayed or cancelled. However, this is for flights departing from or arriving at EU member states, with an airline headquartered in the EU. You are entitled to compensation between €250 and €600, among other things such as complimentary food and drinks and a hotel booking.
You are only entitled to monetary compensation if the reason for the delay or cancellation was within the airline’s control. If it was due to extraordinary circumstances, like adverse weather conditions, then the airline isn’t obligated to compensate you.