In two recent cases, the Court was asked to consider whether the operating air carriershould pay out on a flight delay claim.

Primera Air refused to pay compensation to the passengers concerned, whose arrival at the airport of destination was delayed by 11 and 9.46 hours, respectively.

The cases referred to in the following are:
The Supreme Court of Denmark No 39/2015
The Supreme Court of Denmark No 41/2015

flight delay
Technical errors
The delays were caused by a technical error on both planes. The position of the flaps on plane 1 did not appear on the correct switches and plane 2 experienced a fuel leakage.

The rules
According to article 6 and 7 of regulation (EC) No 261/2004, passengers have a right to pursue a flight delay claim and recover compensation.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has already in the famous cases Sturgeon and Böck determined that passengers can plead the compensation rules of the regulation.

Furthermore, if passengers arrive at their destination 3 hours or more after the expected time of arrival, they are also entitled to flight delay compensation.

However, according to article 5 (3) of the regulation airlines are not obliged to pay compensation if it was caused by extraordinary circumstances.
The airlien must prove the extraordinary circumstances and prove that the technical errors could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.  Full article is here.

The Court therefore had to determine whether the technical errors were “extraordinary circumstances” as understood in the regulation.

Extraordinary circumstances?
Due to the rough element in which the airlines operate, technical errors must be expected of a certain frequency. Operating air carriers need ongoing maintenance to ensure safety on board. Technical errors that are caused by a lack of maintenance by the operating air carrier are not covered in the definition of extraordinary circumstances.

On this basis, the Court ruled that the technical errors could not be seen as “extraordinary”. They were by the Court regarded as ordinary errors which are to be expected in the field of operating airlines.  

The passengers therefore had the right to reclaim flight delay compensation.

Contact our team today to reclaim your flight delay compensation on a no win no fee basis.

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