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Bad Weather Flight Delay Compensation Claiim

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Flight from Innsbruck to Bristol was delayed by 10 hours due to bad weather at Bristol airport causing a knock on effect delay of inbound aircraft

EasyJet has quoted "extraordinary circumstances" and denied claim. Several court cases have ruled that airlines couldn't demonstrate they had done everything in their power to prevent the delay and that weather conditions affecting a previous flight does not fall under the airlines defence of extraordinary circumstances

We were only offered 23 euros each for refreshments which doesn't go very far at airport prices and we were not offered overnight accommodation or a refund of flight costs after 5 hours delay

To take our claim through a third party would cost £25 for a losing claim but full compensation if found in our favour

Would be interested to hear of any similar experiences and the outcome of the claim
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I had a flight cancelled a couple of seasons ago, Manchester to Munich. Both airports were open and operating, but due to staff shortages at Manchester since people could not make it to work due to snow, many flights were cancelled. I ended up staying the night at a Manchester airport hotel at my own cost and getting another flight the following day.

I looked into compensation but was categorically told by the airline, the airport and third party claims handlers that I would have no chance as the cancellation was weather-related. I could have claimed on my travel insurance, but the cost of the hotel was £90 and the excess was £75, so I didn't bother.
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11 hour delay from Finland to Heathrow. No help from Crystal; just abandoned. Both airports were operating fine. Our plane had been diverted to France as an airport was shut there and they needed our plane. No apology from Thomson just an eff off. We instructed a no win no fee solicitor and got £800 and the solicitors got £400. My advice would be don’t even bother trying to sort it yourself.
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From EU Directive 261-2004:

As under the Montreal Convention, obligations on operating
air carriers should be limited or excluded in cases
where an event has been caused by extraordinary
circumstances which could not have been avoided even
if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such circumstances
may, in particular, occur in cases of political
instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with
the operation of the flight concerned, security risks,
unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes that
affect the operation of an operating air carrier.

My view is, as you have said it was weather that caused the delay, that you have 2 hopes, no hope and Bob Hope and he is on the golf course. Unfortunate for you but that's flying.
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How many flights are there to/from Bristol? I wouldn't have thought it operates at maximum capacity for 18 hours a day. Seems unlikely that you could get a 10 hour delay purely from "a knock on delay on inbound aircraft". If perhaps there was bad weather for 7-8 hours, and then only a further 2-3 hours from a backlog, your chances are probably reduced.

Personally, if there is a delay initially caused by a weather problem, the last thing I want to do is to encourage airlines to push the boundaries in order to avoid paying compensation.

The trouble with the current system, with EU compensation levels often significantly higher than flight prices, is that it doesn't always lead to the best overall customer solution. If an airline finds it has a significant backlog problem, then rather than operate all flights with a significant delay, the best economic solution may be to simply cancel a few flights entirely (or delay them by say 24 hours), in order that later ones can then all depart on time and avoid compensation. Not sure that is really what we as consumers want!
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Looks like circumstances entirely beyond the airline's ability to affect, to me. Can't see that there is a claim. Might be worth checking with a no win no fee solicitor just in case, as bambionskiis has suggested.
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chocksaway wrote:
From EU Directive 261-2004:

As under the Montreal Convention, obligations on operating
air carriers should be limited or excluded in cases
where an event has been caused by extraordinary
circumstances which could not have been avoided even
if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such circumstances
may, in particular, occur in cases of political
instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with
the operation of the flight concerned (my italics),....

My view is, as you have said it was weather that caused the delay, that you have 2 hopes, no hope and Bob Hope and he is on the golf course. Unfortunate for you but that's flying.


Isn't the OP's point (and the basis of the apparently successful claims in similar circumstances) that the weather didn't affect the operation of the flight concerned (Innsbruck airport was clear it seems) but that the weather in Bristol affected a previous flight?
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@gazza330, what loss have you suffered?
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@gazza330, I couldn’t be bothered personally, I’d put it down to experience and in future not use the airport and/ or carrier, whoever you have beef with.
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I`d be inclined to take it to a no win no fee solicitor. If they agree to take the case they`ll be fairly certain of winning because they don`t want to waste their time. From you point of view, what have you got to lose?
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@CaravanSkier, time
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it's a delay because of weather . . . what's the point of trying to get compensation because the weather was bad. Sniff it up and move on. Increased grey area claims like this only put up the price of flights in the long run.
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@alti - dude, 👍
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Having a squint - if it was March 18th, then Bristol Runway was Frozen & the plane left BRS late to Innsbruck.
If you can establish planes was landing at Bristol at your scheduled time, then that should prove its easyjets fault for not having a plane available.

Operational failures are not covered by extraordinary circumstances.
The plane Easyjet planned to use to bring you home was delayed leaving bristol.
That is not your problem. Easyjet should make sure they have other planes in the fleet available or wet lease one.
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@gazza330, have a read through this thread compensation - i think the scenario may be similar. Can't remember what the outcome was though.
Airlines like Easyjet play fast and loose with the rules so you shouldn't take their word for what is right and wrong, and whilst I dislike the compensation culture there are rules they should follow and if they don't then they should not be allowed to get away with it. If operating in a reasonable manner puts up the cost of flights slightly, so be it.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Markymark29 wrote:
@CaravanSkier, time
Fair comment!
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Think you should look to take legal action against God for weather related problems. I certainly don't want to pay for a bunch of planes on standby just in case they are needed ! Easyjet were great when I had a cancelled flight . . . nothing they could do about GVA closed and it was a quick simple refund. Rentalcar.com gave a refund on a discretionary basis. I had travel insurance to protect me from losses.
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Thanks for all your replies, just shows the knowledge amongst fellow snowheads. We were out of pocket for a hotel stay @ Bristol airport (no other hotel rooms were available in the area) and also extra parking costs and hotel meals circa £350

Whilst I appreciate that the weather is no fault of the airline I am of the opinion that they should have considered the weather forecast and made plans accordingly.

I also appreciate that compensation claims can push up the cost of flights but feel that we are at lease entitled to recover our out of pocket expenses
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What times were you delayed from until?Im struggling to see how a 10 hour delay caused so many problems unless it was an evening flight - but in that case you wouldn't need a hotel in bristol? And if you had a car at the airport surely you could have drove to somewhere a bit cheaper or even home?

Quote:
We were only offered 23 euros each for refreshments which doesn't go very far at airport prices


Airports are not that expensive. Thats plenty to keep you fed.

Agree delays are a massive pita, but at the same time it seems like you haven't really tried to hard to minimise your losses either.
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boarder2020 Flight was scheduled to depart Innsbruck @ 1105, eventually departed at 2130 arriving Bristol 2230. Then we couldn't exit aircraft due to problems with gangways, finally leaving aircraft 0030. Too tired to drive home hence lucky to find room in hotel near airport. Refreshment vouchers at Innsbruck total 23 euros each for a 10 hour period only enough to purchase a light snack and couple of drinks so yes airports are expensive for food and drinks. So can't agree with you as we indeed try very hard to minimise our losses and finally as per my original post there were no available hotel rooms in the area as we would have taken that option if available
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boarder 2020, sorry posted on old account which I thought was redundant
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I'm on my mobile hence brief.

Airlines must show the extraordinary circumstances apply to your flight specifically. Disruption to a previous flight is different. As you say there are several cases showing this.

I had BA cite extraordinary circumstances due to disruption to a previous flight, on a flight cancelled last year. After challenging it quoting the case law they paid up. It took two letters. So just write directly citing the relevant case law keeping it specific and factual.
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bambionskiis wrote:
My advice would be don’t even bother trying to sort it yourself.


The solicitor will quote the same EU regulations and relevant case law as you can. It's all there if you Google it. There's really no need to pay a solicitor 400 out of your compensation. A couple of letters should do it. There's model letters on numerous websites, just tie your circumstances in to the regulations and relevant case law. Worth a couple of letters yourself before engaging solicitors.
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Gazzza wrote:
bambionskiis wrote:
My advice would be don’t even bother trying to sort it yourself.


The solicitor will quote the same EU regulations and relevant case law as you can. It's all there if you Google it. There's really no need to pay a solicitor 400 out of your compensation. A couple of letters should do it. There's model letters on numerous websites, just tie your circumstances in to the regulations and relevant case law. Worth a couple of letters yourself before engaging solicitors.


totally agree with this
also give a few case details proving they are wrong & show precedent has already been set.
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I’d personally avoid the no-win, no-fee solicitors as I think they are a bunch of scumbags and I dislike the whole culture. If you think you have a valid claim then pursue it yourself. I’m not sure you will get very far with the hotel claim as that arose after you had returned to BRS.
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Quote:
boarder2020 Flight was scheduled to depart Innsbruck @ 1105, eventually departed at 2130 arriving Bristol 2230. Then we couldn't exit aircraft due to problems with gangways, finally leaving aircraft 0030. Too tired to drive home hence lucky to find room in hotel near airport. Refreshment vouchers at Innsbruck total 23 euros each for a 10 hour period only enough to purchase a light snack and couple of drinks so yes airports are expensive for food and drinks. So can't agree with you as we indeed try very hard to minimise our losses and finally as per my original post there were no available hotel rooms in the area as we would have taken that option if available


Maybe my idea of minimising losses is a little different. For example I wouldn't be "having a few drinks" when tap water is free. That would give me 23 euros for food which is more than enough for a "snack" - more like a decent hot meal plus a snack. Also, don't see how you would be too tired to drive - looks like about 18 hours you would have been awake, but mainly sitting around not particularly taxing. OK maybe you wouldn't want a long drive but I'm sure you could of managed a short drive to a cheaper place for hotels. Also I'm not sure why they should be expected to cover your evening meal - you would have had to fed yourselves in england that evening regardless if the flight was on time or not.

I agree with alti-dude that these type of claims are just unnecessarily putting up flights. Sure back in the day before the compensation culture camemin people would have sucked it up and driven home or camped out in the airport. Now its how much money can I get, best stay in an expensive hotel that I'll be able to claim back.
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boarder 2020, the couple of drinks were indeed bottled water together with a light snack of a sandwich each which just about covered the 23 euros offered. As mentioned there were no cheaper hotels available in the Bristol area that night, we were very lucky to get the airport hotel at the late hour. To all others many thanks for some useful information which we will consider with regards to a possible claim
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
I’d personally avoid the no-win, no-fee solicitors as I think they are a bunch of scumbags and I dislike the whole culture.

That's a very broad stroke you used to paint. What about people who can't afford the up front cost? So even if they have a legitimate case, good solicitor's shouldn't take those to avoid being tainted as "scumbags"?
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Some airlines just lie. A Monarch flight we were due to depart on from Innsbruck landed at Salzberg instead, due to "low cloud" over Innsbruck, thus making us well over the compensation limit of three hours late. Except every other flight landed and took off around that time so we didn't believe their "reason". We complained and got the weather excuse. When we pointed out all the other aircraft seemed not to be affected and even sent evidence of this, they stuck to their guns and said that it was the pilot's decision and he decided it would be unsafe and his decision was final.

Three years later, (Monarch again - yes, I know - but they were cheap and convenient rolling eyes ) we boarded the plane and it was announced that we would be going to Salzburg because of the weather in Innsbruck. Except this time we had booked with Inghams and the nice woman at the check-in desk had already told us about the change because, "The pilot's rung in sick this morning and they can't get another one who is qualified to land at Innsbruck so unfortunately they're going to have to take you to Salzburg." Ah, penny dropped!

They've gone bust now. Couldn't have happened to a nicer airline Twisted Evil .
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I'm at home today. Just looked back at my claim letter. This was the bit I put in about bad weather affecting a previous flight not being grounds for rejection of a claim :

..... the judgement in Jager v EasyJet in 2013 confirmed that adverse weather is not grounds for rejection of a claim under EC Regulation 261/2004 unless the ‘flight in question’ was directly affected by the weather. Specifically, Judge Benson ruled that weather conditions affecting a previous flight does not fall under the airline’s defence of extraordinary circumstances.

The rest of the letter had facts of the flight delay/cancellation in my case and reference to their initial rejection of my claim due to weather affecting the previous flight and a short conclusion re-iterating the claim.

Good luck.

I should add I'm also not generally a lover of a claims compensation culture but in this case our 8am flight was cancelled at 5am just as we were leaving for the airport. The re-booking helpline in the cancellation text wasn't even open ! The online system would only let us canclel or transfer to another airport but we had car hire and hotels booked at the original airport so didn't help. We ended up paying top nose tunnel rates for booking on the day and driving down. In this case I thought it was worth pursuing and was successful.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Just a bit of law for interest, Jager v Easyjet is a county court decision, therefore not binding on other courts. Such decisions can be persuasive, but it's down to each DJ to make their own decision. The airline may fold before the court (cost of their representation being a significant factor), but be prepared to lose if you do run it to its full course. There's no risk other than your court fees and out of pocket costs.

Don't think the ambulance chasers will take it to court for you, they have their bottom line to consider.
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abc wrote:
foxtrotzulu wrote:
I’d personally avoid the no-win, no-fee solicitors as I think they are a bunch of scumbags and I dislike the whole culture.

That's a very broad stroke you used to paint. What about people who can't afford the up front cost? So even if they have a legitimate case, good solicitor's shouldn't take those to avoid being tainted as "scumbags"?


Yes, that was a rather broad brush I used and I dare say quite a few respectable solicitors were inadertently tarnished with my comments. However, I do still believe that the no-win-no-fee brigade tend to inhabit the sleazier end of the legal profession. They may help some people who couldn’t have afforded justice another way, but they also encourage others who are just trying it on and hoping for a fat payout. I do hold many of these lawyers partially responsible for the massive rise in personal injury claims, the growth of claims farming, ambulance chasing etc. In addition, until recent changes in the law the NWNF layers could claim up to 100% of any damages as their fee.
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Gazzza pm sent
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This does on the face of it feel like more of a matter for a claim under good quality travel insurance rather than 'compensation'.
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Why? The delay compensation scheme is fixed and defined in EU law and is there specifically so passengers and airlines know in advance what the airlines must pay if their service is late. It's not new or some big surprise. Airlines have had to operate within this for years.
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@Gazzza, agree the compensation scheme is defined in EU law, and you may be entitled to some compensation. But all the time most people just accepted that there will be occasional delays, and ranked operational safety way ahead of timeliness, so didn't claim anything, air fares could remain low. What is new in recent years is the claims management 'industry' encouraging everyone to claim their 'entitlement'. This will inevitably lead to fare increases; perhaps even to the extent that some routes, particularly to airports that often have problems or restrictions (such as Innsbruck), may become uneconomic and disappear.

'Low fare' airlines have operated for years on the basis that most people don't claim. Do you want fares to go up, so your airline can always have a few empty planes and crew on standby (or pay the equivalent in compensation when there are delays), or would you rather have cheap fares and accept that things don't always go according to plan?
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ecureuil wrote:
@Gazzza, agree the compensation scheme is defined in EU law, and you may be entitled to some compensation. But all the time most people just accepted that there will be occasional delays, and ranked operational safety way ahead of timeliness, so didn't claim anything, air fares could remain low. What is new in recent years is the claims management 'industry' encouraging everyone to claim their 'entitlement'. This will inevitably lead to fare increases; perhaps even to the extent that some routes, particularly to airports that often have problems or restrictions (such as Innsbruck), may become uneconomic and disappear.

'Low fare' airlines have operated for years on the basis that most people don't claim. Do you want fares to go up, so your airline can always have a few empty planes and crew on standby (or pay the equivalent in compensation when there are delays), or would you rather have cheap fares and accept that things don't always go according to plan?


Its not about our choice to do this or that, its the budget airline business model.
They are making the decisions to squeeze in extra sectors with very little margin for delays in their scheduling.
These budget planes have lots of options like rebooking onto other airlines, etc.
Easyjet has 200 planes in its fleet. I find it hard they could not have got a plane to innsbruck any sooner.

So why shouldn't a person be compensated?
I have 3 compensation delays in my last 10 flights & a 4th was only avoided as KLM had a spare plane in Schipol.
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Mr.Egg wrote:
... its the budget airline business model. They are making the decisions to squeeze in extra sectors with very little margin for delays in their scheduling.

Absolutely. But that's precisely why they can offer cheap flights.

Mr.Egg wrote:
Easyjet has 200 planes in its fleet. I find it hard they could not have got a plane to innsbruck any sooner.

They may have had other delays on the same day. And they had to find a pilot qualified to fly into Innsbruck.

Adding scheduling margins, or always having spare planes & crew available, would mean services become more reliable. But both of those, or always paying all entitled compensation, will mean prices rise closer to traditional airlines. Some people will be happy with that. But probably just as many would rather keep cheap flights, and accept an occasional delay with a lower entitlement to compensation.
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@ecureuil, Sorry but I do not at all agree with you on this topic. The EU regulations apply to all airlines landing in or departing from the EU which means any airline operating in the EU will have to adjust their business model to those regulations. It is a level playing field in that regard.

The consequence of your position is also that it has a disproportionate effect on those least able to afford alternative accommodation/food/travel in the event of a delay or cancellation. I often travel on "budget" airlines for business and can well afford to quickly make alternative arrangements when things go wrong. My experience of such problems, however, is that many travelling on these routes simply cannot afford to do so. To the extent I have bought food and even paid for hotel rooms for distraught families on occasion. I am not that sure you have really thought it through from that perspective.
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non budget airlines get delayed as well.
I had a 5.5 hour delay leaving New York once, but they clawed back enough time to get under 4 hours.
Missed my pre-booked train back. As well as losing access to Virgin's revival lounge.
New train fare cost me £260 & we was compensated £285 each.

so compensation in the grand scheme of things was not that much after factoring the loss of the original ticket value as well.

As for Innsbruck - well if you have a tricky airport & not many qualified pilots who have the licence to land/takeoff, then you employ/train more pilots who can & make provisions.
That is a business decision.
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