If a flight you’re booked on is delayed or cancelled you may be entitled to compensation
Under EU law, airlines are required to pay compensation to passengers when their flights are delayed or cancelled. However, you only have the right to compensation in some circumstances.
There are two key factors:
The EU law on flight compensation uses the term 'extraordinary circumstances' to refer to situations where delays or cancellations have been caused by things that are not the responsibility of the airline. If extraordinary circumstances apply, you are not entitled to compensation.
The Regulation does not define “extraordinary circumstances” and there have been a number of cases in the European and English courts regarding what the term covers. The cases have centred on whether technical faults on an aircraft could be an extraordinary circumstance. In June 2014 the English Court of Appeal issued a judgment in the Jet2 v Huzar case which provided clarity in the UK that technical problems were not an extraordinary circumstance.
In September 2015 the European Court looked at the same issue in the case of KLM v van der Lans. The court found that technical problems were not extraordinary and neither was the early failure of an aircraft component. The ruling noted two types of technical fault that may be extraordinary, a hidden manufacturing defect and damage to an aircraft caused by sabotage or terrorism.
The main categories of events that are likely to be an extraordinary circumstance include:
If you are not sure whether extraordinary circumstances apply to your flight, but have read about your other rights and think you might have a case, you can make a claim to your airline for compensation. The airline should explain to you the reason for the disruption. If they consider it was due to extraordinary circumstances they will need to clearly set out why. If they reject your claim then you can consider whether to pursue it further.
If you think you have a strong case for compensation, see how to lodge a claim with your airline.
Travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the spread of COVID-19 have led to a significant number of flight cancellations.
While we recognise that this is a very challenging time for both passengers and airlines, the passenger’s rights under Regulation EC261/2004 still apply.
Further information can also be found in the Interpretative Guidelines on EU passenger rights regulations in the context of the developing situation with Covid-19.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority has been pro-actively reviewing flights cancelled since March 2020 to consider whether they were due to COVID-19.
We have initially reviewed outbound flights cancelled by Jet2.com.
We consider that cancellations to flights scheduled to operate to/from an airport within the applicable date range provided in the table below were caused by an extraordinary circumstance.
In addition to the above, we consider that cancellations to all flights scheduled to operate on or after 17 March 2020 were caused by an extraordinary circumstance as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), having already advised against non-essential travel to certain countries, advised against non-essential international travel to all destinations from this date.
We therefore consider that consumers will not be entitled to compensation in relation to the cancellation of any flights covered by the table below and/or flights that were scheduled to operate on and from 17 March 2020. None of the above affects the consumers' right to a refund for a cancelled flight.
Heathrow required airlines to cancel a proportion of their flights based on forecast bad weather.
The reduction in capacity was to ensure flights could continue to operate safely and airlines could give advance notice to their passengers. The flights shown below were cancelled based on the expected weather conditions and in our view would be considered to be an extraordinary circumstance and not subject to compensation.
The list does not include flights cancelled on the day.
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