Airline passengers expecting to be able to make claims for flight delay compensation following ‘bird strikes’ have been left disappointed following the latest ruling from the European Court of Justice.
The court has ruled that a collision between an aircraft and a bird(s) is an ‘extraordinary circumstance' and as such, is not a reason for an airline to have to pay compensation if a flight is delayed as a result.
Thousands anticipating pay-outs of up to €600 have been told that they won’t be able to claim.
The details of this landmark case involve two Czech passengers, whose flight from Bourgas in Bulgaria to Ostrava in the Czech Republic was delayed by over five hours due to a bird strike.
In previous judgements, the test applied by the courts has been 'inherency' i.e. whether or not this problem is actually inherent in the day to day running of an airline.
However, the judges making this most recent ruling have concluded that an airline is not obliged to “take measures which would require it to make intolerable sacrifices”.
In short an airline cannot be held wholly responsible for bird strikes when they are to a degree relying on other entities such as airport managers and air traffic controllers to prevent these from happening.
Unsurprisingly the ruling has been welcomed by many of Europe’s airlines.
Here at FairPlane we would still recommend that you contact us directly or input your details into our claim form to see if you have a claim for flight delay compensation, irrespective of what you may have been told by your airline. It only takes minute and its worth clarifying that the officially recorded reason for the delay is the same one that you’ve been told by airport staff.