Travellers were entitled to compensation for bird crash

5/12/2017

Flight delays caused by bird crashes usually do not entitle you to compensation. But now a new judgment shows that further circumstances in the event of a bird collision can give airline passengers the right to compensation.

According to EU rules a bird crash is considered an "extraordinary circumstance". In such cases, air passengers are not entitled to compensation when the flight is delayed. However, if the air carrier takes unnecessary actions, air passengers may be entitled to compensation for the part of the delay which was not due to the actual collision. It shows a new verdict from the European Court of Justice.

In the judgment, the airline had requested an extra check of the aircraft after a bird collision, although at first check there were no damages that could compromise the airplane's ability. In addition, the aircraft had been delayed due to a technical error before the collision. In total, the flight was delayed 5 hours and 20 minutes.

The European Court of Justice therefore ruled that air passengers should be entitled to compensation because the delay was not just due to an extraordinary circumstance. The part of the delay to be paid is calculated by deducting the delay for the bird collision from the total delay.

Read the press release on the judgement from the European Court of Justice

Facts: Your compensation for delayed flights

When you are delayed by three hours or more with an airline based in the EU, Norway or Iceland, you may be entitled to this compensation:

  • 250 euros for all flights of up to 1500 kilometers
  • 400 euros for all flights within the EU longer than 1,500 kilometers and for all other flights between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometers long
  • 600 euros for all other flights covered by EU rules.

Learn more about your rights when your flight is delayed.