Storm Ali: what are my compensation rights if my flight is affected by high winds?

Was your flight affected by Storm Ali?
Was your flight affected by Storm Ali?

After Northern Ireland was battered by the first named storm of the season, Ali, extreme winds of up to 80mph caused a number of flight and travel disruptions across the country.

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The Met Office issued an amber weather warning for NI yesterday. Travel experts say passengers affected by the storm wondering what their compensation rights are can’t launch a claim in these circumstances as, under EU regulation, airlines can’t be held accountable when extreme weather conditions impact a flight, however it is possible to make a claim if a previous flight has affected a connecting flight – the so-called knock-on-effect.

“As some parts of the UK felt the force of Storm Ali, we are offering the passengers affected advice when it comes to their eligibility to claim compensation. No one wants to be delayed or faced with a cancellation, however whether people are commuting, travelling for businesses or jetting off to sunnier climates, passengers’ safety is vital," airFair’s Rahul Sharma said:

“As the effects of the storm continue over the next few days before travelling to the airport we’d urge passengers to check the status of their flight on their departure airport’s website.”

Passengers’ compensation rights due to adverse weather and high winds:

Can I claim flight delay compensation if my flight was delayed or cancelled due to bad weather or high winds?

Yes and no ...

If your flight was delayed as a result of an earlier flight being affected by bad weather or high winds, you are entitled to claim compensation.

If your flight was directly affected by bad weather or high winds, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be entitled to claim compensation.

How do I know if I can claim?

EU regulation 261/2004 establishes rules on compensation for passengers in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellations or delayed flights. It applies to all members of the EU and the airlines that reside within them. Any passenger of any age and nationality whose flight departed from an airport which resides in the European Union or was en-route to an EU member state while travelling with an airline operated in the EU is covered by these rules.

As of June 2018, a new ruling by the European Court of Justice (EJC) means that those flying to or from an EU member state with a stopover in non-EU territory can claim for compensation in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellations or delayed flights.

How long does my flight have to be delayed for?

The regulation states that if you are delayed by more than three hours that you are eligible for compensation. You can also claim if your flight is cancelled or has been overbooked by the airline.

What am I entitled to?

The compensation you are owed is fixed, regardless of your flight cost. The amount of compensation you are entitled to is dependent on the length of your delay and the distance of your flight. You will receive a fixed amount between €250 (around £220) and €600 (around £530) dependent on these variables. This compensation should come on top of other extra entitlements, such as meals and refreshments, and, if applicable, overnight accommodation.

How do I make a claim?

Download the airFair App (free on iOS and Android). You only need your booking reference or flight number to launch a claim, but even without that information a check can be made using a departure date and destination airport.