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  • Writer's pictureAvi Aporve Khanna

Delay Concerning Crew Illness? Seeking Compensation is not an Hassle Anymore

Flight delays or cancellations are considered as one of the biggest nightmares for stranded passengers at the airport. Crew understaffed, crew out of hours and sickness is one of the major factors contributing to this cause. Although strange it might sound, but a passenger is entitled to claim compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004from airline carriers if your flight ends up being delayed for more than 3 hours (180 Minutes) due to the crew issues.

The main concept behind the EC regulation 261/2004 is to ensure the highest degree of protection for passengers. The courts consider crew sickness as inherent in the normal activity of an airline carrier and they should be prepared for it even if it’s not their fault or out of their control. The court in Helga Krüsemann and Others vs TUIfly GmbHcase ruled that “the illness of a crew member, at least where it is not due to an external act of sabotage perpetrated by a third party, and the need to replace him do not constitute ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004”.

Crew Sickness, out of hours and understaffed has been ruled by the courts as an act where airlines are and shall be responsible to pay compensation to the passengers irrespective of whose mistake it is. The EC Regulation 261/2004 makes it evident that a delay of more than three hours or more in the last six years will attract liability towards airlines carriers and passengers are eligible to claim compensation up to €600, as long as they are not covered under extraordinary circumstance. The same has been ruled by the court decision in Davies v British Airways Plcwhere a couple was awarded £310 each for a flight delay for more than 3 hours and 51 minutes due to crew illness.

The Decision in Davies made it crystal clear that although Illness faced by Airline crew is "Unusual"; However, it still cannot be considered as an extraordinary circumstance. Besides, the Court also mentioned that Crew illness doesn't come under the ambit of Extraordinary circumstances because is an inescapable fact that, on a day-to-day basis, members of staff become ill and some are taken ill and at extremely inconvenient times, Click herefor more information.

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