Have you ever had to deal with a flight cancellation and wondered what could have gone wrong? Any traveller who has experienced this, especially at the last minute, will tell you how frustrating it is. If you’re curious, we have highlighted in this article some major reasons why flights get cancelled and how to handle the situation.
1. Adverse Weather Conditions
Bad weather is one of the most common reasons why flights get cancelled. Airlines check weather predictions for the entire journey. This includes the weather state at both the take-off point and the arrival point and also in between. However, not all kinds of adverse weather conditions can result in flight cancellations but there are certain situations such as thunderstorms, earthquakes, hurricanes, and more. The airline often has no control over this, so it is classified as an extraordinary circumstance.
Security is taken seriously at the airport and if anything threatens security, the flight can be cancelled as a result. Examples of things that could threaten security include civil unrest, terror attacks, fire explosions, etc.
Sometimes, strikes may also cause flight cancellations and this can present in several ways. It could be pilot or cabin crew strikes, in which case you may be entitled to compensation. It may also be struck by baggage handlers and customs employees, who are not employed by the airline. In this case, it is considered an extraordinary circumstance. There could also be bird strikes where a plane collides with birds and eventually disrupts flight schedules, leading to cancellation.
4. Mechanical Issues
Getting the aircraft ready involves many processes, and any default can lead to flight cancellation. Maintenance checks need to be done on the aircraft and it must be confirmed that the plane is fully operational and ready to cover the necessary distance. If for any reason, the aircraft isn’t operational or ready to move, the flight will be delayed and may eventually be cancelled.
5. Tight Flight Schedule
For a busy airport, it’s not far-fetched that there may also have to be a lot of cancellations due to a clash in schedules. The airport staff works hard to ensure that there are no clashes and that everything works smoothly. However, there are situations where the busy schedule at the airport leads to numerous delays. To manage these delays, some flights may have to bear the brunt and be cancelled.
What Are Rights in the Case of a Cancelled Flight?
If the reason for the flight cancellation is within the airline’s control and not due to extraordinary circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation. The EU 261/2004 regulation, also known as the flight compensation regulation, protects the rights of air passengers in situations like this. Get familiar with the regulation and know your rights, so you know the next steps to take if your flight ever gets cancelled unjustly.
Flight cancellations have been happening for years and if you’re a frequent traveller, chances are that you have experienced it before or will experience it eventually. Get familiar with the common reasons for flight cancellations and your rights over them.