EU compensation help - force majeur?

Old May 15, 19, 4:58 am
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EU compensation help - force majeur?

Hi all,

I had a 12hr delay on a flight from Switzerland to Dubai. From what I gather CH follows EU regulations regarding flight delays. I asked Emirates for compensation and they responded that one of the pilots was incapacitated and that this doesn't warrant compensation as according to Emirates that falls under Force Majeur. I guess with that wide interpretation every single delay is force majeur! I've never claimed before, what do you guys recommend?

Thanks.
S.
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Old May 15, 19, 6:37 am
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Good luck trying to get EK to compensate on EU261. I eventually gave up trying after 6 months back and forward with them, on a genuine claim which they couldnt really get out of paying
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Old May 15, 19, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by modularmayhem View Post
Good luck trying to get EK to compensate on EU261. I eventually gave up trying after 6 months back and forward with them, on a genuine claim which they couldnt really get out of paying
MoneyClaim Online....
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Old May 15, 19, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by stowaway View Post
I had a 12hr delay on a flight from Switzerland to Dubai. From what I gather CH follows EU regulations regarding flight delays. I asked Emirates for compensation and they responded that one of the pilots was incapacitated and that this doesn't warrant compensation as according to Emirates that falls under Force Majeur. I guess with that wide interpretation every single delay is force majeur! I've never claimed before, what do you guys recommend?
If this was actually a case where a pilot was taken ill, the I can sort of understand EKs position. Are they supposed to have backup pilots at every outstation?

Is there any sort of consumer system similar to MoneyClaim Online or CEDR in Switzerland? It's up to EK to prove that their reasoning was truthful, so get them to provide the exact details.

The thread on the BA forum gives loads of information.

The 2019 BA compensation thread: Your guide to Regulation EC261/2004
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Old May 15, 19, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
If this was actually a case where a pilot was taken ill, the I can sort of understand EKs position. Are they supposed to have backup pilots at every outstation?
No....but they are supposed to reroute passengers to avoid inconveniencing them.

Of course, given that the amount of compensation is relatively small in comparison to the cost of re-routing an entire plane's worth of passengers [and, in many cases, some or all of that compensation will still be due even after the passengers have been re-routed but still arrive late], and in view of many airlines' strategy of fobbing off passengers knowing that most will give up, they know they can get away with such things.

To the OP: find an agent that handles claims for passengers departing from CH or living in your home country, and enlist their help. Some of the agents have a checker online that allows you to first determine whether, based on their understanding of the facts, the flight in question falls within the scope of the regulation or not. If an agency doesn't consider that it does, then there is no point seeking compensation.
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Old May 15, 19, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by stowaway View Post
From what I gather CH follows EU regulations regarding flight delays.
CH is not part of the EU but nevertheless applies some EU laws due to other agreements. This includes Regulation 261/2004 on air passenger rights. However, CH is not bound by the rulings of the European Court of Justice and so may interpret things such as "force majeure" differently than EU countries, so don't rely too much on court rulings from EU countries.
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Old May 15, 19, 6:06 pm
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I'm not sure how OP makes the jump from a sick pilot to "everything" is force majeure. It strikes me as a classic example of an extraordinary circumstance at a location where one would not expect this carrier to have backup crew stationed.

The Swiss courts will back EK here. Unlike in the EU, the judges tend to enforce -- not write -- the law.
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Old May 16, 19, 2:34 am
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As your flight was from EU, EU regulation EC 261 is valid for your flight. I am not sure about your case, but it might be claimable. I see Emirates are not willing to pay, so you should try using any flight company service.
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Old May 16, 19, 3:19 am
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Originally Posted by john2233 View Post
As your flight was from EU, EU regulation EC 261 is valid for your flight.
Switzerland is not in the EU.

However, in light of the Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on Air Transport, which entered into force on 1 June 2002, Switzerland is bound by EU regulation in this sphere, including EC261/2004.
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Old May 16, 19, 5:38 am
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Crew sickness is not an extraordinary circumstance. Sick staff is normal for an airline. It's their risk.
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Old May 16, 19, 5:49 am
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
Crew sickness is not an extraordinary circumstance. Sick staff is normal for an airline. It's their risk.
Perhaps in the EU. Not likely in Switzerland.

Even in the EU that is a far-fetched concept for a carrier not based at ZRH.
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Old May 16, 19, 6:29 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Perhaps in the EU. Not likely in Switzerland.

Even in the EU that is a far-fetched concept for a carrier not based at ZRH.
Do you have anything to support the assertions that a Swiss court would rule in favour of the airline in the situation that th OP had?
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Old May 16, 19, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I'm not sure how OP makes the jump from a sick pilot to "everything" is force majeure. It strikes me as a classic example of an extraordinary circumstance at a location where one would not expect this carrier to have backup crew stationed.
As far as I always understood, Force Majeur is a major event completely out of control of the parties - natural disaster, terrorist attack, bad weather etc. Other things I can think of like a labor strike or airport running out of de-icing fluid during the winter (happened to me years ago). That's outside of the airline's control. I would argue that anything related to the crew or plane falls within the airline's control. Otherwise couldn't they always claim Force Majeur? Plane has a technical issue and that wasn't expected. Force majeur! We unexpectedly didn't sell enough tickets and decided to cancel a flight. Extraordinary circumstance. Force Majeur etc...
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Old May 16, 19, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by stowaway View Post
As far as I always understood, Force Majeur is a major event completely out of control of the parties - natural disaster, terrorist attack, bad weather etc. Other things I can think of like a labor strike or airport running out of de-icing fluid during the winter (happened to me years ago). That's outside of the airline's control. I would argue that anything related to the crew or plane falls within the airline's control. Otherwise couldn't they always claim Force Majeur? Plane has a technical issue and that wasn't expected. Force majeur! We unexpectedly didn't sell enough tickets and decided to cancel a flight. Extraordinary circumstance. Force Majeur etc...
I think that the airline's intent is to try to get rid of person without paying - unless pushed far enough that it has to - cheaper than paying out straight away

so - initial position - force majeur

I don't believe that crew issues are necessarily "extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken"

Force majeur is not something referenced in the regulation
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Old May 16, 19, 7:05 am
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Crew sickness is not an extraordinary circumstance. Sick staff is normal for an airline. It's their risk.
Perhaps in the EU. Not likely in Switzerland.

Even in the EU that is a far-fetched concept for a carrier not based at ZRH.
I am not an expert on some precedent in Swiss law.
However, I'd be quite surprised why a Swiss court would issue a completely different verdict than a German (EU) court would do.

Staff sickness is an issue each transportation provider (e.g. bus, train, ship, metro) has to deal with. It is a completely common thing that people get sick. Each company has procedures in place to solve problems arising from sick calls.

-> There is nothing extraordinary in the fact that one crew member gets sick.

As far as I always understood, Force Majeur is a major event completely out of control of the parties - natural disaster, terrorist attack, bad weather etc. Other things I can think of like a labor strike or airport running out of de-icing fluid during the winter (happened to me years ago). That's outside of the airline's control.
Well, I wouldn't agree with that. There can be event that are outside the control of the airline, but are not extraordinary regarding EC261/2004. If an event happens many times during a year, it is not extraordinary anymore.

e.g.:
- normal snow activity in HEL in the winter
- normal thunderstorm activity in SIN
- screw-ups by a provider
- continuous ATC delays (which happen very often and can be predicted)

In Swiss court of law I would ask EK how often do they experience crew sickness. EK will most likely refuse to share any numbers. However, that means EK has no chance in proving the extraordinary nature of that event.

Last edited by warakorn; May 16, 19 at 7:10 am
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