In the event of flight cancellation and delay of over three hours, consumers have right to claim a standard compensation from the airline. Based on the related European Court of Justice ruling, a technical problem is very rarely regarded as a valid reason for not paying compensation.
Even unexpected technical problems caused by prematurely failing components cannot be considered as exceptional. In order to refuse to pay standard compensation to a passenger, an airline should be able to prove that the problem in question affected flight security and was caused by sabotage, terrorist acts or a hidden manufacturing fault applying to more than one airplane in the same fleet of which the manufacturer or a flight safety authority has published a notification.
The right to compensation does not apply if the delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Extraordinary circumstances include e.g. labour disputes, unsafe weather conditions, security risks, political instability and decisions related to air traffic administration causing the delay or cancellation.
The burden of proof concerning the cause of a delay rests with the airline.
Delay of flight