Airlines refer to an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ as anything unexpected or outside of their control and they do not have to pay compensation if your delay was caused by “extraordinary circumstances”.
The following situations are considered extraordinary:
- Industrial action: Strikes by ground staff and/or air traffic control
- Political circumstances: Terror attacks, political unrest, security risks
- Weather conditions: Heavy rains, snow, storms etc
- Illness: Sick crew member or passenger
- Delays caused by the airport staff (long queues during security checks)
- Security risks
Technical faults do not count as examples of extraordinary circumstances.