Bird Collision & Passenger Compensation

Bird Strike: An Extraordinary Circumstance

Each year, hundreds of thousands of travelers face flight delays or cancellations due to aircraft damaged by bird strikes. This is considered since 2017 as an extraordinary circumstance allowing, except exception, the company to exempt from its obligation of compensation.

Bird Strike is considered by the EU Court of Justice as a cause that can not be controlled by the company, which explains its addition to the category of extraordinary circumstances that are a priori exonerative.

Bird Strike: Compensation

As a result, the passenger will not be able to receive compensation unless the airline can not demonstrate that it has taken all reasonable steps. Indeed, this is an obligation by the Court which obliges the airline to prove that all reasonable measures have been implemented to prevent this event.

Thus, the carrier will be obliged to pay financial compensation to the victims of cancellations or delays caused by these avian impacts if it is unable to provide evidence of reasonable precautions that have been undertaken to avoid the realization of this risk.

It is important to know that you are entitled to an indemnity if the collision occurred during a rotation of the aircraft unrelated to your flight.

Example: If the collision occurs while landing an A-B flight, and your flight (following) B-C has been canceled or delayed due to repair, you may receive an indemnity from the air carrier.

Also, you can claim compensation if your flight is delayed due to a collision and other non-exonerating circumstances provided that the delay caused by the non-exonerative conditions is greater than 3 hours.

Example: Your flight is delayed by 4 hours because of a non-exoneration event and then you are delayed by 1 hour following an avian collision, the calculation of your compensation is done for the duration of the delay caused by the non-exoneration event. exonerated, a delay of 4 hours.

Despite these small exceptions, airlines are no longer required to compensate passengers who are victims of disturbances (cancellation or delay) caused by collision with birds, according to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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