Am I entitled to compensation if I am three hours late because the pilot was sick? A passenger on a flight to Tenerife took his case to the Courts and now the Commercial Court number 2 of Palma has handed down a sentence ruling that the illness of a pilot is not an extraordinary cause in case of delay and, therefore, Therefore, it entitles passengers to their respective compensation.
According to the sentence, the judge has estimated, specifically, the demand of a passenger who saw his flight delayed for more than three hours due to the illness of an airline pilot, something that the airline suspects was force majeure.
Now, after the ruling, the company will have to compensate the affected party with 400 euros, a customer of reclamador.es, who has expressed his “satisfaction” with the ruling, understanding that there are extraordinary situations that are not under the control of the airline, as it can be due to meteorological causes, but that the illness of an employee cannot suspect a force majeure.
“From the airline there must be a protocol for action in emergency situations so that this flight can be carried out by another available pilot,” the online legal services company has insisted.
The flight in question, which had its origin in Avilés (Asturias) and destination Tenerife (Canary Islands), in September 2021, arrived with a delay of more than three hours. In these cases, the regulation establishes a compensation of 400 euros, since it is a mid-stay flight.
Thus, the airline, which never denied such a delay, according to the sentence, alleged that the delay was due to a cause not attributable to the company as it was caused by the illness of the first flight officer, which they considered an extraordinary cause.
However, the Court of Palma, in its ruling, has denied that the illness of a pilot is a cause of force majeure and has indicated that it is a situation that falls within the normal exercise of the company’s activity.
“It is assumed the existence of an emergency action protocol that establishes that, in the event of a cause of incapacity on the part of the pilot or co-owner of a flight, a substitute pilot must be immediately requested from among those who are available. Therefore, it is appropriate to conclude that we are not facing an extraordinary circumstance,” the sentence cites.