Six basic questions and answers concerning earthing of Boeing 737 MAX and compensation options.
When is the right to compensation for a cancelled or delayed flight for the reason of earthing of a Boeing 737 MAX type aircraft constituted? Can I claim compensation for a cancelled flight if I have bought a package and the flight is cancelled by the Smartwings or another airline company and with it my package is cancelled too? Is there any protection against flight cancellation or delay? See below for the answers to these and other questions.
The world of air transport is certainly shattered by the current issue of earthing of aircraft type Boeing 737 MAX for the reason of the recent air accidents of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines. As the accidents were similar and for the reason of their subsequent investigation there is a worldwide ban of operation of these air-planes until recall. Consequences of this decision have manifested themselves early for there were around 300x air-planes of this type in operation around the world at the time of the earthing notification. In Europe about 20% of these air-planes are operated, which makes more than 50 vessels, used by Norwegian Air (18), TUI Group (15), Smartwings (7), Iceland Air (5), LOT Airlines (5) and Air Italy (3). And this lit must still be extended by the airline companies significantly affecting aviation in Europe, such as Turkish Airlines (11) or Flydubai (11).
Flyers from the Czech Republic have certainly been most affected by the flight restrictions concerning Smartwings (former Travel Service), operating their own lines as well as regular lines of the Czech Airlines (ČSA). In the summer month this company is the main transport service partner to local or Slovak travel agencies as the provider of charter flights to Greece, Turkey, Spain and other holiday destinations. The first negative impact of the restriction placed on this company came on the very day of the aircraft earthing, when two Smartwings air-planes had to interrupt their flight to the Czech Republic and land on alternative airports outside the EU. For the passengers using them this means several-hour delays of their original plans. Soon afterwards the airline company announced cancellation of their regular line Prague – Dubai – Prague. The latest recent information about restrictions in the flight schedules of Smartwings concerns reduces capacity of summer seasonal flights by 8%. All these limitations already now negatively affect thousands of travellers.
Due to the approaching summer holiday season and further newly emerging problems with the Boeing aircraft their return to the air in near future cannot be expected and thus the negative impact on flyers is going to continue. What is the right to compensation for delayed or cancelled flights in this case? We have selected the main five FAQs and here are the answers to them:
1) Is earthing of Boeing 737 MAX type aircraft an emergency or not?
Emergency is a circumstance the airline company cannot affect or avoid. Earthing of Boeing 737 MAX type aircraft resulted from an error in the aircraft software directly affecting flight safety. This is by definition a manufacturing defect not caused by the airline company, which thus could not be affected or avoided by the airline company in any way. In this sense it is an emergency.
2) I was in one of the planes that had to land on other airports due to the ban of their flight to the EU. That generates a several-hour delay and related costs. Do I have the right to compensation for the delayed flight and can I be compensation for damage it caused to me?
In this particular case compensation for delayed flights and potential damage compensation cannot be claimed towards the airline company. The announcement of the ban of the flights to the EU came when the planes were in the air. The airline company could not avoid or prevent this ban in any way. Potential damage compensation can only be applied with insurance companies if the applicable insurance coverage exists.
3) My flight was cancelled due to the ban of operation of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Do have the right to compensation for the cancelled flight?
According to European Regulation EC61 there is no right to compensation for a flight cancelled more than 14 days before the scheduled departure. This however only applies if the information about the flight cancellation is received by the flyer within that deadline. So for example if the flight was purchased through a booking office or a travel bureau etc. and the airline company announced the flight cancellation to the booking office or the travel bureau but these failed to notify their customers within the given deadline then the customer's right to compensation is constituted as the particular traveller did not receive the information more than 14 days in advance of the scheduled departure day.
4) My flight was delayed by more than 3 hours. The airline company wrote me that I was not entitled for any compensation for the delay was a consequences of the ban of flying imposed on Boeing 737 MAX. Do I have the right to compensation for the delayed flight?
The right to compensation is constituted unless the delay is directly related to the aircraft earthing and the moment of the ban. Later the airline companies have already had enough time to adapt their flight schedules. Any delays of scheduled flights are governed by the standard rules and therefore problems with Boeing 737 MAX aircraft can no longer by claimed.
5) My travel agency wrote me that they cancelled my package less than 14 days before the scheduled package start. I required compensation for the flight cancellation but I received an answer informing me that I had not right to the compensation for the cancellation was a consequence of the ban of flying imposed on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Do I have the right to compensation for the cancelled flight?
If the notification of the flight cancellation was delivered less than 14 days before the scheduled departure then you are entitled for the compensation. The airline company already had enough time to adapt its flight schedules. Any scheduled flight (including charter flight) cancellations are governed by the standard rules and problems with Boeing 737 MAX aircraft can no longer be claimed.
6) Is there any protection or security as concerns the right to compensation for a cancelled or delayed flight?
Our service FUTURE FLIGHT WATCHDOG will always give you the required certainty about the compensation claim constitution. Just register your scheduled future flight in our form here and we will watch your flight for you free of charge. After the date of your flight we will let you know whether you are entitled for any compensation or not. Then you can decide at your sole discretion whether you want to use our services for claiming the compensation or not.
Also, if any past flight was delayed or cancelled for you or you missed the related next flight and you are not sure of your potential right to compensation you can check this without any further action liability and for free in our