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Bird strikes ruled ‘not extraordinary circumstances’ in compensation case

May 5 2015

Airlines have been dealt another blow after it was ruled that passengers whose flights are delayed by bird strikes are entitled to compensation.

A judge at Manchester County Court ruled that bird strikes aren’t rare enough to be classed as an ‘extraordinary circumstances’.

Thomas Cook Airlines had tried to use this as an excuse to avoid paying compensation to passenger Timothy Ash and others whose flight from Turkey in 2011 was delayed more than five hours.

However, district Judge Iyer ordered Thomas Cook Airlines to pay Mr Ash and four others about £310 each.

Travel Mole reports that the judge said: “For my part I observe that the word used is ‘extraordinary’ rather than ‘unexpected’, ‘unforeseeable’, ‘unusual’ or even ‘rare’. Extraordinary to me denotes something beyond unusual.

“A motorway collision between two cars on a motorway is unusual but not extraordinary, whereas a motorway collision between a car, and say, a horse would be extraordinary.

“Bird strikes happen every day, in fact many times a day, and would hardly be worthy of comment but for the delay which they cause.

“They do not fall within the same category as a motorway collision between a car and my previous example of a horse, which would be extraordinary, for the simple reason that our skies are populated with birds, whereas our roads are not populated with horses.”

If you have a flight compensation claim, call PM Law solicitors on 0114 296 5444 or fill out the form by clicking here and we can call you back.