Airline Technical Delays – Passenger Compensation

August 20, 2015

Following a legal ruling in 2014 clarifying regulation EC261 and ‘exceptional circumstances’, airlines are required to pay up to £460 per passenger as compensation for delays over 3 hours caused by aircraft technical faults. This applies to any flight leaving an EU airport and any flight into the EU on an EU-based airline.

A quick search of the web for ‘airline delays’ reveals the extent to which a new industry has quickly established itself to help passengers claim and win compensation from airlines… and today, the CAA is in the news for ramping up its enforcement of airlines paying such compensation, specifically in regard to claims that may date back up to 6 years.

This may be all well and good for delayed passengers, but it is certainly an extra unwanted hit to airline operating costs – with airlines having to put millions in their budgets to cover such payments. In truth, compensation is only part of an airline’s costs for delays – but it makes solutions that reduce the number and duration of delays even more attractive… and indeed, necessary.

Predictive maintenance can’t do much to help airlines avoid historical claims, but it can certainly help in avoiding future lengthy technical delays and associated costs – but it isn’t only predictive maintenance that can help.  Enabling faster and more accurate troubleshooting with smarter diagnostics, or making systemic improvements through maintenance optimisation can also make big differences.

So next time your flight is delayed due to an aircraft technical fault, whether qualifying for compensation or not, ask yourself whether the whole disruptive and costly event could potentially have been avoided in the first place though predictive maintenance and similar technologies – there’s a good chance it could have been.