Van Der Lans v KLM – technical problems are not extraordinary circumstances

 In Oakwood Solicitors - Latest News

On 17 September 2015 the European Court of Justice ruled that technical faults on aircrafts are not extraordinary circumstances under EU regulation 261/2004 (“The Regulations”). In other words, airlines will not be able to deny a passenger compensation where a delayed flight has occurred due to a technical fault.

The Decision

The court made it clear that The Regulations are in place to provide passengers with a high level of protection. As one would expect, the functioning of an aircraft will inevitably give rise to technical problems from time to time. Therefore when such problems arise these cannot be considered to be extraordinary.


The decision is clear; airlines cannot refuse payment of compensation for a technical fault. The Regulations are in place to provide protection to passengers, rather than to airlines.


To find out more about delayed or cancelled flights, and how to claim compensation for your delays – visit our flight delay page.

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