What is a late aircraft delay? Compensation?

What is a late aircraft delay?

Flight delays are a common occurrence, and they can be caused by a variety of factors. One type of delay that passengers may encounter is a late aircraft delay (or late arrival delay, as sometimes it is called). This occurs when the incoming aircraft that is scheduled to operate a flight arrives late, causing a delay for the outbound flight. You may have experienced that as well — when you have to wait for a plane to arrive.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at what a late aircraft delay is, what causes it, and what you can do if you experience this type of delay.

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What is a late aircraft delay?

Late aircraft delay is a situation where a flight is delayed due to the late arrival of the aircraft assigned to operate that particular flight. To put it simply — your flight is delayed because of a delay of the previous flight. It is also called “late arrival delay”.

When a flight is delayed due to a late aircraft, it can cause a domino effect of delays and cancellations for subsequent flights that are scheduled to use the same aircraft.

For example, if a plane scheduled to depart at 10:00 AM is delayed by an hour due to a late aircraft, it may not be able to depart until 11:00 AM. As a result, the subsequent flights that were supposed to use that same aircraft may also be delayed or cancelled, causing inconvenience for passengers and possibly even financial losses for the airline.

What causes that? What causes flight delays?

There are, literary, a million of possibly reasons for flights delays.

They can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:

Late aircraft delay compensation

When it comes to compensation, the rules are super simple.

In Europe, all flight delays are treated equally. If it’s due to something extraordinary, you can’t get compensation. At the same time, if it’s due to airline’s fault — you can get compensation.

Yes, passengers affected by this type of delay may be entitled to compensation under the EU Regulation 261/2004, which sets out the rights of air passengers in the event of flight disruptions. The rules are almost identical with all UK flights. However, in all cases, there are certain requirements that must be met in order for you to be eligible for compensation.

Here are the requirements:

  • Flight must be delayed for 3 or more hours;
  • It must be due to the fault of the airline;
  • Flight must be departing from Europe, or arriving in Europe. If the airline you are flying with is from Europe, the European regulations apply to all flights departing from and arriving in Europe. With non-EU airlines, these rules apply only to flights departing from Europe.

If these requirements are met, you are entitled to compensation under the EU Regulation 261/2004 or the Regulation UK261. The amount of compensation depends on the distance of the flight, and ranges from €250 to €600 per passenger. You can get up to 600 euro for a single flight. Learn more - UK/EU flight delay compensation.

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Delay must be due to the airline’s fault

As you can see, one of the requirements is that it must be airline’s fault.

If it’s a delay, it must be due to the airline’s fault. What does it mean?

If a flight is delayed due to the airline's fault, it means that the airline is responsible for the delay — the delay was caused by something related to the operations of the airline. When it comes to European flight compensation and air passenger rights, all of that is considered to be avoidable. This can include situations such as:

  • Technical problems with the aircraft;
  • Crew scheduling issues;
  • Crew unavailability;
  • Lack of available aircraft;
  • Any other factor that can be attributed to the carrier.

Any time your flight is affected by this type of delay, you may be entitled to compensation under the European flight compensation regulations. As long as the other requirements are met.

Right to care

In Europe all air passengers are well protected.

If your flight is late, the airline must provide you with certain services for free. In this case, it doesn’t matter what is the reason for the delay. You are entitled to this, even if it’s due to bad weather or other events airlines have no control over. As long as the delay is 3 or more hours.

Here is what the airline must offer you, if you are stuck at the airport.

According to the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, Article 9:

  • free meals and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time,
  • free hotel accommodation if a stay of one or more nights is necessary,
  • two free phone calls, e-mails or faxes.

Read more: Right to care

What if your flight gets cancelled due to late arriving aircraft?

If your flight gets cancelled due to late arriving aircraft, you have a right to UK/EU flight cancellation compensation, new flight to your destination (or full refund to bank account), and you also have a right to care form the airline. Often you have a right to all of that.

Learn more by reading about UK/EU flight cancellation compensation.

By Europe and EU we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin, the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

Featured photo by Kelly