Claiming compensation for Boeing 737 Max grounding
On Sunday 10th March a Boeing 737 Max-B aircraft belonging to Ethiopian Airlines, on a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed within minutes of taking off. The aircraft was less than 6 months old and is the same model as the Lion Air Boeing 737 Max that crashed last October shortly after takeoff killing all 189 people on board.
Boeings insistence that the aircraft was safe didn't stop first the British government to ban the aircraft, quickly followed by the rest of Europe and countries worldwide. Now Boeing has finally succumbed to pressure from its own President and pulled all 371 aircraft.
Which airlines use the Boeing 737 Max?
Tui Airways, who have 15 of the aircraft, have announced that there will be no disruption to flights as they have sufficient other aircraft to cover for the grounded planes.
Norwegian Air who are the largest European buyer of the 737 Max with 18 aircraft has already apologised for any delays and cancellations and promise to claim back their losses from Boeing.
Turkish Airlines owns 11 of the aircraft and flights due to land in the UK have been turned back to Turkish airspace when the announcement was made.
Lot Airlines owns 5 aircraft. Air Italy own 3 of the aircraft.
What are my rights if my flight is cancelled?
If you have booked to fly with an airline affected by the grounding then you are entitled to the following:
1. If your flight is cancelled then you are entitled to a full refund of your flight.
2. Your airline should provide an alternative flight either with itself or via another airline if necessary.
3. If you are on a package holiday it is your travel operator that is responsible for getting you home - you may be entitled to a full refund of your holiday if an alternative flight result in a significant portion of your holiday to be missed.
4. If you are delayed at an airport the airline is obliged to provide you with food, hotel accommodation and transfers appropriate to the length of the delay.
Can I claim compensation for a Boeing 737 Max flight delay?
The grounding of an entire fleet of aircraft by a government will usually be deemed as an "extraordinary circumstance" which means you would not be eligible for flight delay compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004.