A flight company must be prepared for crew getting sick before flights. That is what one of Denmark’s two High Courts, Østre Landsret, decided yesterday, on Thursday 30 March 2017. As a consequence, the Finnish airline, Finnair, must pay a compensation of 4465 Danish Kroner to a Danish woman who was delayed due to a pilot having stomach issues.
In February 2014 the Danish woman had booked a flight from Bangkok to Helsinki, from where she was supposed to take another flight back to Copenhagen, but as the pilot of the flight fell ill with stomach issues, causing him to throw up, the flight and its 223 passengers ended up being delayed by nearly 14 hours.
According to an EU regulation, if flight passenger is delayed by three hours or more they can seek compensation, but not if the delay is caused by so called exceptional circumstances such as a work strike, weather conditions or political instability.
Even though the pilot only started to feel ill just two hours before departure, it is not what the courts would call an exceptional circumstance, and therefore Finnair must pay compensation to the Danish passenger.