Reader Question: Finnair Flight Delay & EC 261/2004 Compensation?


A LoyaltyLobby reader left a question regarding a significant Finnair flight delay and compensation request that was denied by the airline.

Reader Question AY

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Here’s the message from the reader:

I’m battling with Finnair at the moment over a 4 hour delay that I experienced on New Years Eve 2016 flying Helsinki to Kuusamo. Finnair are arguing that compensation is not payable as the delay was due to pilot sickness and work to rule action. My understanding is that neither are regarded as “exceptional circumstances” and therefore compensation is due. I welcome views from anyone who has experienced a similar situation.

Finnair basically never pays EC 261/2004 compensation and always blame extraordinary circumstances unless national enforcement body is getting involved. The delay payment here per EC 261/2004 would be 250 euros.

Finnair pilots are not on strike that would qualify for extraordinary circumstances. They merely don’t do overtime or change their schedules at the moment. Also, Finnair pilots are going through A350 certification that takes number of pilots off from operating flights.

Pilot sickness is also not an extraordinary circumstance. Finnair should ensure that they have adequate number of cabin and cockpit crew to operate flights.

The reader should contact the national enforcement body of the country he/she lives at:

Download (PDF, 220KB)


It is very unfortunate that Finnair practically always tries to claim extraordinary circumstances when none exist.

The only way to get the airline to pay is either open a complaint with one of the national enforcement bodies or deal with a company that handles these EC 261/2004 delay compensations.

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