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In short: In EU, if a flight is delayed/cancelled that is NOT the airline's fault, to which extent are they responsible to minimize the effect on the passengers?

Concrete situation: Recently I had a flight from A through B to C. The departure of the A-B leg was delayed due to the late arrival of the plane, which would have made the connection impossible and so about an hour before the original departure from A, I was automatically rebooked to a later B-C flight of the same company, 5 hours later.

It turns out that the very first delay was due to Air Traffic control regulations, making the airline not responsible for the delay. However, I later found out that there would have been faster options from A to C (via other connection than B) within the same alliance, so one might argue that the delay was due to the bad rebooking, which was certainly within their control, and so they are responsible (should pay compensation, etc). Is this the case?

closed as too broad by cHiEf Immigration vIoLaTer, Giorgio, Ali Awan, Newton, gmauch Aug 13 '18 at 13:36

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • This is a tricky situation that would probably require a lawsuit to resolve. – JonathanReez Aug 11 '18 at 17:56
  • @m7e are you sure that the alternative route had empty seats that are enough for all the delayed passengers? – Nean Der Thal Aug 11 '18 at 18:38
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    Even if the incoming flight was delayed due to extraordinary and unavoidable circumstances, a court will not necessarily deem your delay unavoidable. Even 'air traffic control regulations' is not a blanket excuse to refuse compensation. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Aug 11 '18 at 18:51
  • However, I later found out that there would have been faster options from A to C (via other connection than B) within the same alliance You have a weak argument if you can not prove that there was enough space on alternative faster routes for ALL of you inconvenienced. I don't also think the law as it is written says you should be put on the fastest alternative route. Don't forget because there were several of you, other logistical considerations for the airline come into play. Airline routing is an optimization problem with several constraints some of which you may not know anything about. – cHiEf Immigration vIoLaTer Aug 11 '18 at 18:53
  • Thanks to all, so it is just as complicated as it seemed:) – m7e Aug 11 '18 at 19:06