I was talking to a friend recently and he referred he was in a delayed flight from Brussels a couple of weeks ago due to de-icing.

Basically the plane already had an initial delay to which summed up the need to apply liquid to avoid ice on the wings. The pilot said it hadn't been done properly so they had to have it done a second time, which resulted in another wait of almost an hour.

Is he eligible for compensation or does this fall in the weather conditions situation. It's not very clear, he arrived more than three hours late, and service at the airport was terrible, but in other hand one feels that safety should come first and companies shouldn't have to weight about losing money on compensations vs safety.

  • 1
    Hard to tell without more details. The delay was probably not due to de-icing (which only takes like 10 minutes). We'd need to know the reason for the hour-long wait afterwards, which presumably was due to a missed departure slot (having to wait for a new one).
    – TooTea
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 12:28
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    It even depends where your friend was flying from. De-icing is an exceptional circumstance on Malta (so - no compensation) but normal and expectable in Sweden (compensation).
    – Neusser
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 12:32
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    @TooTea according to him there were many planes being de-iced, and since his plane requested de-icing a second time they probably gave him less priority (just assuming) therefor the 1 hour interval between the two.
    – nsn
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 12:49
  • As a side note, the reason to get the second one was probably that the de-icing expired. It is impossible for the pilot to judge the quality of the de-icing from the cockpit. He can have clear ice on the wings and not even notice it.
    – gstorto
    Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 22:51

1 Answer 1


The airline is not obliged to give compensation under EC 261 in an extraordinary circumstance. De-icing is not an extraordinary circumstance:

Good news for passengers: de-icing is not an extraordinary circumstance. Although airlines have in the past argued that it is, a district court in Germany ruled that airlines have to compensate their passengers. Flight-delayed.co.uk think that is a fair point. Airlines might not be able to control the weather, but they can control the organisation that surrounds the process of de-icing and getting the big birds aloft once more.


Therefore, if under EC 261, you can request compensation.

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