My long-distance flight (>3500km) with an EU airline (Lufthansa) is delayed for ~6 hours. At checkin they told me they had to re-route due to medical issues.

From what I found online, a medical emergency may qualify as extraordinary reasons but e.g. a delay caused by bad weather (another extraordinary reason) on the flight that brings the plan to the departure airport doesn't.

Does the same apply to medical reasons on a previous flight?


  • LH 454 from FRA to SFO had to re-route to Iceland, apparently due to a medical emergency.
  • This is the same plane as LH 455 from SFO to FRA, for which I have a ticket, and which is delayed by ~6 hours.
  • While this most likely means extraordinary circumstances for LH 454 passengers, I'm not sure whether or not it's considered extraordinary circumstances for my LH 455 flight.
  • 2
    I imagine they will claim a medical diversion is an 'extraordinary circumstance' that is beyond their control, thus denying any compensation. – Johns-305 Oct 17 '16 at 23:33

Based on the IACA pleading for a change of regulation

IACA members see the following key priorities for their business model:

an acknowledgement that airlines must optimise the use of their fleet and that reactionary (sequential) delays should therefore be taken into account in the exemptions to pay out compensation. Indeed, a flight irregularity often creates knock-on effects, i.e. impacts more than one aircraft rotation.

It is quite clear currently this is not so otherwise why would they want a change?

| improve this answer | |
  • So I guess I should be entitled to compensation? – ThiefMaster Oct 17 '16 at 22:35
  • 1
    That is my interpretation, yes. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and I do not even play one on television. – chx Oct 18 '16 at 7:16
  • I think their issue is that the effect of a delayed flight can effect several subsequent flights rather than just the immediate flight. – user13044 Oct 18 '16 at 7:22
  • Which is exactly OP's case. – chx Oct 18 '16 at 15:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.