Lightning strike at Stansted airport- compensation?


Our Ryanair flight has been cancelled this morning due to a lightning strike on Stansted Airport overnight damaging their refuelling system. Will we be entitled to compensation or does this fall under the "exceptional circumstances" / bad weather clause? Anyone have any experience...


  • TyzapTyzap Forumite
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    It's an unusual situation but one that shouldn't be able to occur imo.

    Most major electrical installations, churches, tower blocks etc are protected from lightning strikes by earthing straps and other electronic protection devices.

    Airports, are by their very nature, built on open flat areas of land that makes them more prone to lightning, so you would expect the correct preventative measures to be in place.

    If the fuelling system was not correctly protected correctly you may have a valid claim as the airport and their fuelling system are an essential part of the supply chain to the airlines.

    I have no doubt that the airline will reject your claim but that is where you must start, they may surprise us all and pay out without question!!

    Good luck.
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  • Caz3121Caz3121 Forumite
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    I doubt they will pay out compensation and will call EC
    not just Ryanair affected -
  • Alan_BowenAlan_Bowen Forumite
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    Ryanair had no control over the fueling system or the weather, I do not see any valid claims here against the airlines at Stansted today
  • TeahfcTeahfc Forumite
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    That!!!8217;s when travel insurance is a must. Such a grey area that will end up with a claim on your insurance.
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  • edited 27 May 2018 at 2:40PM
    peterbakerpeterbaker PPR
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    edited 27 May 2018 at 2:40PM
    Alan_Bowen wrote: »
    Ryanair had no control over the fueling system or the weather, I do not see any valid claims here against the airlines at Stansted today
    And on what authority or qualification do you spout that? There are a lot of disrupted passengers coming here looking for good advice - not what you can "See" Mr Bowen, unless you qualify it carefully.

    I am being asked about what to advise 8 lads stuck in London at the moment who learned just 20 minutes ago from me (not contacted by their airline) that their flight is cancelled. Do they use their booked taxi to go to Stansted, or?

    At the moment they could book tomorrow on another airline from another London airport at about £400 a pop.

    The BBC report linked to by another poster above reads as if the airline's spokesperson is accepting that EC261 applies in this case i.e. customers can reroute (using another airline).

    I am no expert on EC261, but looks to me like it is more likely to apply than not.

    If the airlines do not want to plan far enough in advance and refuel for the morning flights when they arrive the night before, then that's their lookout., surely?

    Airline's lines and online chat are both no help at moment (bombed out).
  • edited 28 May 2018 at 9:48AM
    Alan_BowenAlan_Bowen Forumite
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    edited 28 May 2018 at 9:48AM
    Peterbaker, I clearly have upset you by my spouting but I do not want anyone to get their hopes up that a lack of fuel this morning due to the strongest electrical storms seen for years will lead to Ryanair offering to pay compensation. They do have a duty of care to those stranded but I do not see 250 Euros under EU261 being payable in these circumstances. As to what qualifications I have, I have been advising the travel industry and its customers for 30 years, but if I have upset you, please feel free to ignore my advice
  • Hello Alan Bowen,

    You are now blurring what you said. You said
    I do not see any valid claims here against the airlines at Stansted today

    You seem to have immediately leapt from the chaos being suffered by stranded passengers, to deflecting them from making any claim? Instead, surely what might have been useful might have been offering some advice on what to do next?

    For your information, I have been in touch with Ryanair and asked "Can you confirm EC261 applies?" The immediate response I got was "Yes, that is correct".

    Later on they chose to correct my label EC261 to EU261, but they did not deny that re-routing and reasonable receipted expenses were for their account.

    They've invited a claim.

    Your continued conjecture about lack of fuel and strongest electrical storms being a reason to claim exceptional circumstances doesn't look like that of a professional commentator. You'll perhaps be introducing the concept of Acts of God next?
  • worried_jimworried_jim PPR
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    I've got my popcorn out.
  • JPearsJPears Forumite
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    Peter baker needs to reign it in a bit. Won't be getting any help from me and I suspect others with that attitude. Regulars posters on hear usually know what they are are talking about. Passengers are fully entitled to duty of care under reg 261/2004, but unlikely to get compensation over and above limited expenses.
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  • So the Ryanair help desk at Stansted has created something approaching a 3 hour queue (one active staff member now on the desk) whilst some other active Ryanair representative somewhere seems to have persuaded the airport to let them make tannoy announcements suggesting customers reboot online.

    We are of course talking the largest airline by far at Stansted.

    And what really was the problem in the first place? Stansted Airport have I think commented somewhat cryptically about a failure in their refuelling system. Do they actually mean that those humans in charge of the on airport underground refueling network which puts a underground connecting point right next to almost every aircraft stand, and then requires a (wo)man and a little pumping van to connect the aircraft via the pump to the underground supply, may have refused to do so during the night citing thinderstorm activity as a Health & Safety risk?

    Might be useful if someone would actually say, eh?
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