Monday December 6, 2021

updated - December 6, 2021 Monday EST

4 Reasons Why Flights Get Cancelled

Oct 20, 2021 10:36 AM EDT | By David Thompson
4 Reasons Why Flights Get Cancelled
(Photo : Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay )

Flight cancellations are no longer news, especially with the impact of COVID-19 on airlines in the past year. If you're a frequent traveller, you've probably had to deal with this at some point. No one likes to have any form of disruption in their itinerary but it happens regardless. If you have ever wondered what causes flight cancellations, this article highlights some frequent reasons.


The impact of COVID-19 in every sector cannot be overemphasized and the aviation industry also had its share. The UK parliament, in 2020, noted it as the biggest threat the UK has faced in decades. This was the major reason behind flight cancellations in 2020, so it's safe to say that a health pandemic could be a reason for flight cancellation.


Security is one of the biggest factors behind flight cancellations and it varies from mundane to critical issues. Common examples of these security issues include situations of civil arrest, terror attack, terminals on fire, and any other security concerns causing the plane to stay grounded.

Adverse weather conditions

The number of cancelled flights tends to increase in winter due to how unfavourable the weather is for flights. Bad weather conditions also vary and in most cases, the bad weather isn't enough reason to cancel the flight. However, in more severe scenarios like when there are hurricanes, blizzards, or tornadoes, they serve as justifiable reasons to cancel scheduled flights.

It is also important to note that adverse weather conditions aren't only about the departure airport but also the arrival airport. If the weather condition is good on one end but isn't on the other end, the flight can get cancelled. 

Air traffic control restrictions

There are several reasons why air traffic controllers can demand that an airline cancels their flight and the airlines are required to obey these rules. With increasing air traffic and airlines in the past decade, air traffic control restrictions have also been on the rise. Sometimes, there's a surge in traffic and some flights have to be cancelled to create a balance.

What Are Your Rights in the Events of a Flight Cancellation?

Regardless of how justifiable the reason is behind your flight cancellation, no one should ever have to deal with that. This is why you have the EU Regulation 261/2004 to help passengers exercise their rights and claim compensation for flight disruptions.

However, getting compensation mostly depends on the reason behind the cancellation. If the reason was within the airline's control, you are entitled to compensation. However, if it's beyond them, then they are not obliged to compensate you. A great example is the COVID pandemic, which was not the airline's fault. In this case, you will not be entitled to a compensation fee.

If you have checked all the boxes and are convinced that you should be compensated, start by contacting the airline to get the process started. Also, ensure all your documents are intact, so you have the necessary proofs. You can also get legal assistance or work with agencies like Flighright to help you exercise your rights according to the law. 

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