Flight diversion compensation: Brussels Airlines 515 as an example

By now, perhaps you’ve heard of the mishap involving flight SN 515. In what’s been dubbed the nine hour flight from Brussels to Brussels, a transatlantic flight operated by Brussels Airlines had to turn around after 4.5 hours and head back from where it took off. This amounted to 9 hours of flying for passengers to be stuck back where they started from. So is this a flight delay? Well, technically, it’s a diversion.


What’s the difference between a diversion and a delay?


In simple terms, a diversion occurs when a flight has been initiated and the plane has to land (there are several reasons why this would happen) at a different airport other than the one that’s in the booking. The same flight can be affected by both problems. Let’s say, depart with a delay of 45 minutes and be diverted mid route because of an issue.


What happened to the Brussels Airlines flight?


Flight SN 515, on June 22, was scheduled to depart from Brussels and arrive in Washington eight hours later. Before the plane could depart, the airline decided to operate the flight with a different aircraft. The reasons why Brussels Airlines decided to utilise the other aeroplane haven’t been shared. After the plane switch, the flight took off only for the crew to realise that the aircraft being flown did not have all the proper paperwork to land in the United States of America. It was then when the plane had to be diverted back to Europe.

Brussels Airlines compensation for diverted flight

What happened to the passengers and are they entitled to compensation?


Passengers on board the flight are not only entitled to compensation, they were also entitled to the corresponding care and assistance as stipulated in Regulation EC 261/2004. The airline had to re-book them on different flights for them to be able to reach their final destination and provide meals and hotel accommodations for the passengers that needed them.


Flight diversions count as delays and passengers should be compensated


The fact of the matter is that a diversion will usually result in passengers reaching their final destination with a delay greater than three hours. Therefore, they are entitled to claim compensation under the same criteria set out by the European regulations. That means that if the disruption was not caused by an extraordinary circumstance, they should be compensated with up to 600 euros depending on the distance of the flight.


Was Brussels Airlines 515 affected by an extraordinary circumstance?


It’s difficult to argue against the fact that the diversion was caused by a mistake made by the airline itself. Lufthansa Group, including Brussels Airlines, might argue that the issue should be interpreted as an extraordinary circumstance or that the problems was outside of their scope of influence, but we would say that passengers are still entitled to compensation.


How can passengers claim compensation for their diverted flight?


We’re here to assist passengers whose flight has been disrupted and to make sure that the airline pays their compensation. We will manage the claim and fact-check the airline. All under our 25% win-fee. Our win fee stays the same, even if we have to go to court to claim the compensation. Best of all, passengers only have to pay it if we successfully claim their compensation! Do you know anyone who was on board SN 515? Let them know that we can help them with enforcing their rights!


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