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EU Court Rules Unexpected Co-Pilot Death Not a Valid Reason for Airlines to Avoid Compensation

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — In a recent ruling by the European Union's top court, airlines cannot be exempted from compensating delayed passengers even if the delay is caused by the unexpected death of a co-pilot just before a scheduled flight. ( More...

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CathyDrzyzgula 9
I keep getting stuck on "unexpected", are there expected copilot deaths?
Jake Grafton 1
Nultech 9
They should have taken a page out of "Weekend at Bernie's", strapped the late co-pilot into his seat and flown. <sarcasm off>
Jimmy Schottel 4
None for our flight when the pilot got ill. Guess death is less dramatic?
They’re all heart.
Richard Wood 5
Surely airlines should have insurance for this and other eventualities?
Hans Björkman 4
Funny enough, I spent time with a pilot yesterday plane spotting, he was on paid standby in case a pilot dies or what ever! 😂
Strange times it seems@!
John Taylor 1
Just have pilots current in every type of aircraft the airline flies at every airport just sitting around waiting for an incapacitated pilot? Not only is that impractical and expensive, but there is a shortage of pilots industry-wide as it is. You think they have spares just sitting around? A pilot having a heart attack is out of the airline's control as much as bad weather.
Michael Ragsdale 1
John, there are numerous OTHER reasons than death that require "Reserve" pilots at airlines.
sconklan 5
I think it's hilarious that governments want airlines to pay for delays, but if you are taking a bus, taxi or a train, forget about it. It's all about what the elites do. To be fair, in Europe, the trains are on time.
Matt West 2
The UK does require reimbursement for delayed trains:

“ You're legally entitled to compensation of: 50% of your ticket price if you get to your destination between 30 minutes and an hour late. a full refund if you arrive more than 1 hour late.”

How easy it is to get that compensation is probably a different matter though.
Ian Gregory 1
They couldn't afford it!
LawrenceShaw 1
Flying is what the “elites” do? Take a flight on Spirit.
Greg S 3
According to the article the EU grants a compensation exemption for bad weather. How is bad weather any less likely than an unexpectedly sick pilot? Bad weather these days is quite predictable 24 hours in advance and airlines have ways to route around it. Am I reading the article wrong?
Bruce Horwitz 3
bad weather is out of the airlines' control. What could they possibly do to eliminate the delay. Replacing a sick pilot, as @hans Bjorkman wrote above, is something an airline can do to eliminate any delay.
John Taylor 0
And just have pilots current in every type of aircraft the airline flies at every airport just sitting around waiting for an incapacitated pilot? Not only is that impractical and expensive, but there is a shortage of pilots industry-wide as it is. You think they have spares just sitting around? A pilot having a heart attack is out of the airline's control as much as bad weather.
SF3aviatrix 1
"Crew unavailable". Doesn't matter the reason. Airline pays!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Rick Bennette 4
I had heart issues two weeks after jab 2. They had us so scared of possible death if we didn’t take it. Looking back, I wish I had abstained. I will never trust the government on anything but figuring out ways to take more of our money.
Stephen Leftly 4
I am sorry to hear about your health issues.

However nationwide statistics are hugely positive in regards to the safety of the vaccines.

The risk reward reward ratio is massively positive in favor of getting vaccinated.

The probability of the vaccine being the cause of your heart problems is very very low. Not zero but very very low. The odds of serious health issues, including death, from getting COVID-19 way outweigh the risks from the vaccine.
John Taylor 2
The odds are all well and good until you're on a flight that the pilot has a heart attack and dies at some critical point in the flight.
David Carter -3
Stephen leftly is lying or is uninformed about the statistics on injuries and death from the zab.
Nathan Cox -9
"...airlines cannot be exempted from compensating delayed passengers even if the delay is caused by the unexpected death of a co-pilot just before a scheduled flight."

Is anyone wondering about all of these "sudden death / died suddenly / untimely death" reports coming out shortly after the jabs? Why did 90% of my colleagues capitulate to this? While stories like these are sad because someone lost their life, they aren't surprising if you did some research and knew the possible consiauences. Clots, anurisms, strokes, heart scarring. Thank GOD there are 2 of us up front at any given time. I suspect the demand for unjabbed pilots will go up in the future.

For those that will thumbs down my post, you might not like my take, but it's true. If you disagree, state why and I'll check back.
Greg S 6
"... but it's true." What in your screed is true? It's all just your opinion, therefore it isn't true or false. There's a lot of speculation about vax-induced deaths but essentially no hard evidence. There are also a lot of unexplained excess deaths, but no evidence yet to blame it on vaccines.
Georgina Echols 1
There is a lot of death everywhere some just died naturally which doesn’t need to be explained by scientists.

Covid probably caused some deaths but not all. And the jab probably caused some deaths, but again not all, and scientist have been proven wrong many times in past for a lot of things, except now many won’t admit it for fear of the Government
Stephen Leftly -2
Last time I checked there were under 10 deaths due to COVID-19 vaccination.

So odds are:
10 in 600,000,000 from dying from the vaccine ie 1 in 60,000,000
1,100,000 in 330,000,000 from dying from COVID-19 ie 1 in 300

Pick one!
John Taylor 1
OK doctor, tell us how you determined there were under ten deaths due to the vaccine. You are delusional. The actual number is unknown because the government, their stooges in the media and the manufacturers don't want to know if there is a correlation and all of the news stories about the deaths of athletes and other otherwise healthy people never states a cause of death. And any serious scientist that tries to study it is quack. For you to make a blanket statement that less than ten people have died as a result of the vaccine shreds your credibility. Did Pfizer send you here to spread their propaganda?
jetjocknj 1
jetjocknj 4
Ignorance based on right-wing ideology instead of science. CDC: "severe reactions are rare." From all my reading, debilitating reactions are a statistical nullity.
Cynthia Fisher 2
You still believe the CDC?
Stephen Leftly 0

By just about every scientific measure the vaccines are incredibly safe and very effective.

The only significant downside is that their protection does not last as long as we would wish.
John Taylor 2
Safe and effective. Hahahahahhahhahahahahahahahaaaaaaaahahahahahhaahahhahhhahhaaaa.
John Taylor 0
CDC got everything wrong. They said masks were needed then said no. They said you could get or pass the virus of you got the shot. They were wrong. If you believe the CDC for any serious information, good luck with your health. They totally ruined any credibility they had in every instance of action they took. And ruined a lot of lives and livelihoods along the way.
Gloria Johns -1
My gosh! This started out to be a thread about airline compensation and pilots dying and ended up being a debate about the vaccine. How stupid is that?!
Cynthia Fisher 6
It’s stupid not to question why the increase in pilot injury and death.
jim sisti 1
Just keep your foil hat on and you'll be fine. After all, it helped you get thru science class in high school, right?
John Taylor 1
"The Science" can be bought and paid for just easily as "The Politicians". A piece of advice when it comes to the science; follow the money. Scientists that have a different theory about climate change; shutdown by the media as quacks. Scientists that had a different opinion on Covid and its related science; shutdown as quacks. You might be well served to view "The Science" with a bit of skepticism.
linbb -3
And up go the ticket prices know its a problem but thinking of it in one way would take for every flight a complete crew on standby. That part sounds somewhat easy but not all pilots and copilots are current or even able to fly each and every model and type of AC they have. Its a huge problem for pax and airlines somehow to deal with. Sounds easy just to pay 200 PAX money because there flight was cancelled now comes where does the money come from?
Alan Hewat 7
This rarely happens, so no effect on ticket prices. No airline is going to keep pilots in reserve in case one dies just before a flight. Cancelled and delayed flights are often a major problem for passengers; for airlines such problems should be unusual and part of the cost of providing the service.
Greg S 1
Very good point. It was silly for the airlines to even fight this considering it probably happens less frequently than once every five years.
John Taylor 2
They've had a couple that have had heart attacks in flight within just the past year. I hate to be "that guy" but in all reality, there seems to be a real correlation between the Covid vaccine and heart attacks. Since all of the airlines mandated getting the vaccine, I would not be surprised to see at least a small uptick in this happening.
Hans Björkman -2
Less profit for the stockholders. I cry my tears out. 😢
Greg S 7
Many stockholders are pension organizations, so in effect there are ton of middle-class stockholders. The model of stockholders as all being some variety of the fat-cat Monopoly dude with the curved mustache is a little outdated.
Stephen Leftly 0
Not sure that the fat cat understanding is not true.

While it is true pensions do hold stocks it all gets a little difficult (to say the least) to analyze what percentage that is and the wealth of those pension plan holders. Typically rich people are significantly over represented assetwise in pensions and 401k, IRA etc.

Sadly a very significant proportion of the US population have zero savings beyond their Social Security. I believe it is true that the majority of US citizens do not have enough money to comfortably retire.

Overall something like 40% of the nation’s wealth is held by the top 1%.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

btweston 7
“I know! I’ll think of something really stupid and post it on the internet under a random news article!”
Gloria Johns 0
This site has a legitimacy problem. I'm thinking these folks have nowhere else to go.
DNev 0
I'm not sure why this statement is being downvoted by so many who have upvoted Nathan Cox's comments. I wonder if Andy had said "Is unexpected death a thing ONLY in the professional pilot community? Or has it increased for that community, just like every other social, or professional group who did get the vaccine. Think of the athlete's that have suddenly passed or nearly so. They were in top physical condition and jabbed. Nathan's last comment addressed this well. It has to be attributed to something! What changed recently? Hmmmm.

I feel bad for all the "sheep" that simply went along with the push and didn't think for themselves. I'm not saying Covid wasn't/isn't real, but with a 99.98% survival statistic, even for those over 65, why would anyone think that a vaccine was necessary, let alone force it on someone in order to keep their job.

Think for yourselves before that too is against the law.
Gloria Johns 1
Oh, my gosh!
Stephen Leftly -1
Your survival stat is wrong.

It is more like 99.7% with +60% vaccination rate and new antiviral medications that did not exist in 2021

You are 117,000 times MORE likely to die from COVID-19 than the vaccine

The unvaccinated are something over 6 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the vaccinated even though the vaccinated group is heavily overweighted with those most likely to die from COVID-19. .

Those odds make it a totally foolish NOT to get vaccinated.

The “sheep” in this case are those that followed the totally insane anti-vaccine nuts. That group represents over 500,000 citizens that died unnecessarily. 500,000!!!!!!
John Taylor -2
I've been reading your comments Stephen and you last name fits your viewpoint perfectly; Lefty. You're pro-vax even though it's been shown ineffective and really unnecessary yet you still advocate for it. You talk about people holding 401k's and IRA's a fat-cats and spout the old taking point about the 1% holding all the wealth. I'm 66 and got Covid before I was allowed to get the vaccine and it was slightly worse than the flu. The majority of people who died were the sick, weak and infirm that likely would have died had they gotten a bad case of the flu. But due to the media sensationalism, we got daily updates of the dead. And the vaccine has been shown in studies to cause myocarditis in healthy young men. Denying facts doesn't make them go away. We can expect to see an increase in heart attacks in otherwise healthy pilots just like is happening in athletes.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Greg S 4
You have absolutely no idea, none at all, about the rate of "unexpected deaths" before versus during COVID. You're entire belief system is based purely on anecdotal evidence and forwarded information on the social media channels you follow.
John Taylor 0
Keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep at night.
Alan Sanderson -3
This is FLIGHTAWARE, not COVID AWARE. All COVID related posts and replies should be REMOVED. There are literally HUNDREDS,if not thousands of COVID related sites where those ppl can POST.
Cynthia Fisher 3
It is about the COVID vax; that is causing pilot illness and death and subsequent delays and cancellations.
John Taylor 0
There has been scientific studies showing direct correlation to Covid Vaccines and heart attacks. This article is about a pilot having a heart attack causing a fine for a flight delay. That very much makes this an issue. I have read about at least three pilots having heart attacks in flight within the last year. That was unheard of in past years. The FAA even changed their rules for pilots with heart conditions. That makes the reality of increased heart attacks a fair subject in these comments.
jetjocknj 1
"Scientific studies showing direct correlation to Covid Vaccines and heart attacks"? I doubt it my friend. "Three pilots having heart attacks in flight within the last year?" I doubt that too. (More ignorance and prevarication powered by right-wing memes.)
John Taylor -1
Talk about "Act of God" occurrence. How can an airline be held accountable for that? I guess they know the Covid vaccine has had negative cardiac effects and expect the airlines to keep an unvaxxed pilot handy just in case. I know, I know. I'm not an antivaxxer. This just seems ridiculous.


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