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Strange Reasons For Delayed Flights

Tue, 03/21/2017
Waiting For A Delayed Flight

Airports and airlines perform huge logistical feats every day. Beside the planes landing and taking off, taxiing aircraft around the grounds and organising which terminal and gate they will arrive at and leave from, there is also the hundreds of passengers to consider for every flight. Cabin crew and airline staff have to ensure passengers get on and off flight safely, that the passengers aboard the correct flight, they have to make sure that the plane is fully equipped to make its scheduled flight, everything from fuel to toilet roll and sick bags have to be fully stocked. Nobody can deny that in aviation there are many areas that something could go wrong, or take a little longer, leading to a delayed flight. This may include things which are out of the airlines’ control, such as an Air Traffic Control or Ground Staff strike or the weather (like Storm Doris or Storm Stella in recent months).

Sometimes reasons for a delayed flight can be completely bizarre and unexpected. If your flight has been delayed but you’re unsure if you’re entitled to claim compensation, check Get Paid When Delayed to get help understanding your claim and generating a claims letter to send to the airline.

Don’t fly over spilled… OJ

In 2016 flight to Malaga from Liverpool was delayed because orange juice had been spilt. It caused an electrical fault and would have made the plane unsafe to fly. Best be careful with your drinks during turbulence!

Cheese and biscuits

Don’t get too angry with you air hostess. One passenger did when he couldn’t get cheese and biscuits served to him on a flight from Rome to Chicago and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Belfast. He should have picked his fights more Caerphilly, the other passengers Edam-ed him for not being more mature about not getting his cheese and said it wasn’t grate having to wait again for parmesan to fly.

Mouse On The Loose

Last month a British Airways flight was delayed for four hours because a mouse was spotted by a passenger when they were all in their seats and waiting to be taxied to the runway. The crew kept the mood light by saying the plane was delayed because the mouse couldn’t take off without a passport.

Onion Kachoris

A famous Indian dish from Jodhpur once made sure an Air India flight was delayed between Mumbai and Delhi. The route between Mumbai and Delhi used to make a stopover in Jodhpur, and the pilot had arranged for Onion Kachoris to be delivered to her at the airport during the usual stopover, and when the airline cut out the stopover she refused to fly the route.

Balloons and a Patio Chair

When Larry Walters famously flew above Los Angeles in 1982 in a make-shift flying machine made of a patio chair and 45 helium balloons, he drifted into controlled airspace above the airport, meaning numerous flights had to be cancelled.

Bill Clinton’s Haircut

Among many infamous rumours about Bill Clinton’s time as President, there is a story where he allegedly caused disruptions to flight departures because he had to finish having his haircut on Air Force One before disembarking.

Puppy Getaway

New York’s La Guardia Airport had disruptions to its schedule when a puppy broke free whilst being loaded onto a plane. After 20 minutes of chasing the dog was finally caught and safely returned to the flight it should have been on. Manchester Airport had a similar occurrence with a whippet in 2011.

Gerard Depardieu

After cabin crew refused to let the French Actor Gerard Depardieu use the men’s room, he got annoyed and relieved himself on the carpet in order to spite them. This led to a delay of two hours because the aircraft had to be cleaned before take-off. Depardieu’s fellow passengers later claimed ‘it was clear that he had had a drink’.


If you’ve been delayed over two hours due to extraordinary circumstances, you are entitled to claim welfare expenses back. The airline should look after you, especially if you have to wait overnight.

If you’re unsure whether you’re entitled to claim compensation, click Start Your Claim to fill in the questionnaire and work out the amount you are owed. Get Paid When Delayed breaks down the details of your flight rights, so that you can understand your airline claim.

You can also check our FAQs or read our blogs to get more information on international air travel and passenger rights in the EU.


Lost, delayed or damaged baggage? Go to Lost & Found to generate your personalised claims letter now.


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