Tarantula caused flight delay, airline claims in German court | News | DW | 20.04.2018
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Tarantula caused flight delay, airline claims in German court

Airlines are notorious for evading their obligation to compensate delayed passengers, and this time they're blaming a spider. A German court is ruling on whether the hairy arachnid can be blamed for a flight delay.

A French airline blamed an errant tarantula for massive flight delays in a court case in Germany on Friday.

Four passengers sued the airline after it refused to pay them €600 ($740) each in compensation, as required by European Union law for airline delays. The passengers were delayed almost five hours on a flight from Cuba to Hanover via Paris in February 2016.

Read more: Passengers' rights - what you should know

The airline told the Hanover court it did not have to pay to pay because the delays were caused by the exotic invertebrate rather than technical problems.

It said it was legally required to fumigate and ground the airplane after the discovery of a tarantula in the business class section of the plane. However, the plaintiffs argued the delays were actually caused by a technical defect.

A 2004 EU regulation requires airlines pay passengers between €250 to €600 for cancellations, delays over four hours, or overbooking. Airlines are notorious for wriggling out of their obligations, leading to the rise of legal tech firms that specialize in making such claims.

Read more: EU grants more rights to airline passengers

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