EasyJet failed to listen to reason over a flight compensation claim

Two months ago I flew to Marbella with seven friends from Bristol for a weekend hen do.

On the day of our return, our flight was cancelled with no reason given and we were put on a flight two days later.

After five hours waiting in the airport for easyJet to allocate us accommodation, we were advised this was not possible and we had to arrange our own, at our own cost.

The alternative flight took us to Luton instead of Bristol and we had to find our own way home.

We were initially told at the airport that the cancellation was due to air traffic control strikes, although other flights were departing, and that we could not claim compensation under EC regulations because this was an “extraordinary circumstance”.

We put in claims for our accommodation and travel expenses and I was told I would receive mine within 14 days.

In the meantime, some of my friends tried claiming for compensation anyway, and have received payment.

One – in a letter confirming the payout – was told the reason for cancellation was a technical fault, others it was crew issues.

I have received neither expenses nor compensation.

LK, Pontnewydd, Cwmbran

EasyJet rests its case on the fact that on receipt of your claim it informed you that you were eligible for compensation.

What, in fact, it did was provide details to help you claim from your travel insurer. You were turned down by the latter because easyJet blamed crew issues which were excluded from payouts in the insurer’s terms and conditions, whereas technical faults, the reason given to your friend, were covered.

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EasyJet told me this reason was, in fact, given in error and that the delay was due to an absent crew member. “We have apologised for the confusion and for the delay in payment of her compensation and expenses,” it says. “These have been processed, along with a gesture of goodwill.”

Two weeks later you’d still received nothing and easyJet blamed another error. Miraculously, when given an ultimatum, it managed to transfer the money within hours, despite insisting refunds take days.

PA and his family from Great Bookham, Surrey, were also left to pay their own way home when their easyJet flight home from Mallorca was cancelled. They landed at Bristol three days after their scheduled arrival at Gatwick. “We were told that easyJet would cover our transport costs for the 150-mile journey to Gatwick from Bristol, the extra three days parking at Gatwick and additional kennel fees for our dog.

“Now easyJet is saying that under EC rules, they do not owe us for anything except meals and we are £465 out of pocket,” he writes.

An airline is contractually obliged to get you to your destination and, if it can’t, it must pay for alternative transport there, so to refuse your travel expenses is shameless.

EC regulations are less clear about consequential expenses such as parking and dog care, but if the airline does not specifically exclude them in their terms and conditions they should be liable for these, too, when a flight is cancelled.

EasyJet realised this (after a nudge from the Observer) and immediately stumped up the full sum plus a £150 voucher in contrition for the two months it had refused your claim.

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If you need help email Anna Tims at your.problems@observer.co.uk or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number. Submission subject to our terms and conditions



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