In May this year, Andres Korin, 41, boarded an easyJet flight to Nice, France, after a three-hour delay at the airport. But when he and his family queued for the airlift, the flight was canceled.
“People had already boarded the plane and were seated when they canceled it. No one has been able to get a straight answer from easyJet as to what happened,” Mr Korin said.
It came 24 hours after a software glitch forced the airline to cancel around 200 flights across the country for which it had urged passengers to claim compensation under standard rules.
The family postponed the holiday and a refund was issued by easyJet along with payment of £76 in compensation to cover the cost of a taxi back from the airport.
But Mr Korin’s claim for compensation of £880 – £220 per family member booked on the flight – was denied by easyJet, which blamed the fiasco on an “extraordinary event” outside of its control. The airline said the delay and cancellation was the result of problems with air traffic control at Gatwick, for which it is not obliged to pay compensation.
An easyJet spokesman said: “We regret that Mr Korin’s flight was canceled due to delays due to air traffic control restrictions, resulting in our crew reaching their maximum safety-regulated operating time.
“Although this was out of our control, we would like to apologize to customers for the inconvenience caused.”
But as The Telegraph approached Gatwick Airport, a spokesman said air traffic control restrictions on incoming flights had only been in place for two brief periods that day.
He added: “The impact on flights was considered minor, so it would be surprising if that were the primary cause of this canceled flight.”
It’s a stalemate that thousands of passengers get caught in every year. Travelers can claim compensation if a flight was delayed more than three hours or canceled at short notice, but only if it was caused by an issue within the airline’s control, such as a flight failure. B. Technical problems and wear and tear of the aircraft.
But in the event of an “extraordinary event” such as safety, natural disaster and air traffic control matters, the airline will be relieved of responsibility and customers will not be entitled to compensation.
Frank Brehany, consumer rights expert, said: “The apology of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ is not intended to provide cover for any reason – the purpose of the defense is to cover events that could not have been seen or predicted.”
Passengers claim airlines made the injury worse by ignoring their demands for compensation for months. Mr Korin said he asked easyJet for a reply after 45 days, even though the company’s terms and conditions said it would reply within 28 days.
Mr Hobbs said the Civil Aviation Authority, the regulator, needs stronger powers and a new ombudsman to settle disputes.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/lost-880-easyjet-gatwick-bickering-fault/ ‘I’ve lost £880 because Easyjet and Gatwick are bickering over who’s at fault’