Easyjet passenger forced to sleep in the airport after airline cancelled flights

AN easyJet passenger was forced to sleep at the airport after his flight was cancelled following hours of delays.

To add insult to injury, he was handed a letter by staff that said he would be left out of pocket if he chose to book a hotel because of the cancellation – even though the airline was legally obligated to help him.

 EasyJet was among the passengers affected by the Gatwick ATC issue


EasyJet was among the passengers affected by the Gatwick ATC issueCredit: Reuters

Ryan Bateman was one of the thousands of passengers who was caught up in the chaos at Gatwick Airport this week.

Scores of flights were cancelled, delayed and diverted on Wednesday as a result of air traffic control issues at the airport.

EasyJet was one of the many airlines that was forced to cancel flights as a result.

But according to Ryan, who was planning to fly from Gatwick to Berlin, he was only told the flight was cancelled after it was pushed back for several hours.

He told Sun Online Travel: “After hours of push backs, EasyJet finally revealed that my flight to Berlin had been cancelled about 2 hours after it was scheduled to take off on Wednesday evening.

“I was returning to Berlin for my first day at a new job on Thursday and couldn’t find any information on how I would be able to get home in time.”

He added: “There was just one check-in desk open for hundreds of people seeking information about what to do, so EasyJet handed passengers a letter stating we had to find our own accommodation and alternative flights.

“I had no other choice but to sleep on the airport floor that night, and finally got my flight home at 8pm on Thursday, 24 hours later than planned, unable to start my new job because EasyJet left me stranded at Gatwick.”

 Ryan was handed a letter after his flight was cancelled


Ryan was handed a letter after his flight was cancelled

The letter that Ryan was given implied that he would not be refunded if he had booked a hotel for the evening – even though easyJet were legally obligated to do so under EU law.

It stated: “We are sorry to inform you that due to the disruption caused by the ATC IT issues suffered by Gatwick Airport we are not in the position to provide hotel accommodation or to provide alternative flight arranges.

“Please book your own hotel accommodation and look online for re-arranging your flight with easyJet or an alternative airline.

“The reason for the cancellation is classed as extra-ordinary so easyJet will only be refunding easyJet tickets affected by the disruption or the different [sic] of the fare between the easyJet ticket and any other economy class fare purchase [sic] with another airline.”

European Passenger Rights regulation EC 261 says that even under extraordinary circumstances, airlines are required to provide its passengers food, refreshments and hotel accommodation, as well as help to reschedule flights.

FLIGHT FIGHT How to claim compensation if your flight is delayed or cancelled

Paloma Salmeron, passenger rights expert at AirHelp, commented: “Air passengers understand delays and cancellations aren’t always avoidable, but airlines – and in this particular case, EasyJet will suffer from a crisis of trust if they mislead passengers or try to shirk their legal responsibilities.

“In the instance of a flight disruption, airlines are legally bound – at the very least – to provide a clear explanation to passengers of their rights and what they are entitled to.

“Any airline shirking this responsibility is leaving its passengers high-and-dry in their time of need.”

EasyJet confirmed with Sun Online Travel that it would be reimbursing passengers with any accommodation expenses associated with the cancellation.

A spokesperson for the airline said: “Passengers affected after Gatwick suspended flights following an ATC control tower issue, were provided with hotel accommodation where possible but, as all airlines were affected, we were only able to directly book around 200 hotel rooms.

 EasyJet's advice to passengers


EasyJet’s advice to passengers

“Any customers who had not been provided with a room were advised to book their own accommodation and we would reimburse them for the cost. This was made clear on our Flight Tracker online which customers were directed to via SMS and email.

“We also had our own disruption leaflets available which gave passengers full details of their rights when disruption occurs.

“Additionally our ground handler, DHL, wrote a letter to try and assist customers more quickly during the disruption.

“Whilst they did this with good intentions, the letter did not make it clear that accommodation costs and expenses would be reimbursed by easyJet.

“In order to prevent this happening in the future easyJet will provide our ground handlers with a letter which makes it absolutely clear. We take our responsibilities under EU261 very seriously.”

Brits could be facing a summer of travel chaos.

Staff working at easyJet check-in desks at London Stansted have announced a 17-day strike.

Gatwick staff are currently voting on whether or not to strike.

While Heathrow workers have confirmed their strikes dates for this summer.


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.