Georgi Valchev, 40, and his partner Angelica, 41, were travelling back to Manchester Airport on 11th July 2019 after an important business trip for their private dining company in Geneva, Switzerland. The pair had to get home as a matter of urgency, as they were meeting some high profile potential clients that would secure them future business.
But things went wrong quickly when it became clear that their easyJet flight wasn’t going to take off. After announcing that the flight to Manchester was cancelled apparently due to bad weather conditions, the airline’s staff were rude and uncooperative, and told Georgi that the next easyJet flight wasn’t until 48 hours later.
However, in events such as these, airlines are obligated to reroute passengers at the earliest opportunity on any airline, even a rival airline.
As a 48 hour wait wouldn’t suffice, the couple spent a further £800 out of their own pocket to get home quicker on a Eurowings flight via Dusseldorf, which still landed 15 hours later they had originally planned. The experience hampered their success with the clients, who were dissatisfied when Georgi and Angelica were forced to delay the dinner by two and a half hours.
The only form of contact you could have with the airline was via the easyJet app; the service was embarrassing. There were people sleeping on the airport floor, stranded
Georgi attempted to claim flight delay compensation direct from easyJet, but was refused as the airline said the flight delay was due to a storm and therefore an “extraordinary circumstance” and not claimable. Georgi is sceptical about this as he saw many other flights taking off at the airport. Bott and Co is working on the couple’s behalf to recover 250 Euros each for them under EU Regulation 261/2004.
Passengers Sleeping On The Airport Floor
Georgi’s flight was supposed to depart Geneva at 21.40. To begin with, the departure board stated that the journey was delayed by 40 minutes, but concerns mounted as this increased to one hour and then two hours.
Eventually, the flight was cancelled by easyJet, but there wasn’t a single staff member in sight for assistance, and the reason cited for the cancellation was a storm, which Georgi says easyJet were very vague about. He says, “The only form of contact you could have with the airline was via the easyJet app; the service was embarrassing. There were people sleeping on the airport floor, stranded.”
Describing how easyJet staff were far from helpful, Georgi recalls that delayed passengers were given food vouchers, but only after passing through security and the passport check: “easyJet gave us 15 Swiss Francs each, but I can tell you that doesn’t get you very far in Geneva Airport.”
“easyjet Left Us Like Dogs After Midnight”
They were becoming increasingly anxious about the high stakes of their upcoming business meeting, and decided to shell out £800 on alternative flights with Euro Wings. However, the new flight wasn’t direct, and instead travelling via Dusseldorf, further adding to their stress.
After cancelling the flight, easyJet had a duty to re-route their passengers affected by the cancellation at the earliest available opportunity on any airline, even a rival airline
Georgi says, “We were so desperate to get back to Manchester, not to mention hungry and tired. We didn’t land in Manchester until 3.15pm on 12th July, 15 hours later than expected.”
“They left us like dogs. Even the ground staff refused to help us. They said ‘This is nothing to do with us and entirely easyJet’s responsibility.’ We were totally abandoned and disposed of. I would never fly with easyJet again.”
“I’d Pay Another Airline Double So This Doesn’t Happen Again”
When their ordeal was over, Georgi emailed easyJet requesting flight delay compensation, and was rudely ignored. It was only when he phoned the airline that he was told that his and Angelica’s circumstances weren’t claimable due to the cancellation being down to a storm.
Georgi states that the experience left him so frustrated, he would consider paying considerably more with another airline in the hope that it doesn’t happen again.
Coby Benson, Flight Delay Compensation Solicitor at Bott and Co says, “After cancelling the flight, easyJet had a duty to re-route their passengers affected by the cancellation at the earliest available opportunity on any airline, even a rival airline, not just on an easyJet plane. In this instance, they clearly neglected their duty and as a result our clients suffered huge inconvenience and lost lucrative business.
We’re acting on their behalf to secure them 250 Euros each and a refund for their replacement flights under EU Regulation 261/2004.