Bott and Co have helped a 70 year old disabled man from Newton Ayclife recover £345.07 in compensation from easyJet after his cancelled flight transformed a bargain break into a holiday nightmare.
Robert Dale was due to fly home after a break in Barcelona to Newcastle Airport on 25th September 2016. Minutes before boarding the plane, passengers were told that their flight was cancelled.
Mr Dale, who was registered as disabled so that the easyJet knew to look after him and provide him with the relevant care and assistance, has told how the airline left him to travel 300 miles alone and without assistance.
“About 10 minutes before the flight was supposed to leave we heard it was cancelled. Everybody was in an uproar and a panic; nobody had any information.”
Mr Dale and his fellow passengers were transported to a hotel, where they spent the night not knowing what caused the cancellation. The next morning Robert was told he would have to make his own way back to the airport, where he learned that there weren’t any flights back to Newcastle for another five days – and easyJet would not pay for any more nights in a hotel.
Told to make a choice…
“When I got to the airport I managed to get a wheelchair. I needed it as I couldn’t stand on my feet any longer. I was told they had a flight to Southend. I could either have that or wait the full five days for one back to Newcastle at my own expense.”
Robert chose to take the flight to Southend as he didn’t want to spend any more money in Barcelona and had to get back home for a hospital appointment.
Despite the fact that the airline had been informed about his disability, Mr Dale says he was left to get on the plane last, and had to walk up the steps onto the plane without assistance, which left him in a lot of pain.
Mr Dale is also type 3 diabetes and his blood sugars have to be stable at all times however the airline did not provide him or the other passengers with adequate food and refreshments throughout the delay.
easyJet say delay is not claimable under regulation
After travelling 300 miles, Robert arrived home 48 hours later than planned and in a lot of pain. Although he managed to claim some money back for his expenses, which took several weeks, easyJet refused to compensate Robert for the cancelled flight under EU Regulation 261/2004.
A spokeswoman for easyJet said: “We are really sorry to hear about Mr Dale’s experience following his flight from Barcelona to Newcastle being cancelled due to adverse weather conditions in Barcelona, and we appreciate how difficult this would have been for him.
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“We arranged for overnight accommodation for him and transferred him onto a flight back to London Southend the following day as there were no direct flights to Newcastle.
“We are sorry that no onward transport to Newcastle was provided for him as it usually would be. We are also investigating why the correct level of special assistance required was not provided.
“We have settled this case with Mr Dale and reimbursed his expenses during this time. As the cancellation was due to weather it is not eligible for EU261 compensation.”
Weather conditions weren’t extraordinary
Despite the airline saying the reason for the delay was due to the weather (thunderstorms) which affected the flight out to Barcelona, Bott and Co flight data shows there was light drizzle but the visibility was very good with no wind and therefore the delay is claimable. Bott and Co were able to recover compensation for Mr Dale’s cancelled flight under EU Regulation 261/2004.
Mr Dale explains “I got no apology, it was just disgusting.”
Former coach driver Mr Dale loves to travel and says the experience hasn’t put him of seeing the world – but he’ll be choosing a different airline from now on.
Speaking of Robert’s case, Bott and Co Flight Delay Compensation Solicitor Coby Benson explains “The regulation around delayed flight compensation is supposed to provide a high level of protection for passengers. Care and assistance is to be provided, overnight accommodation where appropriate and rerouting as soon as is practicably possible. It goes further though, and specifically states ‘the operating air carrier shall pay particular attention to the needs of persons with reduced mobility and any persons accompanying them’ and it is difficult to come to any other assumption that this has been a complete abdication of that responsibility from the airline.
“Flight cancellations and delays happen – it is something which airlines encounter routinely. It is simply not acceptable that 10 years after this law came into place passengers are being left to fend for themselves.”