A couple in their 60s have pursued legal action against easyJet after feeling let down and misled by the airline after their flight to Newcastle to watch a football match was cancelled without explanation.
Gillian Davies, 62 and her husband Stephen, 64, were looking forward to a weekend away in Newcastle, their former residence, to watch a football match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace on 6th April 2019 with friends.
The couple had booked a return flight with easyJet on 5th April 2019 and arrived at Bristol Airport at 18:00 as their scheduled flight was set to depart at 19:50. However after having checked-in, the pair soon realised that something just wasn’t quite right.
Their flight was delayed and subsequently cancelled at the last minute. Instead staff distributed leaflets and told passengers they would be compensated for the flight.
Bott and Co have taken on the case and believe the couple are entitled 250 Euros each in flight delay compensation, under EU Regulation 261/2004 as the flight arrived more than three hours after its scheduled arrival time and easyJet has a duty to refund all expenses in which the couple have receipts for.
Chaos At easyJet Counters
The couple was looking forward to their weekend in Newcastle and arrived at Bristol Airport in plenty of time before their scheduled departure.
Gillian said: “As we sat in the waiting lounge, the information screens kept showing that our flight was delayed, and then suddenly, our flight information disappeared from the screens.”
There were huge queues at easyJet counters with people complaining and asking for more information, but all they were given was a leaflet and told that the flight was cancelled until the next day. At 11:00pm, everyone was told a bus would take them to the hotel and that if anyone wanted to claim for compensation, they would be entitled to 250 Euros each.
Gillian says: “It was sheer bedlam. There was a young girl on her own who was extremely distraught as she was going to meet her family. She was in tears trying to figure out how to get home.”
Gillian and Stephen decided to go to the hotel that easyJet had organised for all the passengers then head back to Cardiff instead of flying to Newcastle the following day, the day of the football match.
At no time was it explained to Mr and Mrs Davies that there were conditions attached to the compensation.
“easyJet assured us we could claim for compensation. We didn’t see the need to fly to Newcastle on Saturday afternoon at 15:55 as the football match kicked off at 15:00, so we would have missed the match.”
Mixed Messages From easyJet
Mr and Mrs Davies drove back home on Saturday 6th and filled in a form to claim compensation. They received a confirmation email from easyJet who stated they would receive their compensation within 14 days.
“We were happy they accepted to pay the compensation, so we went ahead to book a first class ticket and accommodation for Newcastle United’s next home game of the season in May.”
The couple went away on holiday and were shocked to receive an email from easyJet saying their compensation claim was denied.
We were completely misled by the staff in Bristol, without any shadow of doubt.
The email stated: The flight scheduled to operate on 5th of April was delayed overnight however you didn’t appear on our booking system, which means you were a ‘no show’ for travelling on the flight. After further investigations, you decided not to travel on the flight; therefore you didn’t actually suffer the delay in arriving at Newcastle Airport.
The couple were very upset on reading the email as they felt they were completely misled by easyJet staff at Bristol Airport. The airline gave passengers conflicting messages and they relied on the information provided by easyJet staff.
Conditions Attached To Compensation
“Had we been told, if you get on the flight you will get compensation and if you don’t get onto the flight you won’t, of course we would’ve done exactly that. After all, we’d already paid for a hotel in Newcastle for that Saturday night. It just wasn’t worth travelling to Newcastle on Saturday 6th, as the sole purpose of our trip was the Newcastle game, which kicked off at 3pm. The flight the following day would arrive well after 3pm.”
At no time was it explained to Mr and Mrs Davies that there were conditions attached to the compensation. Furthermore, passengers were told that the flight had been cancelled and not delayed.
Cases like the Davies’ show how passengers shouldn’t feel obliged to accept the airline’s excuse straight away, as often under EU Regulation 261/2004 people can make a claim.
Mr and Mrs Davies wrote to the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) as easyJet denied liability for any claim under EU Regulation 261/2004 on the basis that the passengers chose not to travel on the delayed service and therefore were not delayed by more than three hours in arriving at their final destination.
Final Answer: No
According to a Decision Notice by CEDR, the adjudicator was satisfied that the airline was correct and that it is not possible for Mr and Mrs Davies to claim for compensation for the delay.
“I have no doubt that the passengers were inconvenienced, but they do not meet the required test for a delayed arrival.”
“We were completely misled by the staff in Bristol, without any shadow of doubt. We weren’t told there were conditions attached otherwise would have just taken the flight on Saturday 6th, stayed at the hotel and come back. All in all we’ve lost roughly £1,000 – hotel booking, match tickets, parking costs. It’s ridiculous.”
“What’s even more shocking is that because we didn’t travel on the flight the following day, they said we didn’t complete our journey, therefore weren’t entitled to any compensation.”
Not Taking No For An Answer
After reaching a brick wall with easyJet, Gillian searched for ‘flight compensation’ on Google and discovered Bott and Co who ranked high as flight compensation specialists.
“They were offering no win, no fee so I thought oh well, it’s worth a go. I have been really impressed by Bott and Co. The process has been easy and they’ve kept me updated throughout,” said Gillian.
Bott and Co has now started legal action against easyJet. Coby Benson, Flight Delay Compensation Solicitor at Bott and Co says: “Mr and Mrs Davies were misled and misinformed by easyJet, and they should never have experienced such a long delay.”
“Cases like the Davies’ show how passengers shouldn’t feel obliged to accept the airline’s excuse straight away, as often under EU Regulation 261/2004 people can make a claim.”
Mr and Mrs Davies are looking forward to a positive outcome now that we have the intervention of a solicitor, and hope easyJet will admit fault. Once they receive the compensation, they are planning to spend it on a holiday to Portugal.