EasyJet has now earned the wrath of passengers and the general public alike after it was found that the air carrier had invented a false event to avoid paying compensation claims.
According to reports, a family, scheduled to fly from Gatwick to Belfast, stated that they overheard an engineer saying that their flight was not ready to fly due to an engine issue. This led to the aircraft being grounded.
However, when the family tried to claim compensation for the flight’s cancellation, the EasyJet representative denied the claim by stating that the plane was grounded due to an air traffic control (ATC) strike. In an email sent to one of the family members by EasyJet, it was mentioned that the compensation would be entertained only if the cancellation was under the carrier’s control.
However, there were absolutely no reports of an ATC strike on that day. It was only after The Sunday Times investigated the matter for a report that the truth finally came out. Colleen Window, the family member who booked the tickets, told the media that she was shocked to read the email from EasyJet, especially when she and the rest of the family knew the actual reasons behind the cancellation.
When questioned about the issue, EasyJet offered more excuses. This time it claimed that the refusal was the result of an administrative problem. According to one of the representatives, there was a plan to send in a replacement flight, but, that didn’t occur due to an ATC issue. So, it was filed as an ATC related delay. The representative believes that this is why it must have been assumed as an ATC related delay, which does not qualify for compensation.
However, further investigations led to the truth. The replacement flight was actually scheduled from Gatwick; the same airport from where the original flight was scheduled to depart.
This wasn’t the only mistreatment meted out to Colleen and her family. Though they were provided with a second booking from Bristol to Belfast, EasyJet had only arranged 8 seats instead of 9, forcing one of the family members to drop out from the trip.
Even worse was the fact that the layover in Bristol cost the family 715 pounds in accommodation charges, despite the fact that they did not even use the rooms booked for them.
EasyJet has now agreed to pay up the due compensation and will also reimburse the 715 pounds spent on accommodation. The carrier also issued a statement in which it had apologized to Colleen and her family. In the statement, it also mentioned that this particular case was a complex one, which is why pinpointing the actual cause of delay turned out to be a problem.
However, EasyJet stuck to the ATC element, stating that slot issues were the actual cause of the flight cancellation and that it was unaware of the technical aspects at the time.