Consumer champion Which? has called on the Civil Aviation Authority to investigate easyJet and whether it has broken the law when dealing with flight cancellations.
The call from Which? centres around what options easyJet passengers were made aware of when they were informed that their flight had been cancelled.
Under the regulations, when a flight is cancelled passengers are entitled to a full refund and compensation, an alternative flight with the airline, or crucially, another suitable flight from another airline at easyJet’s expense.
But it seems that easyJet has largely just offered refunds and not made passengers aware of their other rights such as alternatives and compensation in some cases and left passengers to arrange their own alternative flights back to the UK.
Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said: “easyJet has treated its passengers appallingly, but this is just the latest example of a systemic problem in the aviation sector – some airlines routinely ignore their legal obligations because they know they won’t face any consequences.
“With thousands more flight cancellations potentially to come, passengers face a miserable summer unless the CAA and government act on their promises to stamp out consumer rights abuses.
“A major overhaul is desperately needed, so the government must give the CAA stronger powers, so it can hit operators with heavy fines when necessary. Ministers should also drop their ill-conceived plans to slash compensation rates for domestic flights.”
The Civil Aviation Authority has said it would investigate and take action against airlines found to be “systematically letting consumers down”.
Know Your Rights
If you are denied boarding or your flight is cancelled then you are entitled to compensation as follows.
|Length of flight||Length of disruptions||Compensation|
|short-haul flight of under 1,500km (e.g. Glasgow to Amsterdam)||Arrive 2 hours or more later at final destination||£220|
|short-haul flight of under 1,500km (e.g. Glasgow to Amsterdam)||Arrive less than 2 hours later at final destination||£110|
|medium-haul flight of 1,500km – 3,500km (e.g. East Midlands to Marrakesh)||Takes off more than 2 hours before your original flight, and arrives 3 or more hours later at final destination||£350|
|medium-haul flight of 1,500km – 3,500km (e.g. East Midlands to Marrakesh)||Takes off 2 hours before your original flight, and arrives less than 3 hours later at final destination||£175|
|long-haul flight of over 3,500km (e.g. London to New York)||Arrive 4 hours or later at final destination||£520|
|long-haul flight of over 3,500km (e.g. London to New York)||Takes off less than 1 hours before your original flight, and arrives less than 4 hours later at final destination||£260|
Data from Civil Aviation Authority. All figures are per person.
In addition, Your airline must offer you an alternative flight. It’s up to you whether to fly as soon as possible or at a later date that suits you. Airlines often refer to this as being ‘rerouted’.
If you want to fly as soon as possible, your airline must also provide care and assistance while you wait for the flight. This means food, drink, communications and accommodation if you stay overnight.
If you don’t want to fly, you can get your money back instead. You’ll get a refund for all parts of the ticket you haven’t used.
For instance, if you have booked a return flight and it’s cancelled, you can get the full cost of the return ticket back from your airline.
If you’re part-way through a journey when it’s cancelled, your airline should also provide a flight back to your starting point.