By using this service and related content, you agree to the use of cookies for analytics, personalised content and ads.
You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

'EasyJet told me my flight was cancelled - it was a lie' - How Michael fought back after being wrongly denied boarding

Mirror logo Mirror 6 days ago Emma Munbodh

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc It's the stuff of nightmares. You arrive at the airport all packed and geared to go, only to discover you're not going anywhere because your flight has been cancelled. 

Now just imagine you return home, and later find out your flight did go ahead at the exact same time and date as scheduled - just without you and your partner onboard.

Michael Fox, 52, from Somerset, was due to fly out from London Gatwick to Rome Fiumicino on 29 June 2015 with his wife Jackie, on a rare break - their first holiday in 15 years.

"Our 14-year-old daughter suffers from autism and I have multiple sclerosis. My wife is a carer to both of us, so we rarely get the chance to go abroad," Michael told Mirror Money.

"But in June 2015, Phoebe - our daughter - was due to travel on a trip with her school, which gave my wife and I a very rare chance to take a break.

"It was our first holiday in 15 years, which coincided with our 20th wedding anniversary," Michael explained.

Credits: Liverpool Echo / Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Liverpool Echo / Getty  Thrilled, the couple quickly decided to book a trip to Italy, starting in Rome followed by Venice, with two nights in each city.

But, upon arriving at the airport – and a five hour drive on the day – Michael and Jackie we’re left distraught to discover their flight had been unexpectedly cancelled. Or so they were told.

"Whilst trying to check in at Gatwick, we were told that our flight to Rome had been cancelled and that the earliest we could get to Rome by easyJet was on the Thursday."

But, Michael and his wife had booked the holiday to coincide with Phoebe's school trip, so they were unable to travel at a later date.

"After discussing this with the EasyJet representatives and then trying to book a flight with another operator, which we were unable to do, we had no other option but to give up this very rare opportunity and return home."

The couple were refunded for their cancelled flights and their dream holiday to Italy was over.

Was Michael’s flight really cancelled?

Still feeling unsettled in the days after returning home, Michael took to the internet to find out what exactly went wrong with EasyJet - and his findings left him even more bewildered.

"I found out that the flight had not been cancelled but took off and landed as scheduled, with plenty of seats available.

"There had been an alteration to our flight, but only to the destination, which was to another airport in Rome."

Shocked, he took to EasyJet's customer services to ask for the truth about the alleged cancellation - which led to even more confusion.

"In the weeks and months following this debacle, I spent hours on the phone to EasyJet's representatives and sending e-mails."

By 22 October 2015, Michael had already spent a total of 295 minutes on the phone, holding out for an answer.

"We were given different reasons for not being on the flight, such as flight cancelled, did not attend, flight full, extra ordinary delay and so on, and to date we do not know the reason."

What actually happened? We asked EasyJet

Mirror Money spoke to EasyJet to dig out the truth about Michael and his partner's experience with the airline. They told us it was simply a case of the customer being misinformed by a member of staff on the day.

"Mr and Mrs Fox were due to fly from London Gatwick to Rome Fiumicino on 29 June 2015 but their flight was diverted to Rome Ciampino, as a fire on the 7 May had closed Rome Fiumicino airport," a statement said.

"Although the airport had been reopened by the time Mr and Mrs Fox were due to fly, it was still not fully operational so EasyJet and many other airlines were instructed to reroute flights to Rome Ciampino.

"It would appear that Mr and Mrs Fox were mistakenly advised their flight was cancelled rather than rerouted. They were offered to change their flight to another day free of charge, but decided not to fly at all and therefore received a full refund for the booked flights."

Michael and his partner have since been offered €500 compensation in line with EU regulations and a further £500 as a 'gesture of goodwill' by EasyJet.

The airline state this is the maximum they can pay out in in line with EU Regulation 261/2004 - the law surrounding compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of being denied boarding, having a flight cancelled or a flight severely delayed.

In a statement to Mirror Money, the airline added:

EasyJet would like to apologise to Mr and Mrs Fox for the inconvenience caused by them being mistakenly advised their flight from London Gatwick to Rome Fiumicino on 29 June 2015 had been cancelled.

EasyJet takes it responsibilities under EU261 very seriously and has been commended by the CAA for its handling of EU261 claims. We will always provide compensation when it is due.

What happens if your flight is cancelled, delayed - or you're denied boarding

Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Getty An estimated 4,000 flights were cancelled and over 120,000 delayed across Europe in August 2016 - causing misery for thousands of passengers and many families.

Delays

A flight is legally considered as delayed if the take-off happens at least two hours after the scheduled time.

In the event of a delay, passengers can expect to be offered free meals as well as refreshments. They have the right to make phone calls free of charge or to send two faxes, telex or emails to inform others about the delay.

In the event of a delay lasting at least five hours, passengers can request the reimbursement of their full ticket price within seven days, regardless of flight distance.

If the flight is delayed 3 hours or more at the final destination, then compensation is due according to European Regulation No 261/2004. It will be calculated based on the distance and airport of origin and/or destination.

Cancellations

If your flight has been cancelled, your airline must offer you the choice of a refund or alternative flight.

You can either a) get your money back for all parts of the ticket you haven’t used or b) choose an alternative flight.

Denied boarding

EU regulations state that if you are involuntarily denied boarding, you are entitled to a full refund of either; the cost of your ticket within seven days, a reimbursement of a return flight to the first point of departure, or the cost of re-routing to your final destination.

Compensation fees include:

- €250 (around £209) for all flights of 1,500km or less,

- €400 (around £335) for all flights of more than 1,500km in the EU, and for all other flights between 1,500km and 3,500km,

- €600 (around £503) for all other flights.

They're also required to assist you in finding hotel accommodation, airport transfers and even meals - as well as offering two free telephone calls and access to fax messages and e-mails if you need to get in touch with someone.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon