Did easyJet cancel your flight? You’re entitled to a new flight regardless of airline or cost

May 31, 2022

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If your easyJet flight gets cancelled, you may think you have to wait days for an alternative flight or even be left to make your own arrangements.

More than 240 easyJet departures have been grounded in the last four days after an IT glitch sent the airline’s systems haywire, with an extra 24 pre-emptive cancellations planned each day until Monday.

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The cancellations have dashed the half-term plans of tens of thousands of holidaymakers, some of whom were left stranded at Gatwick and airports across Europe.

Some passengers claimed they couldn’t get through to easyJet’s customer service line for help and were therefore forced to make their own arrangements at their own cost.

“@easyJet cancelled flight and no one available to help with alternative arrangements,” tweeted James Hanlon on Sunday. “Have had to pay my own hotel (not near Gatwick as hotels there were full). Hope to try again tomorrow. How can I be compensated? Chaos.”

When contacted by TPG, an easyJet spokesperson apologised for the recent cancellations, and for the late notice at which some of them were made, but added they were “necessary to provide reliable services over this busy period.”

The spokesperson continued: “Customers have been informed in advance and provided with the option to rebook their flight or receive a refund and can apply for compensation in line with regulations.”

They said the current wait time to speak to customer service is currently six minutes.

If this has happened to you, remember: easyJet is legally obliged to get you on the next available flight to where you’re going or offer you compensation.

Related: Should you plan for delays and travel chaos this Jubilee weekend?

In rules stipulated by the European air passengers’ legislation EU261, “Re-routing should be offered at no additional cost to the passenger, even where passengers are re-routed with another air carrier or on a different transport mode or in a higher class or at a higher fare than the one paid for the original service.”

In This Post

What are my rights?

As per EU261, a passenger travelling within Europe whose flight is cancelled is entitled by law to be provided with the next-best alternative no matter the cost, airline or travel class.

You don’t just have to take our word for it. easyJet’s own website states the same information.

What should I do if EasyJet cancels my flight?

Under rule EU261 (called UK261 in Britain), an airline must offer you, on a one-off basis, a choice between:

  • the reimbursement of your ticket and, if you have a connecting flight, a return flight to the airport of departure at the earliest opportunity
  • re-routing to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or,
  • re-routing at a later date at your convenience under comparable transport conditions, subject to the availability of seats.

Related: 30,000 half-term holiday plans dashed after easyJet grounds hundreds of flights

So, if the airline cancels and you want to re-route immediately, or rebook for some time in the future, here are the steps you should take:

  1. check to see what the next-available alternatives are from your closest airport to where you’re going.
  2. call the airline straight away on 0330 365 5000 (if you’re calling out of hours, you’ll have to speak with easyJet customer service staff at the departure airport).

Now, if you’re offered an easyJet flight later than the available alternative you found, be sure to state that it is the airline’s duty to book you onto the first available alternative no matter the airline or the cost.

Related: Passport wait times dramatically reduced — how long should it now take?

And above all, don’t be afraid to stand your ground. If you feel like you’re getting nowhere, ask to speak to a supervisor or manager. But make sure you get the alternative you are entitled to, not an alternative which is easiest and/or cheapest for the airline.

Overnight accommodation entitlements

If the next available flight is not until the next day, easyJet says it will pay for a hotel room, if you need one.

“If it is impossible for us to ensure your return as agreed according to your booking, due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, we will bear the cost of necessary accommodation, if possible of equivalent category, for a maximum of three nights,” easyJet says.

If eligible, you can request a room after you’ve transferred onto a new flight on their app or in Manage Bookings.

Related: How to learn if your flight will be cancelled — even before the airline knows

If the disruption is so widespread that easyJet cannot book you alternative accommodation, they may ask you to find your own. But they insist it is 3* or equivalent, such as Premier Inn, Ibis, Holiday Inn, Hotel Formule 1, Travelodge or Motel-One. If you choose to stay somewhere grander, when easyJet’s suggested range is available, the airline may not cover your costs.

Alternative flight or transport to your destination

EasyJet will try to get you an alternative easyJet flight to your destination within 24 hours.

If there are no easyJet flights within that time, you have the option to transfer to another airline, or take the train, bus or hire a car, which easyJet will pay for. But the company urges customers to keep itemised receipts to ensure their costs are covered.

How to get a refund

If your flight arrives more than three hours after the scheduled time of arrival or is cancelled within 14 days of departure, or you are involuntarily denied boarding, you may be able to claim EU261 compensation.

You can claim with easyJet for compensation here.

Where do you stand on compensation?

If your flight has been cancelled or delayed so that you arrive at least 3 hours after the originally scheduled arrival time, then you should be able to claim compensation. This also applies if you were denied boarding involuntarily.

If so, you should be entitled to the following compensation:

  • £220 / €250 for flights of 1500 km or less;
  • £350 / €400 for flights within Europe of more than 1500 km, and all other flights between 1500 and 3500 km

EasyJet does, however, state that the compensation will be reduced by 50% if easyJet is able to offer you re-routing on an alternative flight to your final destination, provided that you arrive:

  • within 2 hours of your original flight arrival time, in respect of flights of 1500 km or less;
  • within 3 hours of your original flight arrival time for all flights between 1500 and 3500km provided you are flying in Europe

Check out this guide for more information on filing EU261 claims.

Additional reporting by Daniel Ross.

Featured photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy

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