THOUSANDS of Easyjet holidaymakers could be owed compensation as the airline faces potential legal action over cancelled flights.
Travellers have been left stranded abroad, or stuck at home, après hundreds of flights were cancelled or delayed.
Consumer champion Which? has reported EasyJet to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), asking the regulator to investigate and take action to protect passengers and their rights.
Lequel? said it has heard from dozens of EasyJet customers who were not told of their rights to compensation, or how to get another flight.
Damian McConville and his wife slammed the airline for the “absolutely shocking service” they received as they travelled home from celebrating their wedding anniversary in Santorini.
The 33-year-old told Which? they slept on the floor at Gatwick airport because no hotels were available and EasyJet cancelled their connecting flight.
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They woke up at 3am to find their rescheduled flight had also been cancelled.
EasyJet did not tell the couple they had the right to a total of £880 in compensation.
Airlines are required by law to rebook passengers onto another flight at the “earliest opportunity”, even if the flight is with a rival airline.
But it has has found EasyJet is directing passengers to the “Manage my booking” section of its app and website, which only gives options to rebook on an EasyJet flight.
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Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said the airline has treated its passengers “appallingly”.
Il ajouta: “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.”
Could I be owed compensation?
You could claim up to £520 if you’ve had your holiday ruined by long delays or cancellations.
Most passengers will be protected by what’s called Denied Boarding regulations.
This means that you have to be offered either a full refund for a cancelled flight or a seat on the next possible flight, or another one at a better time.
You have to be catered for if you’re left waiting a while between the cancelled flight and your new one too.
That means if you’ve got an overnight stay between the reimbursed flight and the time of cancellation, then you’ll get meals, accommodation and transfers provided for the inconvenience.
But you could also be in line for compensation.
If you’re flying out of the UK, you’re legally entitled to compensation once your arrival is delayed by three hours or more.
Usually if passengers are given less than two weeks’ notice that their flight is cancelled, they are also eligible for compensation.
But exactly how much you get under EU compensation rules depends on when the airline told you about the delay.
The very least you can claim is £220 – but the maximum is £520 if you’ve been booked for a longer distance flight.
How do I get compensation?
Citizens Advice says you need to claim through your airline to get compensation.
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Each airline is likely to have a different application process for this.
Go onto your airline’s website for more information, or call them up.