EasyJet cancels 1,700 flights - what are your rights as a customer?

ITV News reporter Pablo Taylor explains what the news means for those who had already booked flights

EasyJet has apologised after thousands of passengers' flights have been cancelled over the summer months - but what are your rights if you've been affected?

The UK's biggest budget airline axed around 1,700 flights in July, August and September, many of which were departing from its largest base at London Gatwick.

EasyJet told passengers that departures have been grounded because of "constrained airspace" over Europe and ongoing air traffic control difficulties.

The airline said 95% of customers have been rebooked onto alternative flights. But this still leaves around 9,000 passengers without a replacement flight.

What are your rights as a passenger who has had a flight cancelled?

According to the Association of British Travel Agents, if your flight is cancelled and you’re departing from the UK, your airline must offer you the choice of a replacement flight at the earliest opportunity or a refund.


Passengers whose flights have been grounded with less than two weeks' notice could be entitled to £220 in compensation, £350 for flights above 1,500km and £520 for longer flights.

This compensation is reduced by 50% if easyJet can offer you re-routing on an alternative flight to your destination that arrives close to the original time - two hours for flights of 1,500km or less and three hours for flights between 1,500km and 3,500km.

If you have been told of the cancellation less than a week before departing, the alternative flight must not depart earlier than one hour ahead of the original time and arrive less than two hours after the planned landing.

But if you were told of the cancellation between one and two weeks, then the alternative flight must take off no more than two hours ahead and arrive less than four hours after the original scheduled time of arrival.

easyJet has apologised to its passengers that have has their flights cancelled. Credit: PA


When an airline gives at least two weeks' notice of a cancellation, it is obliged to rebook passengers on an alternative flight, however it is not obliged to pay compensation.

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said passengers who have had their flights cancelled are entitled to travel on the original day of their booking, even if this is on a different airline that has seats available.

"They should always give you the option of rebooking, but if they can't come up with an alternative, if you can find an alternative flight with a different airline, then you can have a chat with them about changing airline. It's known as re-routing", a spokesperson for the company said.

What if you booked a package holiday and your flight is cancelled?

Passengers whose flights are booked as part of a package holiday, have "even more protection", according to the ABTA.

This is because their booking comes under European air passengers' rights rules and the Package Travel Regulations.

"Your tour operator essentially has an obligation to look after you, rather than you having to do it" the spokesperson said.

If your flight can’t be rearranged and your holiday has to be cancelled, or new arrangements are made that result in a "significant change" to your holiday, then the travel company must offer an alternative holiday if they can, or a refund of the full package price, not just the flight part, the ABTA's website reads.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.