Children in tears at Gatwick Airport as easyJet cancels flight 15 minutes before boarding

Charlotte Nolan says she saw children hugging their parents "in tears" at Gatwick Airport.

A woman from Surrey has revealed how children were left in floods of tears after discovering their flight out of Gatwick Airport had been cancelled at the last minute.

Charlotte Nolan and her family arrived at Gatwick at 3am on Sunday morning (April 3), over two hours before their easyJet flight was due to depart for Ibiza at 5:35am.

But as the Nolan family started to head towards their gate, they received an email from the airline to say their flight had been cancelled.

"We just thought it was a mistake, Charlotte said.

"We got to the gate, and there was an announcement to say yes, that our flight had been cancelled.

"We were literally about to board the plane fifteen minutes later. No-one had any idea what was going on and people were in tears.

"It wasn't a very nice experience, especially as it was supposed to be our first holiday since before the pandemic.

EasyJet has cancelled hundreds of flights over the last few days, and 60 in total from Gatwick today.

The airline is blaming the cancellations on Covid and says it has a lot of staff off sick with the virus.

Charlotte had rebooked the family's flights for Tuesday morning (5 April), but has since discovered that flight has also been cancelled by the airline.

"They haven't given any reason, just the option whether we want to rebook our flights again.

"We didn't want to risk it, as it's been the same flight number both times, so now we've just changed companies and are flying with a different company tomorrow.

Anyone affected by the cancellations can ask to move their flights, get a voucher or ask for a total refund. 

In a statement, an easyJet spokesperson said, “As a result of the current high rates of Covid infections across Europe, like all businesses easyJet is experiencing higher than usual levels of employee sickness.

“We have taken action to mitigate this through the rostering of additional standby crew, however, with the current levels of sickness we have also decided to make some cancellations in advance which are focused on consolidating flights where we have multiple frequencies, so customers have more options to rebook their travel, often on the same day.

"We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to customers on affected flights. Customers have been contacted and provided with their options which include rebooking onto an alternative flight or receiving a voucher or full refund.”