Thousands sign petition calling on easyJet to pay compensation for holiday chaos

Passengers check-in at the South Terminal of Gatwick Airport in West Sussex which is reopening on Sunday to meet expected strong demand for air travel this summer. The terminal has been dormant since June 15 2020 to reduce costs during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture date: Sunday March 27, 2022.
EasyJet queues at Gatwick Airport this month

A petition calling for easyJet to give customers compensation when cancelled flights cause holiday chaos has gained almost 48,000 signatures.

The company has cancelled hundreds of flights from Gatwick since May, with many families saying they have been left stranded and forced to pay out for unforeseen expenses.

But easyJet says it always pays compensation when it is due, in line with the relevant consumer regulations, and it is on average processing compensation claims within two weeks.

It is also processing flight refunds within an average of four days.

ITV News Meridian has spoken to several families who are not happy with their experience.

Jamie Hurst and Chloe Dowsett, from Ashford in Kent, were forced to stay an extra week in Turkey after their flight was cancelled at the last minute. They said they were told they were not due any compensation as the problems were the fault of air traffic control.

Jenny O'Hara and Tom Nowell, from Crowborough, East Sussex, had to travel by boat to a different Canary island to get home after their easyJet flight was cancelled from Fuerteventura.

They hope to get their costs reimbursed but were concerned about missing work and school, and funding their four extra nights stay.

The petition was launched by Leanne Nussey, who is in Hurghada, Eygpt, and is 16 weeks pregnant.

Jenny O'Hara and Tom Nowell had to stay four extra nights after their flight was cancelled

She said: "Our flight, along with hundreds more, was cancelled hours before we were due to arrive at the airport yesterday. 

"Everything is online, nobody wants to help. EasyJet was unreachable and I still had zero contact from them more than 12 hours later. We were able to "swap" flights free of charge... however, the next available one is Wednesday!

"I am demanding easyJet give refunds and compensation to those affected by the flight cancellations. Some people genuinely cannot afford to stay in hotels until there is the next flight. Everyone is living on a shoestring as it is!

"When you have saved up for longer than a year to have a family holiday, after two years of pure hell with Covid.

"It was certainly not on my expectation list to now be stuck in another country, myself and my partner are going to lose four days of work, and I'm probably now going to be fined for taking my daughter out of school on holiday too. All beyond our control!"

In a statement EasyJet said today: “We fully understand how inconvenient cancellations are and we are very sorry for this.

"When flights are unfortunately cancelled we notify customers directly and provide options to rebook or receive a refund as well as hotel accommodation and meals where required, along with information on how to arrange this quickly online or via the app.

"Our customer service hours and hotel accommodation sourcing have been extended to support impacted customers.

"Customers will be quickly be provided with their refund plus any expenses and compensation they are due by filling out a simple form on our website.

"We are currently on average processing refunds within four days and compensation claims within two weeks.

"We take our responsibilities in line with the relevant consumer regulations seriously and will always pay compensation when it is due.”