EasyJet hijacked my flight then refused to pay my taxi bill | consumer affairs


My easyJet flight back from Tenerife last month was unable to land at Gatwick due to air traffic control issues. Passengers were advised that we were making a detour to Luton and would be taken back to Gatwick by coach. When we arrived in Luton at 3.30am easyJet staff told us that no coach was available and we had to make our own way home. I had already spent all my available cash on holiday so the extra £241.79 I had to spend on an Uber to take me back to Gatwick put me in a financial bind.

I duly filed a claim for the taxi fare, along with the receipt. EasyJet rejected it, absurdly claiming the trip had to be from the East Midlands. After several calls to customer service, I issued another expense report, which was rejected as the ride occurred after the flight. I have been reduced to tears by easyJet’s appalling customer service and am currently unable to pay my bills due to his refusal to reimburse me. I raised two unanswered complaintsand I’m afraid I’ll never get my money back as promised.
AB Chertsey, Surrey

I read the three rejection letters from easyJet in disbelief. The former declared your receipt invalid and asked you to send proof of a fare from East Midlands Airport to Gatwick, despite the same missive confirming the flight was diverted to Luton. The second claimed that your flight was delayed rather than rerouted and that your taxi ride was “a private arrangement which was [sic] booked after flight disruption”. The third repeated that your claim was rejected because your flight was delayed and you were not entitled to reimbursement from “another carrier”.

You feel like easyJet pushed you away until you gave up. Initially, he was unable to account for the three conflicting rejection letters.

EasyJet said: ‘Due to lack of availability, we were unable to find transport from Luton to Gatwick, so we advised passengers who were self-catering that we would be providing refunds. This remains the case for all passengers on the flight, so we would like to apologize for the incorrect response this passenger received. We are very sorry for the error and are now in contact with him to apologize and quickly process his expenses.

Two days later the company told me it had discovered the flight had been incorrectly listed as diverted to East Midlands on its system, and that the claims of 31 other passengers had also been rejected because of this. To me, this explanation makes no sense because two of the rejection letters cite a flight delay without mentioning a diversion. But the company did not respond when I pressed it.

The other 31 passengers affected have now been contacted, according to easyJet, and the system has been changed so that future complaints can be accepted. It was a mistake that might not have come to light had you not contacted the media. Your next step, had you not contacted me, would have been to file a complaint with the alternative dispute resolution service, CEDR.

…and some customer service stories to give you hope

Every once in a while, a story lands in my inbox about the way things should be. They’re usually squeezed out by horror stories, but this week, to boost confidence, let’s stop and applaud the companies that know what customer service means.

I bought a nice coat from a charity shop, perfect but for a small moth hole in the front. I looked for the manufacturers, Harris Quay London. His website mentioned a commitment to sustainability and, rather cheekily, I emailed him about my find, asking if he had any repair tips. Someone immediately emailed me back, determined the brand and color, and sent me a small piece of the correct material, free of charge, so I could patch the hole. All this knowing that the coat was second-hand.
PF Bristol

My husband recently treated himself to a pair of expensive Leica binoculars from Ace Optics of Bath. When they arrived they were a size smaller than ordered, although the correct size was on the box. Ace Optics apologized and found the other pair they had in stock were the same. He immediately ordered another pair from Germany. The courier collected the original pair upon pre-arranged delivery. Not only were we very impressed with the efficient and pleasant service, he made an unsolicited refund of part of the cost for the inconvenience.
RG Llangollen

I bought one of the Bose UK Wave CDs/radios about 30 years ago. More recently the CD player started behaving erratically, so I sent it back for inspection. It couldn’t be fixed, so I was offered a new model, worth almost £600, for £150. It was quickly delivered by courier at Bose’s expense. Please note other manufacturers.
GB Ventnor, Isle of Wight

The caption for this article was changed on 8 June 2022. An earlier version stated that the reader’s easyJet flight had been diverted to East Midlands Airport; as the article clarified, he was diverted to Luton.

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