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Easyjet and compensation for cancelled flight - help please!


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Hello everyone,

irst post on here so please bear with me. I'm in the process of trying to claim compensation from EasyJet for a cancelled flight. I've written to them with details of the flight and and they have accepted that the flight was indeed cancelled but are falling back on the extraordinary circumstances excuse.

The customer services rep that emailed me said "It is regrettable that your flight was cancelled and our records indicate that the reason for the cancellation was technical issues. We believe that this was an extraordinary circumstance and beyond our control." So, bugger off, basically.

Following up on some of the advice on this forum, I emailed EasyJet back arguing that the ruling in December 2008 by the European Court of Justice meant that technical issues don’t constitute “extraordinary circumstances” that would allow airlines to avoid paying passengers compensation for canceled flights under Regulation EC261/2004. I asked to see the details of the full circumstances surrounding these "technical issues" that EasyJet claim exempt them from paying compensation

Their response was to refuse me the details. In the words of their customer rep:

According to the official airport Cancellation Log the primary cause of the cancellation is 'technical - extraordinary'. I do understand that you were expecting a more concrete proof, however, the details of every cancellation are confidential and can be revealed only in court.

 

“Since all the reports indicated the extraordinary cause of the cancellation I confirm that the claim for compensation needs to be rejected.”

So, again, bugger off.

But it seems pretty clear that they owe a better explanation than that. Or are they essentially saying ‘take us to court’? I’m not really sure what my next step should be. Any advice? At the moment, I’m just dealing with their customer representative – is it worth escalating this to anyone else within the organization. Or should I now start threatening them with the small claims court or perhaps suggest to their press office that they may be hearing from one of the consumer/travel correspondents at the national newspapers about this?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Easyjet are indeed telling you to b****r off. You have a valid claim but you have now experienced the start of the deny, deny deny policy that the airline(s) routinely adopt when faced with cancellation compensation claims.

 

Your next move would be to issue a Notice before Action, essentially informing EZ that unless they pay the compensation due within 14 days from the date of your letter, then you will issue legal proceedings to recover the compensation due without further notice.

 

You might like to check whether you have legal expenses cover via your household contents insurance policy which would enable you to use a solicitor appointed by the insurer to handle your claim for you but absent this cover you will have to proceed as a litigant in person in the small claims track of your local county court.

 

You will need to be determined, patient and able to spend the time on this claim to succeed in this. More help is available on this specific topic on http://www.flightmole.com/forum/index.php

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Thanks Cityboy62, I feared that might be the case. I'll follow the route you suggest and see where it gets me. Is there anywhere in particular online that I should go to get more detail and the right language for a Notice before Action? Unfortunately, that flightmole forum is not accessible to me.

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Thanks Cityboy62, I feared that might be the case. I'll follow the route you suggest and see where it gets me. Is there anywhere in particular online that I should go to get more detail and the right language for a Notice before Action? Unfortunately, that flightmole forum is not accessible to me.

 

Even if you cannot register on the site, you should still be able to view the appropriate threads online. This is a relevant template for your situation:

 

EasyJet Airline plc

Hangar 89

London Luton Airport

Luton

Bedfordshire

LU2 9PF

 

(Insert Date)

 

Dear Sir

 

NOTICE BEFORE ACTION

 

Cancelled flight EZY xxx

Date xx/xx/xx

Passenger names (insert)

Booking reference xxxxxx

 

We submit a claim for the compensation to which we are entitled under EC 261/2004.

 

This claim is made on behalf of passengers (names of passengers).

The Art 7 entitlement per passenger is 250/400/600 Euros. (whichever applies)

 

Our flight was cancelled and we were not offered re-routing within the relevant timescales to avoid entitlement to this compensation. If you seek to advance a defence of extraordinary circumstances as delivered by Art 5.3 we wish to give you a (final) opportunity to prove this defence to us. The carrier has the burden to prove this defence and we wish to review the merits of this defence. We wish to understand the complete factual basis comprising this defence. We also require evidence to support the facts upon which you rely.

 

We wish to give you a reasonable time to do this. We believe 14 days is a reasonable time. We are aware that you regularly employ Solicitors to respond to such grievances and they can presumably be called to assist you in responding to our request in a timely manner. Please be advised that vague and unsupported attributed causes or reasons may not fulfil this burden of proof.

 

We are aware of the requirement to make court proceedings a matter of last resort but, unless you cooperate with us fully at this stage to examine the facts upon which you rely, we shall be obliged to commence court proceedings to ask the court to examine the merits of our grievance. We reserve the right to do this after 14 days failing full cooperation and disclosure of your complete defence.

 

If you fail to cooperate with us fully we would draw your attention to the relevant Practise Direction concerned pre-action conduct to proceedings in the County Court.

 

We do not believe that there is any relevant alternative dispute mechanism that is available to resolve this matter.

 

We shall invite the court to consider your conduct in the light of our request in this letter and to consider any relevant award of costs for actions that might be found unreasonable or unnecessary. A request for costs and interest may be included in the demand presented through the Court.

 

Therefore we request full details of your defence or alternatively provide us with a cheque(s) in the amount of (Euros XXX)-made payable as follows.

 

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours faithfully

 

(sign and insert your name)

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  • 1 month later...

Go to court. I have recently had the same problem with bmibaby. Cancelled flight due to "unplanned technical fault" (what a planned technical fault is I don't know!). I asked for details and they would not supply them. I claimed compenstaion for alternative flights and travel, food etc. plus €250 compensation. Still no joy. Eventually they gave more information about a "hairline crack in the tail spine". Thanks heavens for a plane spotters website who redirected me to a directive from Boeing in 2002 alerting airlines to this problem.So I issued a small claim against them saying I would go for discovery of their miantenance records- on the day before their deadline for responding I was contacted. I got all my costs plus compensation for "poor customer service" as long. This was not €250 but it was not worth going to court so I settled - but not out of pocket by any means.

 

It seems these companies will fight all the way to the court room door and then back down as they are terrified of a court ruling against them or having to disclose records of maintenance, staffing etc. I had reservexd my rights via my travel insurance but refused to use it. I have written to my travel insurers saying taht they ought top be more aggressive about pursuing the se claims - albeit they are small they soon add up and up goes the cost of our travel insurance. Don't give up - good luck!

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They get off so lightly!

 

It is fraud, dishonest to pretend that the cause was a technical fault when they know full well that this would not stand up in court, and the cost of an occasional case like this is not a big deal to an airline.

 

Enforcement agencies let us down, over and over again by failing to show that a criminal offence is a criminal offence, by convicting the offender.

 

:mad2:

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  • 2 years later...

Hi Coppi,

 

Did you get any luck going to court? I've got a replica case, leaking oil from the engine is the technical fault that they are classing as extraordinary this tine, and same story with me...deny, deny, deny...I think im about ready to send the "Notice Before Action" letter (v useful template Cityboy62, thank you), but was hoping for a positive story of success down this road before going on..

 

Any advice anyone can give would be appreciated. .

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Hi Coppi,

 

Did you get any luck going to court? I've got a replica case, leaking oil from the engine is the technical fault that they are classing as extraordinary this tine, and same story with me...deny, deny, deny...I think im about ready to send the "Notice Before Action" letter (v useful template Cityboy62, thank you), but was hoping for a positive story of success down this road before going on..

 

Any advice anyone can give would be appreciated. .

 

Hi Gweedledum

 

I issued Small Claims proceedings against bmi baby. BMI wrote to me again saying they would stick to their line of defence - I replied: fill in your forms to defend this and, by the way, I will be seeking discovery of your maintenance records. That did the trick and offer came back by return - not the full amount but enough for me as I had included every cost possible in my claim, meals, interest, time etc.. Their settlement was, of course,"not acceptance of your claim in its entirety and did not imply liability for the sums lost." etc etc blah blah! My experience is that by using the Small Claims Procedure firms would rather settle because they cannot get legal costs refunded so their expensive lawyers at £150 per hour are somewhat reluctant to turn out for such small beer. Go for it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Coppi and all,

 

I am responding because I have been in a dispute with Easyjet following a delay of 14 hours in May 2012 (I promised to create a thread on the forum, so it can benefit other people).

 

After using different official bodies (UK Consummer centre, UK CAA, Italian CAA, National enforcement body) which only confirmed that we were entitled to the compensation as per European Regulation 261/2004 but didn't provide any useful output nor took any action against the airline, I moved to court claim.

 

I used the services of a specialised group of lawyers however, which sued them.

After a few weeks, it seems that the company has now recognised that they owe the money, and they have sent a cheque.

 

It has seemed to me that Easyjet has tried to avoid contact with lawyers as much as possible. I believe they try to avoid to pay court fees AND interests, but they also try to avoid that the case is recorded as successful in a specialised legal group since it would make more people be aware.

 

In our case we have to pay a previously agreed fee of 30% of the claim amount, so I am very happy to see that you have been able to sue Easyjet yourself and you have been successful.

 

Best regards

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  • 3 years later...

Hi

 

I don't know where to post my Easyjet story, so if nobody minds, will jump on this one. It is a success story, so please bear with me whilst I outline the steps I took so that it may benefit others.

 

Backstory: We arrived at the security check at Gatwick, en route to France to be told by the security officials that our flight was cancelled. To this day Easyjet has not informed us of the cancellation or the reasons for it. Our fellow passengers made alternative arrangements at great expense (eg five times the cost of the original tickets) or at great trouble (eg. train to Manchester to catch alternative flights). We returned home.

 

Steps:

 

1. In my very first letter to Easyjet I told them the situation and called for (a) a refund of the money paid,since they were in breach of contract and (b) for compensation as per European Law.

 

2. I gave them 14 days to respond after which I said I would take legal action.

 

3. Within days I had a response from Easyjet acknowledging liability and telling me that the first sum had already been refunded but they needed a bank account for the second (!) which I sent.

About a week later the compensation arrived.

 

4. By this time we had searched fruitlessly for reasonably priced alternatives (the law obliges one to seek to alleviate the amount of damages, so I couldn't just get a first class ticket on the first flight over and charge it to Easyjet) and were eventually obliged to use Eurostar

 

5. When we returned home after our much delayed trip and I contacted Easyjet, demanded payment of the extra costs incurred (the wasted trip to Gatwick, the extra cost of the Eurostar) and after a minor runaround re the format of my proofs, they agreed to pay.

 

6. They did not pay the full Eurostar costs. They paid a particular sum which, whilst it did amount to the cost of the Gatwick tickets plus Eurostar, did so when taken together with the refund. ie In the end our costs were no more than they would have been had Easyjet not been in breach of contract.

 

7. This is probably the most a court would award, since we also had the European Law compensation to make up for the inconvenience our entire family suffered and the delay in our family reunion.

 

8. I think the moral of the story is to get onto them straight away and to give them a definite, short but reasonable time to respond eg a fortnight. Back that up with a reminder a few days before the due date. This is in effect a letter of demand which is the formal letter preceding a summons ie the institution of legal proceedings.

 

9. I had no doubt that I would win if it came to a court case, since Easyjet acknowledged liability. I did, however have doubts as to how to enforce any judgement. I was told by a lawyer friend that I could send the bailiffs after Easyjet, much as it could set the dogs on me if I owed them money. I would have gone all the way if need be because they really destroyed our family reunion. We are, however, £200 per person better off to soften the blow, which is what compensation is meant to do.

 

10. If anyone wants to see what I wrote, I can put up a template of some kind.

 

Regards to you all

Pritti

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