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EasyJet and Luton airport missed flight complaint

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On Monday I had a flight to Naples from Luton airport at 17:40.

We arrived at the airport and went through security with plenty of time and checked the boards right away and they advised that our gate information would be available at 17:05.

 

We checked the boards at this time and it advised that our flight was at gate 1 (this is the furthest away gate if you don’t know the lay out).

 

We made our way there and arrived at 17:30 as I was with my mum who has back issues so has a stick to help her walk

(she can walk and is very independent but cannot rush so it took a few extra minutes to walk down there).

 

When we arrived at the gate they told us that they stop boarding 20 minutes before the flight time and were refused entry onto the plane so classed as missing our flight.

 

Now the Luton airport website advises that it is a 15 minute walk to gate 1 meaning that there was no jiggle room from the gate being released until they refused boarding unless you ran down there or rushed.

Also I have checked online and the plane didn’t leave the gate until 17:47 so it did not go early or anything like that.

 

I explained that the gate info arrived late and that it was a long walk and that we couldn’t have gotten there quicker, while we were there other people also arrived and were refused so we weren’t the only ones.

 

I had to rebook our flight for the next morning and pay for the flights again.

I booked them with special assistance so we wouldn’t risk missing the flight which meant my mum was made to feel like an invalid and upset as she is very independent.

 

We would have made our flight if the gate information was released with more warning, or if the flight staff allowed the extra time to board considering that only 15 minutes was allowed from gate number being released until they stopped boarding when it is a 15 minute walk.

 

I have emailed easyJet with my complaint and they offered a £25 gift card as a goodwill gesture, but this does not cover the cost of the new flights or the loss of a big chunk of our holiday or the stress.

 

Also I should add that when we were refused entry and I explained my mum couldn’t walk fast for long distances, the staff acknowledged this and told us about the special assistance, then sent us to gate 30 to be escorted out, this turned out to be on the other side of the airport and my mum struggled and was in pain from the extra walking, no assistance was offered despite them being aware of her issues.

 

I have written back to easyJet to say £25 isn’t good enough but they have not replied (£25 wouldn’t even cover the flight tax that they should be returning anyway).

 

Is there anything else I can do as I feel that we have missed out on a big part of our holiday, had to pay for additional flights and my mum was made to struggle walking an extra long distance after telling staff she struggled with this.

 

Thank you for any help.

 

Oh also I should add that the next day when we got the next flight, the gate info was again only released 35 minutes before the flight (we had the special assistance this time so we made it) but also people were still boarding that flight 5 minutes before the flight time, so the 20 minute rule was not being strictly enforced.

Edited by dx100uk
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Pretty standard for any flight to stop boarding at least 20 minutes ahead of official departure time.

 

Usually in most airports there are constant announcements for passengers, so they know a gate is going to be closed.

 

Not sure you have any come back here. Perhaps check with airport management about the issues you faced.


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The issue is though that they stopped boarding 15 minutes after the gate number was given, despite it being a 15 minute walk to the gate for an average person.

It took us more than 15 minutes to walk there so didn’t have any chance.

When we arrived at the gate the board still said final call too and not gate closed.

 

The next day when we got our flight, they still were allowing people to board 5 minutes before so this clearly isn’t a strict rule and they could have allowed us to board along with the other passengers that were turned away especially as they were aware that only a 15 minute window was given to get to the gate and board which was so far away.

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I would not get distracted by the fact that, on another occasion, they did not enforce the 20 mins gate closure rule. Stick to what happened in your case, which - as you describe it - is that the period between the gate being first advertised, then boarding opened, and then the gate closed was only 15 mins - and that this did not allow you enough time (by the airport's own admission) to get to the gate.

 

If this is what happened, then you would have a good case for "involuntary denied boarding" under EU Regulation 261/04 (the flight delay compensation rules). You would be owed 250 euros per passenger, plus the difference in fare between the new flights and what you paid.

 

Have you made a claim citing 261/04? If not, do so. And if the airline refuses you should then open up a case with Easyjet's arbitration scheme - which is run by CEDR. You can google it.

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We could do with some help from you.

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So from what I can understand, the eu regulations article 3.2 say we will have been denied boarding as we had checked in (and passed security) over 45 minutes before departure and it was only the unreasonable operational reasons (limited gate information time) that we struggled to make it to the gate, and therefore the regulations apply?

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