Update on the Easyjet Drama: Refusal to Pay Compensation

Oh Easyjet, how I loathe you more and more everyday. Remember how they abandoned us overnight in Venice without providing food or hotels like they are legally supposed to? Even though I was reimbursed for the canceled flight, I never received the insultingly low 120€ for alternative travel costs (we paid nearly 1,000€ out of pocket to get home). I sent another e-mail to Easyjet’s customer service explaining our nightmare at Marco Polo airport (along with receipts for car rentals, gas, tolls, etc.) and stating that I am entitled to 250€ compensation per person according to Regulation 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the European Council.

This regulation is supposed to help passengers in case of delays or cancellations in the EU, but there is one problem:  “An operating air carrier shall not be obliged to pay compensation in accordance with Article 7, if it can prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.” Extraordinary circumstances is not defined, which unfortunately means that the despicable airlines will claim every cancellation is beyond their control in order to not pay compensation. That is exactly what Easyjet is doing now.

Even though the flight was canceled due to crew shortage, Easyjet is claiming that it was because of the storms. Funny how every other flight was able to take off from the airport after the storms had passed. And funny how Easyjet themselves originally told me the flight was canceled due to crew shortage and not because of the storms. Does lying come naturally to Easyjet employees? Is that in the employee handbook?

It’s bad enough that we were abandoned at the airport for 18 hours with no food, water or hotel accommodation (which is BEYOND ILLEGAL!!!) and that because of this, grandma nearly passed out and had to see the airport doctor. But to have them completely lie to me just to get out of paying compensation makes me LIVID. BOLD LIVID.

Crew shortage is not an extraordinary circumstance – in fact, it’s a rather common occurrence with this “less punctual than Air Zimbabwe” airline – and a standby crew is supposed to be provided in these cases. It’s just fortunate for Easyjet that there were also storms that same day so they can use that as an excuse.

So my next step is to involve the ENAC, the civil aviation authority in Italy (where the flight was supposed to originate) and hopefully they can help me get compensation. After that, hello small claims court!

French Slang Nouns (New Video)

Here are some common informal nouns used in everyday speech in France. Once again, it is more important to simply understand these words and not worry so much about trying to use them. The standard vocabulary is given after the sample sentences.

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Are you a Juillettiste or an Aoûtien? and Another Reason to Visit France

We are in the middle of les grandes vacances in France and it certainly shows, even in smaller towns rather than just Paris. Many shops are closed or not nearly as crowded as usual, most of the people wandering the streets have cameras around their necks, and I can always find a parking spot directly […]

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The Importance of Learning Collocations instead of Individual Words

As Randy from Yearlyglot pointed out recently, word pattern recognition is an important concept in language learning and attaining fluency. Word patterns or collocations are simply the way certain words (whether function or content) habitually occur together. These conventional sequences are instantly recognizable to native speakers of a language, but remain difficult for second language learners to acquire […]

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Improving Comprehension of Foreign Languages with TV Series, Movies and Subtitles

Watching television shows and movies in the target language is a great way to learn the (real) language, but it is even better if you can read along with the subtitles while watching and listening. Most linguistics studies and language students agree, but someone needs to tell the producers of DVDs this.  I am still […]

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French Summer School Online: Free Resources to Download

Académie en ligne is the official website of Education Nationale in France that provides support materials for all courses in public schools so that students can continue learning during the summer. The site was launched last summer, but I had forgotten until This French Life posted about it.  It’s designed for all students from CP […]

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Death of a Language Website: learncanadianfrench.com

Last year a friend of mine who had recently immigrated to Quebec sent me a link to a great website about learning Canadian French. The URL was simply learncanadianfrench.com and the site included grammar and vocabulary specific to Quebec as well as several videos of Quebecois songs and examples of Quebecois speech. It was an […]

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Learning French Slang & Culture through Hip-Hop and Rap

Even if you don’t like rap in English, it pays to listen to it in foreign languages because the songs are usually full of informal language and slang as well as cultural references. Here are some songs that also teach you verlan (a “backwards” form of slang), French geography, Francophone names, common acronyms and the […]

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For the France & French Lovers in America (and Elsewhere)

It’s too hot for me to stay at the computer and do a real update. It was about 37° C / 98.6° F here today and it’s still not that cool at 10 PM. The Tour de France started in Chambéry this afternoon before heading down to Gap and I feel sorry for the cyclists […]

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From Annecy to Bassano del Grappa: Taking Grandma to Her Parents’ Birthplace in Italy

David’s grandmother was born in France in 1932. Her parents are from the towns of Bassano del Grappa and Solagna, in the region of Veneto, Italy. Her father, Antonio Tosetto, came to France in 1929 to escape le camicie nere (the blackshirts, or Fascists) while her mother, Maria Todesco, stayed behind in Bassano until he […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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