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!

Dr. Wagner has a PhD in Linguistics and is dedicated to learning and teaching languages online and abroad. She has studied in Quebec and Australia, taught English in France, and is currently based in the US.