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I was due to travel with easyJet (in July 2017) but my flight was delayed once I arrived at the airport. The flight eventually departed 6 hours late - easyJet confirmed the delay was 6 hours and 7 minutes. I enquired with easyJet about an alternative but none was offered, so I managed to book with an alternative airline from the airport.

After checking EC261 I made a claim for the 250 EUR compensation. easyJet initially told me the claim was successful but then never paid it and told me it clearly states I have to have boarded the flight. I can see no reference to this in either their terms or EC261. It only says I had to be present for check in, which I was (although I had checked in online so not sure how to prove this). Are they wrong in denying the claim?

Additionally, am I also entitled to claim a refund for the cost of the flight?

  • Sorry, I should have added the flight was from Majorca to London Gatwick – Shaun Feb 3 '18 at 14:22
  • Just to be clear: You are seeking compensation for a delay on a flight you initially had booked, but eventually (voluntarily) did not fly with because you decided to find alternative transport yourself? – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Feb 3 '18 at 18:14
  • Sorry, yes that is correct. I arrived at the airport, was then told the light was delayed, was offered no alternative from easyjet, so booked and traveled on an alternative flight a few hours later, to Luton as I couldnt find another flight to Gatwick. – Shaun Feb 4 '18 at 11:51
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Interpreting the Europa.eu site, Easyjet is wrong in denying the claim. Whether you boarded or not is inconsequential to the delay, of 6 hours and 7 minutes, that occured.

It is stated

If you arrived at your final destination with a delay of more than 3 hours, you are entitled to compensation, unless the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances.

In the absence of 'extraordinary circumstances' You are entitled to claim The 250 EUR compensation.

Separately, unless Easyjet offered you re-routing, you are entitled for the reimbursement of your ticket.

  • Thank you for your responce, this is what I thought. easyJet have now refused any further corespondance with me and have referred me to a dispute service. I have to pay a fee of £20 for this which I believe is refunded if its resolved in my favour. Is this the best way to proceed. – Shaun Feb 5 '18 at 15:36
  • @Giramondo That link appears to be out of date. Can you research and update? – Andrew Lazarus Feb 5 '18 at 20:46
  • They are refusing to pay becasue they say "The compensation rules set by the EU clearly state that in order for you to be entitled to compensation you must have travelled on the flight you are claiming for." I can see no reference to this in the rules at all. – Shaun Feb 6 '18 at 9:35
  • You can dispute the refusal for free here - caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/… – Giramondo Feb 6 '18 at 11:10
  • Gosh, that EU site is awful. From the UK CAA's interpretation of the same rules, you only have the right not to travel if (as in this case) the delay to departure (or departure of a connection) was greater than 5h. It's unclear whether, if you choose this option, you're still entitled to compensation, or just a refund and care. I can't find a source that addresses this matter directly. caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/… – Wandering Chemist Feb 18 '18 at 11:19
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Eligibility

From EC261, to be eligible for any of the following.

Article 3

...

  1. Paragraph 1 shall apply on the condition that passengers:

(a) have a confirmed reservation on the flight concerned and, except in the case of cancellation referred to in Article 5, present themselves for check-in... [on time]

Unless you checked in Majorca, or have good evidence you that you discussed matters with check in staff who agreed to you invoking your 8.1(a) rights, you might have trouble claiming this. For the rest of this answer, I will assume you checked in and didn't invoke your 8.1(a) rights until the five hours had elapsed.

Original Flight Refund

I'm going to tackle your second question first: Can you get a refund on your cancelled flight? Yes. From EC261:

Article 6

Delay

  1. When an operating air carrier reasonably expects a flight to be delayed beyond its scheduled time of departure:

...

passengers shall be offered by the operating air carrier:

...

(iii) when the delay is at least five hours, the assistance specified in Article 8(1)(a).

...

Article 8

Right to reimbursement or re-routing

  1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:

(a) - reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel plan, together with, when relevant,

  • a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity;

Compensation

As for whether you're also entitled to compensation, I'm not so clear. Other sources are contradictory on this. But let's look at it. From the interpretive guidelines for EC261:

3.3.2. ‘Long delay’ at arrival

The Court has ruled that a delay at arrival of at least three hours gives the same rights in terms of compensation as a cancellation (30) (for more details see Section 4.4.5 on compensation).

This is where the right to compensation for a delay comes from - you won't find it in the regulations themselves!

Given the following:

  • You had a 5+ hour delay on departure
  • From Article 6.1(iii) and 8.1(a), you're entitled to cancel for a full refund
  • Neither 6.1(iii) or 8.1(a) entitle you to compensation
  • The interpretive note finds that a "delay at arrival" is equivalent to a cancellation
  • However, you (not the airline) cancelled the booking, so you never arrived, so you never faced a delay; you also don't fall under the category of having had your flight cancelled involuntarily
  • (Also note that 6.1(iii) doesn't invoke 8.1(b), so you had no right to rebooking, so you probably can't try and invoke your arrival time on your personally re-booked flights as evidence of a delay).

So it doesn't look promising for compensation, I'm afraid. But I'm not a layer and YMMV.

New Flight Refund

Continuing from above:

  • 6.1(iii) only invokes 8.1(a) - the right to a refund on your original flight
  • The right to rebooking is contained in 8.1(b), which is not invoked in your case
  • So EasyJet had no obligation to rebook you
  • So you don't have any basis to claim a refund of your rebooking from them, under EC261. You could try on the grounds that "it would be good customer service", but this is EasyJet.

So a refund of your new flight also looks unlikely.

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