50 pensioners lose first holiday since lockdown when easyJet cancels flight

‘It was absolutely disgusting the way were treated,’ organiser says

<p>High winds resulted in low spirits for this group of travellers</p>

High winds resulted in low spirits for this group of travellers

A group of more than 50 pensioners flew off on their first holiday since lockdown only to end up back where they started 12 hours later following a nightmare day on easyJet.

The group, aged 75 to 92, were supposed to be flying to the Isle of Man from Gatwick after getting there from their homes in Kent.

But their flight had to land in Manchester due to high winds and after a three and a half hour wait it was cancelled and they were flown back to Gatwick.

Despite other flights making it to the Isle Of Man, after a 90-minute wait at Gatwick they were told there was no hotel accommodation for them and the next flight was in three days’ time.

So the whole group was forced to cancel their trip, which cost £675 a head. To add insult to injury, easyJet said it would not refund the flight cost as the wind was out of its control.

The retirees – from Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable and Hythe – said they were disgusted with their treatment and would never use the airline again.

Eileen Booker, who organises trips for over-70s through her Blean-based Booker Trip, said in the end they decided to cancel the whole thing and return home.

She added: “We had people in their late 80s and even a 92-year-old. Since lockdown, this was their first holiday away. We were all hungry, tired, it was such a long day for nothing.

“It was absolutely disgusting the way were treated. Other planes were landing on the Isle of Man, other people had on-board apps showing that. Why they chose to abandon us I don’t know.”

The group of 53 had set off by coach from Canterbury at 7.30am on Sunday, 22 May for a four-night excursion.

But instead of visiting the Lexi Wheel, Manx Electric Railway and the House of Keys, they spent 12 hours being shuttled up and down the mainland and found themselves back at Gatwick.

Ms Booker, 77, said the captain on the return flight had told them that on arrival at Gatwick there would be a coach to take them to a hotel for overnight accommodation and there would be a new flight in the morning.

She said: “We thought we’d salvage some of our five-day holiday. But when we got back to Gatwick, nobody at easyJet knew anything about us and they said there wasn’t any availability for a group of 53 on a flight until Wednesday.

“I had to make the decision to abandon the trip. We lost our holiday because of them.”

The party did not get home until the early hours of Monday, 23 May.

Ms Booker said the whole experience left her feeling “disgusted” and she has vowed never to use easyJet again.

A spokesperson for the airline said: “We contacted customers to advise them of the cancellation and their options to rebook or receive a refund and with information on arranging hotel accommodation.

“Unfortunately, we are unable to provide rooms for all customers and we advise that anyone who sources their own hotel accommodation will be reimbursed.

“Our team are reaching out to Ms Booker to apologise for her experience and to reimburse her and her group for their expenses.

“While this was outside of our control, we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation.

“The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is our highest priority.”

Because the cause of the cancellation was considered as an extraordinary circumstance, EasyJet will not pay out any compensation.

The company will however, reimburse customers for any reasonable expenses.

It is understood other planes may have been able to fly to the Isle of Man at the same time due to changes in the weather at the time of arrival.

SWNS

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in