EasyJet cancellations: more than 200 flights grounded amid ‘systems failure’

Airline has now confirmed it will pay compensation to passengers whose flights were cancelled

<p>Thousands of easyJet passengers queue for help at Gatwick on Thursday after the airline cancelled dozens of flights</p>

Thousands of easyJet passengers queue for help at Gatwick on Thursday after the airline cancelled dozens of flights

Tens of thousands of easyJet passengers have faced severe disruption after an IT systems failure led to the cancellation of more than 200 flights.

There were long queues and scenes of chaos at airports, particularly London Gatwick, where at least 30 flights were axed.

Destinations include the Greek islands of Rhodes, Santorini and Mykonos. To and from Manchester, a dozen flights have been grounded, including a round trip to Antalya in Turkey. From Luton, trips to Rhodes, Tenerife and Bodrum are also cancelled.

Passengers are entitled to meals and accommodation if necessary, and to be rebooked on the first available flights.

A spokeswoman for easyJet said: “Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing IT systems issues which means that flights due to depart between 13:00 and 15:00 UK time today may be impacted.

“Our team of IT specialists is working to restore the systems as soon as possible.

“We advise customers due to travel with us today to continue to check Flight Tracker to check the status of their flight before making their way to the airport.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused and would like to thank customers for their patience as we work to resolve this as soon as possible.”

Under European air passengers’ rights rules, passengers are entitled to compensation of £220 or £350 per person depending on the length of the flight; the higher figure is for distances above 1,500km.

EasyJet initially seemed to suggest they would not offer customers compensation, sending a message to many saying the problem was “outside of our control” and “considered to be an extraordinary circumstance”.

However, a spokesperson for the airline has now contradicted that claim, telling The Independent the “extraordinary” message was “sent in error”.

Air travel has been hit by ongoing problems caused by post-Covid recruitment struggles and IT failures.

British Airways faed similar computer meltdowns in February and March, and has since pre-emptively cancelled about 100 flights a day until the end of October to ensure it has enough staff to operate its schedule effectively.

EasyJet has also been cancelling flights due to staff sickness, while Manchester airport has witnessed chaotic scenes due to a lack of security screeners.

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