Our Nightmare Easyjet Experience

Hello!

This is a post I never thought I’d need to write, if I’m honest. I’ve always been a defender of budget airlines, the sort of person who will fly with anyone because there’s nothing wrong with any of them. Yes, the budget ones are a bit more no frills-things like printing your own boarding passes etc, but that’s fine with me. Until I flew Easyjet, that is. (I apologise for the lack of photos in this post to break it up-I WILL put some in when I can get this laptop on wifi somewhere, I’m currently spending a fortune tethering to my mobile to write this)

This is a long story, you might want to grab a cuppa at this point. Trust me, though, if you ever fly-you’ll want to read how Easyjet treat their customers!

Our flight was due to depart from Liverpool John Lennon Airport at 7pm on Sunday 4th September. We arrived at the airport around three hours early, as suggested, to be told there was a 1 and a half hour delay.Okay, that’s annoying, but we’ll survive. We checked in, put the one suitcase into the hold, took our hand luggage and sailed through security with barely any problems (well, once they’d swabbed my laptop that is!)

Because we had so much time, we decided to sit and have a drink, I wrote Monday’s post on things to do if your plane is delayed, my Mum and Dad went for a walk. Then my Dad came over to me, as I pressed schedule on the post. ‘Laura, you’d better pack up, I think we need to go and see what’s going on, they’ve just cancelled our plane’. And THAT, dear readers, is where the fun started.

We joined the queue at the gate as instructed. Stood there for a while, no one telling us anything. Mum’s phone beeped with a notification from Easyjet that the flight was cancelled (as she checked in online, it let her know via the app) stating ‘operational reasons’. This was more information than we had from any of the Easyjet ground staff, so we let the people around us know this.

We were then sent back through arrivals (having to go through passport control despite never having left Liverpool) to collect our bags from the plane. We walked PAST the bags piled up outside as we did this. We then had to wait at the luggage carosel to college our suitcase. Once done, we were told to go to the Easyjet desk at departures.

Forming a queue there (apart from a few who decided to push in and were swiftly sent back) we were told there was a Ryanair flight leaving at 8:30 and that we could pay £85 per person to get on that, which Easyjet would reimburse later. There were something like 80 seats left. So we all queued there. The woman who seemed to be in charge of sorting things out (who unfortunately never introduced herself or told us who she worked for) counted us and cut off the queue once the number of seats left would have been filled. She sent them back to the Easyjet desk and I believe they were put on the next day’s flight from Liverpool, or from Manchester Airport.

 

Meanwhile in our queue for the Ryanair flight, the poor man on the desk (Ryanair ground staff) appeared to be booking people onto the flight as quickly as he could, but there was no suggestion of bringing anyone to help him. We were well aware that time was ticking away and that we were going to struggle to all get booked onto this flight, then back to Ryanair desk to check in my suitcase, and then back through security again to have the laptop swabbed again (no objection to them doing this at all, I understand it’s a vital security measure, I just also know that the delay in having it done AGAIN could have made us miss our flight) and we did ask if someone was coming to help the poor guy out. No.

The lady then announced that Ryanair had said they would hold their plane until we could all get on it-meaning we would have time to get through. Brilliant news! I asked if security had been made aware and I received a very arsey reply-it’s not security’s business. Well, I’ve had a similar problem before and about 50 of us had to run through an airport to catch a plane, through no fault of our own. Security HAD been made aware, and when we ran through and joined the back of a very long queue, they swiftly opened a new gate to get us through on time. I would’ve thought Liverpool would be as organised (the other airport was Jose Marti in Cuba, who are well known for how laid back they are!) but no, Liverpool talks to you like you’re an idiot when you check that people are communicating. Silly me!

We got to the front of the Ryanair queue, finally. (I’d just like to reiterate that this post is in no way slating Ryanair) and we were told…that they’d changed their minds and were closing the desk NOW. As in, we weren’t getting on the plane. They did let the family behind us on-a heavily pregnant lady, her mum and her young daughter. I’m glad, as the poor thing looked shattered and she needed that seat more than we did.

 

Anyway, the next step was back to the Easyjet desk. The queue who had been behind us in the Ryanair queue had all rushed over, so we ended up at the back of the queue. Again. Funnily enough, we weren’t thrilled about that at this point. Quite why no one was managing the queue, I don’t know. When we got to the front we were told that the next Liverpool to Palma flight was full, they could put us on one at 7:50pm the next day from Gatwick. GATWICK. That southern airport, 243 miles away. Apparently there were no closer flights than that. Due to our circumstances, ie that it’s our first family holiday in years and we’d all struggled to get the same week off work, it was go on this holiday or nothing, so we had no choice but to accept the Gatwick flight. Easyjet put us up in the Hilton Hotel next to Liverpool Airport for the night, and put us all on a coach down to Gatwick the following morning.

At the hotel, we were given a set menu with 4 different meals we could choose from for our tea, on Easyjet. There were two Pizzas, a pasta, and something else I can’t remember. I have IBS, there’s nothing I could eat from that list that A) I like and B) wouldn’t have caused me stomach pains. There was also nothing on the hotel menu. We had no transport to get anywhere else and I couldn’t get back to Departures to buy food. Luckily, the Hilton made me some food that wasn’t on the menu, and we paid for this ourselves (and will be claiming this from Easyjet!) we WERE given breakfast the next morning, and it’s a good job really, as when we got on the coach and Mum asked what they were doing about our lunch, they told us they weren’t giving us lunch as we’d had breakfast. Erm… okay, Easyjet. Bearing in mind that the four of us were supposed to be at an All Inclusive Hotel from Sunday night, and have brought very minimal spending money with us for this reason-we suddenly had to feed ourselves lunch and tea because Easyjet cancelled our flight? Oh, and our holiday was an Easyjet package holiday, meaning we’d booked the full thing through them. Brilliant.

 

We received an e-mail once in the hotel room on the Sunday evening, the night of our cancelled flight, from Easyjet’s call centre, asking us to ring. We called them and they said they’d been trying to get hold of us since 8pm. Well-we had no missed calls, no texts or e-mails until the one we responded to straight away, and from 8pm had been either stood WITH Easyjet or in the hotel 300 yards away that THEY put us in. They could’ve got us, if they’d actually tried. The call centre were ringing to talk about booking us onto a replacement flight. They had no idea we’d been booked onto one already-Easyjet CANNOT communicate with themselves AT ALL. The call centre also suggested they’d let the hotel know that we were still coming but would be a day late (we had already done this as we didn’t want to lose our carefully selected hotel-between us, my family are quite fussy about what area we want to be in, what facilities we need etc and so we’d spent weeks finding the right hotel for us) so we went to sleep thinking we were pretty alright.

Well, guess again! The saga definitely wouldn’t be complete here, this IS Easyjet after all.

 

We got the coach down to Gatwick without a hitch. Nice clean, modern coach, nice drivers, we had a double seat each so could spread out a little-the best that the journey could possibly have been. That was Ogden’s Coaches and they deserve a big thumbs up for helping out as without them we’d still be stood at Liverpool Airport, no doubt.

We arrived at Gatwick about an hour too early to check in for our flight (because some of the others on our coach were on the earlier flight) that’s fine, no problem there. The Easyjet lady helping with the automated check in checked out suitcase straight in anyway, said she’d heard about our flight, and expressed sympathy at what had happened. It wasn’t her fault, we didn’t have a go at her, but as the face of Easyjet she acted politely and professionally and was kind and helpful-like they all should be. I REALLY wish I’d thought to get her name so I could mention her by name in here. Sorry, lovely Gatwick lady!

We went through to departures and did the usual airport stuff-had a drink, bought a tolerone and a book, tried on sunglasses etc etc-and then realised our flight was delayed. Sigh. Half an hour, and we did board at the right time (half an hour after we should have done) so that’s progress. Sadly before we boarded we had a text from Easyjet telling us our hotel couldn’t hold our booking so they’d dumped us somewhere else. More to come on that later!

 

When we got to the front of the queue to board they said right, we’ve run out of cabin room, the hand luggage of everyone else needs to go in the hold. Us, and the couple behind us also from our Liverpool flight, were not best pleased. SURELY Easyjet could’ve communicated and said look lets make sure these guys can have their bags, lets just make this easy for them now, as we’ve fucked them over so much already. Nope. I had to unpack my laptop because it wasn’t allowed in the hold, and my camera, and my handbag. So then I had too much baggage to fit under my feet, but no room in the overhead storage either. That was a fun one!

When the plane took off (late, later than the delay expected-is anyone surprised by this by now?) me and my family sat and worked out what food we wanted. Bearing in mind they’d not fed us since breakfast, we’d had to find cash for some rubbish services food in the 20 minute stop we had on the coach. We narrowed it down to one particular sandwich, which was the least bad thing on the menu. We were sat right at the back of the plane and that’s where the food and drink trolley was, so hey at least we’d be served first. (We’d paid to prebook the back row on the original flight and they’d transferred this over to the new flight) interestingly we were sharing the back row with two others who’d had a flight cancelled on them, theirs was Southampton (can Easyjet actually manage to fly a plane first time?This remains to be seen) Imagine our surprise (okay we weren’t at all surprised) that the trolley sailed past us and started at the beginning of the plane. Wow.

 

When it arrived with us, my Dad ordered our food-only to be told that they had no actual food as the oven was broken (we wanted a sandwich, albeit a hot one, but they didn’t think to offer us it cold…) but we could have some massively overpriced Pringles. At this point I asked the Stewardess (Rachel, who we were unfortunate enough to be ‘looked after’ by) what we were supposed to do, given that we’d been travelling for 33 hours at this point due to them cancelling our plane, making false promises re Ryanair, faffing about so much-oh and they’d not fed us since breakfast and it was now 9pm and we were starving. Her response, as expected from Easyjet, was ‘that’s not my fault, don’t shout at me’. I didn’t shout at her, I’m not that kind of person. I cried, at this point. Big sobs, from frustration, tiredness, hunger, stress, and anxiety. All I wanted was some food. Actually, just to be treated with a bit of kindness and respect. ‘I’m so sorry to hear that, let me see if there’s anything we can manage for you’-would that have been so hard?

We arrived at Palma airport, grabbed our bags (which of course took longer as we had to wait for 4 rather than 1) and got straight into a taxi to our hotel-that bit, at least, ran smoothly. We got checked in (we’d been convinced the hotel wouldn’t be expecting us because lets face it, Easyjet!) and went to bed. I’m writing this post on the Tuesday, and the situation we’re in as as follows:

  1. We’ve lost a day and a night of our holiday, including food and drink we’ve paid for via all inclusive but haven’t been able to access
  2. We’ve had to pay for food in a services that we shouldn’t have had to, and in the airport hotel on Sunday night
  3. We’ve been put in a hotel with no entertainment in the evening, so we’ll have to go out on a night meaning drinks bills we shouldn’t have had (the original hotel was chosen partially BECAUSE of it’s entertainment)
  4. We’ve been put in a hotel that is a long walk from the marina, not next to like we booked
  5. We’ve been put in a hotel with no spa, so our planned (and much needed now, frankly!) massages can’t happen
  6. We’re worried about flying home-me and my brother are due back at work on Monday morning and how do we know Easyjet will get us there? (Due to land Sunday lunchtime so SHOULD be fine, but then we should’ve been on that original plane)
  7. We’ve been spoken to like dirt and pissed about from beginning to end.

And to top it all off, between Gatwick and Palma someone has broken my suitcase. Awesome.

I’ll be sending this to Easyjet because I’m not a tosser, and I’ll give them the right of a reply. So there may be an amendment on this post, or a future post. Or they could surprise us all, and do nothing at all useful. Anyone want to take a bet?

*It’s worth noting that under EU regulations they have to pay us a sum of money as compensation. This is something they HAVE to do by law, not that they are choosing to do in an attempt to fix this. I’m hoping they WILL attempt to fix this. Your move, Easyjet.

Have you ever had a terrible Easyjet experience? Let’s have a therapy session, let me know in the comments!

Laura xx

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34 Comments

  1. Lisa
    September 7, 2016 / 10:54 pm

    Sounds like a nightmare but I hope you are able to enjoy yourselves now! Xx

  2. Gemma Powell
    September 8, 2016 / 10:11 am

    Wow! So sorry to hear about your terrible time. My advice would be to find our the business CEO on twitter and send them your blog link. When we have problems with businesses and they fail to resolve. We take it higher and most of the time it’s sorted within hours!!

    Keep us updated on the outcome please.

    Kind regards
    Gemma

  3. September 8, 2016 / 12:07 pm

    WOW! That was a whole lot of shambles and a broken suitcase – this is a nightmare, there’s nothing worse than delays, cancelled flights, being tossed from place to place and little communication. I’ve tried with easyjet before and *touch wood* have and hopefully will still be okay with their airline but it looks as if they need some better training and communication skills. Sorry you had to go through all this x

  4. September 8, 2016 / 1:09 pm

    What an awful experience, so sorry this has happened, I hope you get a reasonable reply from EasyJet x

  5. September 8, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    I booked through Aifrance this year.
    I lost my luggage,
    Had to pay for transfers due to being late (because of the luggage),
    Spent the entire two weeks in 3 outfits including odd swimwear I found at the ports,
    rushing round the countries to find comfortable clothes,
    Missing excursions,
    Not being able to join in the with activities and ENJOY THE BLOODY HOLIDAY.

    All in all the holiday was a complete bust and they won’t even refund for the clothes we bought whilst away,Which like you said, they legally have to! I haven’t written it up yet as I’m still in talks with their company for a refund (9 weeks later) and don’t want to jeopardize anything. I lost £1000 worth of clothes and valuables and a £2000 holiday, will they refund me anything? Nah.

  6. September 8, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    I’m so sorry you’ve had such a stressful time. I hope you can still enjoy your break away.

  7. nicol
    September 8, 2016 / 4:13 pm

    sorry to hear about your experience! i do hope they sort this one heck of a mess out and not drag it out like many companies like to do

  8. M Williams
    September 8, 2016 / 6:06 pm

    That is so awful I feel really sorry for you. I hope you have some luck sorting this out.It does appear customer service here was lacking, which is a shame. Did anyone know what was going on?

  9. September 8, 2016 / 6:12 pm

    This is the third very negative review I’ve read about easy jet in the space of a few weeks. It would certainly make me wary of travelling with them. I hope you get a decent response and they take responsibility for such awful shambles. They should be ashamed.

  10. Francesca
    September 8, 2016 / 8:09 pm

    Woah what a trialing time for you!!! I feeld bad for you and I don’t even work for easy jet! You’d think the staff would be trying to make your trip a nicer one without adding to your stress! Why work with the public if you can’t do that or can’t take criticism for shit service!? Sorry to hear how bad its going its not fair at all and I’d also be kicking up a fuss over this and claiming money back!!

  11. September 8, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    I can’t believe you’ve had such a lot of trouble. Other than the usual deleyed flights (which happens everytime) I’ve had no issues with Easyjet but I can’t believe they couldn’t even hold your hotel even though you were going to be there for the whole trip. I will never be booking a trip through Easyjet now I’ve read this story x

  12. Amy
    September 8, 2016 / 9:21 pm

    Dear Laura, I’m sorry to hear about your experience, I came across it when searching for help about my own. My friend and I also had a Easyjet flight cancelled on Sunday 4th September (Manchester to Prague). After waiting at the desk for 3 hours they had no remaining seats on flights out of the UK the next day, so we have had to miss the holiday we had been looking forward to for so long. The worst thing is, they are refusing to pay compensation with the excuse of “weather conditions”. It was a perfect day and other customers were told that it was due to understaffing! We are now seriously out of pocket (the hotel was non-refundable) and I’m not sure what to do. I would love to hear how you get on with them.

    • September 9, 2016 / 1:20 pm

      Oh my word, that’s such an awful experience Amy. I’d say that you should contact your travel insurance because they’ll probably sort you out and then chase Easyjet for their money back-and they have more power than us individuals do.

  13. September 8, 2016 / 10:05 pm

    Gosh, It’s sad that companies treat customers this way. These things can cause chains of inconveniences that become super costly.

  14. September 9, 2016 / 8:51 am

    Oh no Laura – flights do get delayed/cancelled but I am really sad for you about the way it’s been handled. Being spoken to like dirt and them not being able to hold your hotel just isn’t on – I have no idea why they couldn’t hold your hotel? Shocking!

  15. September 9, 2016 / 11:30 am

    Wow I’m so sorry this has happen to you. This is why I refuse to ever use EasyJet. If I was you go the press with this.

  16. September 9, 2016 / 12:00 pm

    Wow this is just appalling and it shouldn’t be allowed to happen frankly x

  17. September 9, 2016 / 12:48 pm

    This sounds truly horrendous – Easy Jet are getting it all wrong at the moment. I don’t know if you saw what they did to Kerry from About a mini norris and her family but they are an airline I will NEVER travel with if this is the way they behave! H x

  18. September 9, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    Before even reading this I knew I’d agree with it! Only flown with EasyJet once and wouldn’t ever want to do it again. The staff were so rude and the plane was filthy! It’s ridiculous how they treat their customers! I flown with many other airlines and even on other Short haul flights I’ve had much better service. Service with a smile would be a good start!

  19. September 9, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    oh gosh, was a horrid start to a holiday. I recommend pushing if they decline paying out compensation. I watched a watchdog style programme about this and they lie and say things are a technical fault which couldn’t be avoided or was outside of their control.

  20. September 10, 2016 / 8:51 am

    Wow, that is awful! I would have grabbed my bags and gone home. I have a short temper for that kind of stuff.
    I understand things like this happen but that is ridiculous! Unbelievably disorganised!

  21. September 10, 2016 / 2:23 pm

    What an awful awful experience. All I can say is put it out of your mind for the moment, enjoy your time together as a family on holiday and then deal with it when you get back. You should expect some serious compensation for what you have gone through. I have to say I’m really shocked as I’ve always had such positive experiences with EasyJet flights and the staff have always been so superb in the past. Very disappointing to hear.

  22. Hannah
    September 10, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    Oh my gosh what an absolute nightmare!

  23. Claire
    September 10, 2016 / 6:22 pm

    I’m sorry that you had this awful experience! Some airlines are terrible.

  24. September 10, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    I’ve not used them before but having read this I’m not sure if I would.

  25. September 10, 2016 / 10:47 pm

    Sounds like a right palava! We’d never trust Easyjet with our holiday. We had a bad experience with them once and the staff were rude and we vowed never to fly with them ever again. So sorry to hear it ruined the beginning of your holiday and put you out of pocket.

  26. September 11, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    WOW this sounds absolutely horrendous. Can easyjet actually do anything right?! I don’t think I’d pay to travel with them after seeing your post! xxx

  27. September 12, 2016 / 9:25 am

    Easy jet are arses. I remember arriving at the airport in venice three hours in advance. They decided to have only one check in desk open and three separate flights being booked in by that one desk. WE stood in a queue for over two hours. There were two ladies stood at the speedy boarding sales desk, and realising that we had to get through security after checking in, and still being at the back of the queue I went over (pretty pissed off) and asked them if one of them thought she could perhaps open another desk considering the length of the queue. She laughed in my face. I was beyond irate at that point. The only apology I received back was a crappy speedy boarding free pass for the next time I flew with them. I’ve never flown with them since. We did make our flight but literally with minutes to spare. Considering we were there for over 3 hours that’s shocking.

  28. September 13, 2016 / 11:34 am

    Oh my, this is beyond unpleasant experience!
    I knew there was a reason I never go for all-inclusive holidays. I prefer either bed and breakfast or entirely self catering. You actually spent less money on food and have the freedom to prep your own breakfast, eat on the beach or try local food.
    But seriously? With a flight cancelled, EasyJet should have handled it way better. Plus, I didn’t understand why they didn’t keep your hotel, considering you’ve paid for it. Whether you arrive for it a day late or not, you have paid for it, so they should keep it. Right?

    You really need to seek a compensation from EasyJet. I will spread the word and share this post too!!

  29. September 13, 2016 / 10:47 pm

    Wow what an awful experience! This isn’t the first complaint I’ve heard about EasyJet recently.

  30. September 15, 2016 / 7:43 pm

    Oh wow that sounds like such a horrific experience I really hope they refund you a heap of money and your next holiday is way better xx

  31. October 9, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    That sounds terrible, I can completely empathise with youi flew to Gibraltar with them yesterday and it was awful! Firstly we checked in online andour boarding carss didnt work, so we joined the queue abd checked in where they didn’t work! Then we were approached at tbe gate and asked if we were on standby or would mind going on standby, then like you we had to put our bags in the hold. When I asked if she could provide a lock andssomething for me to put my valubles in as I had to remove them she replied, “not my problem!” When climbing on the rear steps we saw them take somw cases of the people on the front steps and throw them out the door wheee they then fell down the steps! On the plane it turns out there was room but we couldnt have our bags back. When I got my bag back I found the lock on it had been fastend… shame I didnt know thw combination! Luckily a very nice security guard opened it for me with out breaking in. Though not to the same scale of your problems equally not the way I wished to start the holiday! I hope easyjet offer you some compensation for their incompetenc, it seems from the comments its a regular occurrence!

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