Low-cost carrier EasyJet has announced the cancellation of more than 200 flights scheduled to depart from London Gatwick airport over the next 10 days – but France has escaped lightly so far.
EasyJet has blamed IT problems and a lack of staff at the airport. It has announced that it has cancelled 24 flights per day from the airport, from May 28 to June 6, it said.
A lack of staff has also seen the airline recently remove six seats from its fleet of A319 planes, to reduce the number of crewmembers required onboard from four to three.
No flights to France have been cancelled today (Monday, May 30), but a 08:30 Montpellier flight was cancelled yesterday.
A full list of the cancelled flights is not yet available, but the main destinations appearing to be affected so far are in Spain (Seville, Valencia, Madrid, Bilbao, Ibiza), Morocco (Marrakech), Italy (Cagliari, Malpensa, Palermo), and Germany (Munich, Berlin).
Flights to Geneva, Reykjavik, and Copenhagen (Switzerland, Iceland and Denmark respectively) are also among those cancelled.
The 200 flight cancellations had already been reported on Friday (May 26) and attributed to IT issues, although the full timescale of the disruption was not detailed at the time. Read more about the issue in our Friday travel round-up.
What can you do if you are affected?
EasyJet advised: “Customers can rebook their flight for free or receive a refund and can claim compensation in accordance with the regulations.”
The company advises customers whose flights have been cancelled to change their flights for free via the website, which also allows the changing of the departure and destination airports for another in the same country.
Customers can also claim a voucher for the amount spent, which is valid for 12 months, and can be used for any EasyJet flight within that time. They can also request a refund, which EasyJet says should be processed within 7 days.
The company can also provide hotel rooms for passengers who need them if their flight is cancelled, and recommends that customers contact customer service or speak to staff at the airport if needed.
It can also help to arrange alternative transport to your destination if possible.
Passengers whose flights are cancelled within 14 days of departure can claim EC261 compensation (except if the cancellation is due to ‘exceptional circumstances’ such as bad weather or an air traffic control strike).
The company said: “We advise customers who are due to travel with us to continue to check Flight Tracker to verify their flight status before travelling 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.”
More information on customers’ rights in the event of an EasyJet flight cancellation can be seen on the company’s website here.
Correction, May 31, 2022: The original article incorrectly stated that EasyJet reduced the number of seats onboard its A319 planes 'to reduce the crew numbers from six to just one'. This has now been updated to state that the removal of the seats allows the airline to 'reduce the number of crewmembers required onboard from four to three'.