EasyJet cancels flight from London to Belfast, offers passengers alternative trip to Malaga

EasyJet cancels flight from London to Belfast, offers passengers alternative trip to Malaga

Flying from London to Belfast via Malaga: that was the option offered to a passenger after dozens of easyJet flights were cancelled on Sunday.

Nigel Goddard, from Ballymena in Northern Ireland, was one of hundreds of passengers stranded at London Gatwick after two flights to Belfast International and another to George Best Belfast City were grounded.

The airline blamed the high number of cancellations on “the impact of bad weather and air traffic control delays”.

Mr Goddard checked the easyJet app for alternatives and was offered a flight from Gatwick to Malaga on Monday morning at 5.45am. He would have arrived at the Costa del Sol hub at 9.40am, with a wait of almost four hours for the 1.25pm ​​flight to Belfast International.

The connection would offer the opportunity to swim in the Mediterranean Sea at Playa del Guardalmar, a half-hour walk from the terminal at Malaga airport – provided travellers had packed a swimsuit.

But Mr Goddard could not use this option because he did not have his passport with him.

“I was alone on a domestic flight, so I left it at home.”

The total proposed distance was 2,266 miles – more than six times further than the direct journey of 350 miles from Gatwick.

An easyJet spokesman said: “We regret that Mr Goddard’s flight from London Gatwick to Belfast on Sunday could not be operated due to a technical issue on the aircraft’s previous flight and air traffic control restrictions due to bad weather, which prevented the crew from meeting safety requirements.

“We offered hotel accommodation and meals, as well as options to receive a refund or rebook through our self-service tool, which is designed to help customers rebook quickly and easily, free of charge, with direct and indirect flights, subject to availability.

“While indirect routing can work well for much of our network, particularly in Europe, we understand that the option provided was not suitable in this instance. However, customers do have the option to book with another airline if no suitable easyJet flights are available and we will refund them.

“We have contacted Mr Goddard to apologise for the inconvenience caused, reimburse any costs incurred and provide the compensation to which he is entitled.”

In the event of disruptions, airlines are obliged to get passengers to their destination as quickly as possible, including with a competing airline if that is the best solution. Usually, the airline that cancels a flight offers a wide range of connections on its own services, including routes that are indirect.

After British Airways cancelled its flight from Malaga to Southampton on Saturday, BA offered a passenger a flight three days later via Dublin, instead of a direct flight on the same day to London Heathrow and a coach connection.

The passenger instead booked a direct Ryanair flight from Malaga to nearby

A British Airways spokesperson said The independent on the day itself: “We have apologised to customers for the disruption to their travel plans and our teams are doing everything we can to get them back on the road as soon as possible.”

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