I am pasting a copy of a letter that I sent to Easy Jet on 22 July 2010. I received an e-mail response which I am also pasting for your views. I think Easy Jet have no idea at all about the meaning of Customer Relations if this reply is anything to go by.
My letter of 22 July 2010:
I am writing this letter due to the fact that my family and I attempted to check into an Easy Jet flight 5088 from Athens to Gatwick on 14 July at 18.18pm noting that the e-ticket stipulated check in closing at 18.20pm. There were no staff at the check in desk at this time and as a consequence we have lost the cost of the Easy Jet flight and incurred unforeseen costs with another carrier. I am seeking some form of financial compensation to cover these losses. The history of this has been set out below.
As noted my family and I recently travelled to Europe from Australia. Whilst in Europe we had 3 Easy Jet flights booked. On 30 June from Lyon to Gatwick, on 1 July from Gatwick to Athens and the third flight on 14 July from Athens to Gatwick to which the above booking reference relates.
On 14 July we were booked on an Olympic Airlines flight from Paros to Athens due to depart at 4.05pm and arrive at 4.35pm on that day. The incoming aircraft was delayed and we did not arrive in Athens until 5.55pm. We were then taken by bus to the terminal and were in the terminal just after 6pm. Due to the check in closing at 6.20pm I decided that I should proceed to the check in whilst my wife and 3 children retrieved the bags so that I could start to check us in. I arrived at the Easy Jet check in at exactly 6.18pm by both my watch and the clocks in the terminal and the check-in counters for that flight were from memory 21-23. To my dismay there were no Easy Jet staff at the counters at all. I then found an Easy Jet representative and looked at my watch and it was at this stage 6.21pm. I told her that I had been at the counter at 6.18pm by my watch and by the clocks in the terminal and that there were no staff present and she advised that the flight had already closed and there was nothing she could do.
An Air Traffic Controllers strike had been called for 15 July 2010 and the women at the Easy Jet counter informed me that due to this strike there would be no flights on 15 July and that there were no seats for 16 July and that I might get seats on 17 July.
I had pre-booked accommodation in London and would have forfeited the cost of 2 nights accommodation due to the lack of notice, and I would have had to organise accommodation in Athens and then amidst industrial action try to get a flight to London as we were departing back to Australia on 19 July. As the British Airways counter was nearby I inquired about the possibility of seats on BA 633 to Heathrow departing at 7.10pm and was told that there may be seats but they would not know until 6.40pm. I managed to get 5 seats and for them I was charged a total of Euro 2316.75 which was over 3,500 Australian dollars, but due to the fact that I was unable to check in for the Easy Jet flight because your staff were not at the counter and because of industrial uncertainty I was left with no other option but to do this.
There were delays with both the BA flight and the Easy Jet flight leaving Greece that night and the BA flight did not depart until after 8pm and the Easy Jet flight parked next to us at Bay 3 did not depart until around 8pm and I am sure that your flight logs would confirm this fact.
I would accept this situation if I had arrived at the check in counter after 6.20pm but this was not the case and I believe that the abandonment of the check ins by your staff has led to me losing the costs of the Easy Jet fare and led to me incurring additional costs with BA.
I would appreciate some action with regard to this and I would be willing to pursue this through an airline ombudsman or other relevant authority in the United Kingdom if the response that I get from you is not satisfactory. I enclose for your reference the charge vouchers from BA with regards to the costs I had to incur with them. I also give you copies of my accommodation booking in London which would have led to the loss of 2 nights accommodation costs for the lack of notice. I have also attached your booking reference which stipulates check in closing at 18.20pm.
My wife and I would be both willing to provide statutory declarations with regard to the information contained in this letter if this was required.
The Easy Jet Response:
Thank you for contacting us.
I am sorry that you have been disappointed with easyJet’s conditions of carriage and I appreciate your frustration.
As a low cost airline, easyJet must have some restrictions; these include being a point-to-point carrier and a non-refundable airline. Our terms and conditions must be read, understood and agreed to before a booking can be completed to ensure that you are fully aware of our conditions before your booking is completed.
I regret that I can only deal with your claim based on the terms and conditions you agreed to when you booked. I am unable to make any exceptions as easyJet strives to provide the same service for all passengers.
I would like to apologise again. I do hope that this incident will not stop you from choosing easyJet in future.
I do hope I have been able to answer your question fully. To update your query please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.