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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48167
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I would like some advise with regards ***** ***** flight I had

Customer Question

I would like some advise with regards ***** ***** flight I had booked with easyjet that was cancelled for 2 days due to bad weather conditions in Madeira (my destination of course). Although I am not claiming for compensation for the delay, I was told by a duty manager on the 2nd day of the cancellation at Gatwick airport, after questioned the fact that other airlines were landing (British Airways, Monarch, Air Portugal)if they could booked me/transfer me to another flight as I had a family member illness (my auntie that raised me had had a bad fall and was hospitalized) I had booked my flight 2 weeks prior to visit the family but had a call on the Wednesday morning from my brother to advise me of the situation so I was desperate to get home. On the first day there was not much I could do about it but when they cancelled again on the 2nd day and I found out that other airlines were flying I was told by Simon Hartman (duty manager on that morning) that they could not book me on a flight themselves but I could purchase another ticket and claim a full refund provided I was not flying business class. I did check at the airport and could get a flight with Air Portugal via Porto for that afternoon at a cost of £540. I went back and check with him and again was told to keep all receipts and apply for a refund upon my return. I mention that although I was not using the outward flight to make sure they would not cancelled my return ticket. I have taken the matter with easyjet but was told that was not entitled to any refund. As you can expect I was not happy with the outcome so I have sent another e-mail requesting a meeting with the person in question,as I was mislead by a member of the staff that was on duty at the airport that morning. The e-mail I sent was on the 25th March and have advised them that If I did not get a reply by the 31st March I would start legal proceedings. So far no reply and I have copies of all correspondence. To be honest is the fact that I was mislead that I can not accept. So I just wanted to check if I have a case and what are my options to take the matter forward. Sorry is a long e-mail but I wanted to give all the background on my case.Many thanks, ***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have you checked the booking terms and conditions to see if this was indeed an option?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben, no I have not checked. They have given all the passengers a leaflet about compensation, what we are entitled but is not very clear as to what we can claim or not. At the time I took the word of the duty manager, as I assume he knew what we could or not do under the circumstances but as usual is my word against his and that is why I had asked them to have a face to face meeting with the person in question but no reply to my e-mail.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. The initial point of reference should be your booking terms and conditions as this is what you and the airline would have been bound by and any compensation would be determined under these terms. However, the airline could have gone out of their way and offered you discretionary compensation, over and above what you would have been entitled to under contract. You would not have had to receive some formal confirmation of this, such as trough a letter, and if you had been told this by a formal representative of the airline, with authority to do so, then you could have held the company liable for that person’s promises. Legally, the company could have become ‘vicariously liable’ for the person’s actions. The test is would it have been reasonable to assume that this person was acting with a degree of authority to offer what was offered. As an example, if you had spoken to a flight attendant, who does not deal with bookings or has influence on policies, etc then you may find it difficult to argue your case. However, if you had spoken to a customer services manager there would be a reasonable assumption that this person would be knowledgeable on the company’s policies and may even have had the authority to offer additional compensation like paying for a different flight. So you can still pursue them on this basis. The good news is that even if they refuse to budge, you can make a claim in the small claims court and even if you lose you will not be responsible for their legal fees and would only lose out on the court/claim fees which won’t be too high. So you can take this risk to try and push them a bit more into a corner and hope that they just settle rather than having to spend time and resources dealing with your claim. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the next steps you should follow if you wish to proceed with the small claims court route, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the advice so far, and I would welcome the guidance on the next steps and I wish to proceed with this case as a matter of principal albeit the cost of the new ticket will be my main reason.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for all your help Ben, I shall follow your advice and hopefully get to the end of this.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome, best of luck!