Cumbria Crack

Stranded Workington stag party suffers 17 hour flight delay

Gary Barnes stag party

A man from Workington, has told of how a stag weekend away was ruined after it ended in a 17 hour delay.

To make matters worse, easyJet have given excuse after excuse to avoid paying the group the compensation they’re entitled to.

Gary Barnes, 31, along with his family and friends, were supposed to be flying back to Edinburgh Airport from Munich with easyJet on 8th October 2018. Instead, they were faced with a 17 hour delay and a night sleeping on the airport floor.

Gary Barnes

Gary said: “What felt like a small victory at the time was that the airline was handing out fliers about how to make a claim for compensation. We thought that although the experience had been awful, at least we would be compensated for it.”

Yet, when they tried claiming once home, easyJet gave the group different excuses for why they weren’t eligible for monetary compensation.

“easyJet have lied left right and centre about this. They’re trying to wriggle out of responsibility – and all I want is to be compensated.” Gary continued.

“At the time, we were told that the delay was due to staff turnaround issues. Then, once home I was told that the delay was due to disruptive passengers on our aircraft having to be disembarked, despite never actually boarding the plane.”

To add insult to injury, Gary’s friend received a different reason for the delay; there had supposedly been a medical emergency on board. The same email admitted that it was indeed a cancelled flight as opposed to a delay which the group were told at the time of travel.

easyJet’s email read: “I can assure you cancelling a flight is always our last resort, as we understand the inconvenience this causes to our passengers. Your flight Munich to Edinburgh was delayed due to a medical emergency on board.”

When trying to dispute the disruptive passengers reason, Gary received the following explanation from the airline: “We’re sorry that your flight to Edinburgh was delayed overnight. Our assessment and legal team has carefully reviewed your claim and the circumstances around your flight and have confirmed that your compensation claim is not eligible for compensation payment under EU Regulation EU261/2004.

“Please note that this may not match with the information you were given on the day of travel, as our staff in airports, and on-board, may not have had all the information concerning your delayed flight.”

The group, who had been celebrating at Munich’s well-known Oktoberfest, were left confused after their 21.50 departure was delayed four times before passengers were told their flight was rescheduled to 11.25 the following day.

Gary explained: “We checked-in and were sat in the lounge when the notice board said our flight was delayed for an hour. Half an hour later, it said we would be delayed for another hour. We sat there until 11pm and then we were called to line up at the gate.”

The group thought they would be getting on the plane, so it came as a shock when they were told that there would be a further delay due to staff turnaround issues.

“Then there was another announcement saying ‘bad news, the flight is going to be delayed overnight and would now be leaving in the morning’.

“An easyJet staff member assured us it definitely wasn’t a cancellation, even though when we went to check-in online for the second flight, it had a completely different flight number to our original one” Gary said.

“The only option we were given was to sleep at the airport or find our own accommodation, which we didn’t attempt because we had been told everywhere was fully booked.”

Passengers were given food vouchers to spend but there was nowhere open in the airport until 5.30am the following morning, leaving them hungry and thirsty.

“It was really confusing, everyone was angry and upset and it didn’t make sense to us why easyJet thought it was acceptable for us to stay for 17 or so hours stuck in an airport.

“We tried to sleep on the floor and on benches but it was so uncomfortable and impossible to sleep. We weren’t given the option to leave the terminal.”

By this point, the party had missed their organised and paid for bus home from Edinburgh.

The following day, the group’s 11.25am flight was delayed for a further hour.

Gary is determined not to give up and has instructed legal representation from leading law firm Bott and Co, who believe each passenger is entitled to 250 Euros in compensation.

Coby Benson, Flight Delay Solicitor at Bott and Co said: “It is deplorable that an airline should leave their customers without access to any food, drink or even a place to sleep all night. We will be working hard to ensure that these passengers obtain any compensation that they are rightly entitled to.”

Cumbria Crack contacted easyJet but didn’t receive a reply.

Passengers affected can use the Bott and Co flight checker to see if they can claim for compensation for a flight delay or cancellation.

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