I have sent this email to Easyjet, the Air traffic users council and their equivalent in Switzerland. Anything else I should do? Has anyone ever had success with something like this?
On 10th June 2010 EZY7286 Geneva to Liverpool 21:50 flight was cancelled. We were informed of this at 21:30.Easyjet complied with the EU regulation 261/2004 and put myself and my partner up in hotel and rebooked us onto EZY7286 Geneva to Liverpool 21:50 flight for 11th June 2010. This too was cancelled. Once again, this was not announced until 21:30. Again, we were given accommodation and rebooked onto EZY7286 Geneva to Liverpool 21:50 on 12th June. This DID take off, and got us back to Liverpool. However, I am firmly of the understanding that I am entitled to compensation due to the two cancellations, as detailed in EU regulation 261/2004, and also on the passenger rights handout issued to me by the FOCA at Geneva airport.
However, on ringing the customer helpline to request this, I have received no satisfaction.
I made the first call at about 14:00 on 13th June and spoke to somebody called Tom. I explained what had happened and asked about compensation.I quoted the EU regulation number. He stated I was not entitled to compensation as the 10th June EZY7286 Geneva to Liverpool 21:50 flight as that flight had not been cancelled but had in fact been "delayed" and it did eventually take off to Liverpool, albeit 49 hours late. I queried this and asked why the airport boards had classed both cancelled flights as cancellations and not as delays. Indeed, the pilot on the 12th June flight apologised to passengers on the flight who had been delayed in Geneva for 24 or indeed 48 hours due to the cancellation of the previous two flights. Tom merely repeated that the information he had stated that it was a delay and so therefore I was not entitled to compensation.
I rang Easyjet again at 14:30 and spoke this time to Colin. I gave him the reference number and he straight away agreed that it was a cancelled flight. He agreed to find out more, and duly called me back. He said he had spoken to his manager, but then said that the information he had was that the flight was cancelled due to "Technical difficulties"and so did not fall under the compensation agreement.I then asked about the reason for the cancellation of the 11th June flight. He seemed unaware of this.I then spoke to his manager (possibly called Marie).I asked about the reason for the cancelled 11th June flight. Again, she did not know, but repeated that no compensation was due to me. I asked why I had initially been told it was a delay. She did not know. I asked her to find out more about the 11th June cancellation for me,and phone me back, failing that I would phone her.
I phoned back at about 15:30. I spoke to Colin again. He told me that the reason for the 11th June cancellation was due to "industrial action in French airspace on 11th June." I had anticipated this answer as it was one of the three different explanations I had been given by Easyjet staff at Geneva airport ( the other two being bad weather in Paris, or the knock-on effect of disruption to the Easyjet schedule earlier in the day meaning that our plane could not arrive in Geneva on time to get us back to Liverpool). I told Colin I found it strange that I could find no information about air disruption or strikes for that day on the internet. He told me his source of information was reliable. I asked for more information about the "technical difficulty". He said that this was due to an oil leak on the plane at Manchester. Either way, he kept telling me that no compensation would be forthcoming. I said I found it very coincidental that exceptional circumstances could happen to the same flight (the last one on the schedule, so the one most likely to be cancelled due to operational difficulties with earlier flights). I understand that the same flight was also cancelled on Tuesday, 8th June, and the hotel receptionist told us that this sort of thing was a common occurrence with Easyjet in Geneva. Colin then called Geneva airport and said that he had spoken to the manager and seen a copy of the log for both days where the manager had ticked the boxes stating no compensation was due for either flight. I am unclear whether the manager was the airport manager or the Geneva Easyjet manager, whom Colin offered me the number for. I stated I did not see the point of speaking to him, as being an Easyjet employee he would only repeat what I had already been told. I was told he was not employed by Easyjet but was their "representative". Either way, I suggested that he would not necessarily be a neutral bystander. I also asked Colin why Tom had initially told me the flight was delayed rather than cancelled. He suggested I must have spoken to one of their agents rather than employees as he did not have the same information as he had. I said I found this confusing as I had spoken to him on the same number as I had rung Colin on. Colin was unsure as to why they did not have the same information, and then seemed more interested in finding out who this "Tom" was then sorting out my claim.
I am coming to the conclusion that Easyjet are using every excuse they can to avoid paying me the compensation I am entitled to. I do not accept the technical difficulty was an "exceptional circumstance" ( and it happened to a plane that was not even on the tarmac in Geneva) and I am not convinced that that there was industrial action on 11th June in France ( which did not seem to be affecting any flights out of Geneva other than the ones operated by Easyjet). The pilot, in his apology on 12th June, said the cancellations were caused by "technical difficulties or weather or a strike or something ".