EasyJet flight 5104 from Jersey to London Gatwick Airport on August 15 was supposed to take off at 8:45 am, but ended up taking off just after noon. As a result, a short 35-minute flight to Gatwick Airport on a comfortable Airbus A320 turned into a “hard labour”, lasting more than three hours.
According to European rules, air passengers delayed for more than three hours entitled to compensation, in which case they were potentially entitled to a payment of €250 per person unless EasyJet could prove that the delay was an “exceptional circumstance” beyond its control and competence.
A number of passengers on EasyJet Flight 5104 filed their claims for compensation but were stunned when they received a quick response from EasyJet stating that your claim was denied because the runway at Jersey Airport was covered in snow.
Jersey is located off the coast in northwest France and generally has mild winters and warm summers. The island has even been called “the sunniest place in the British Isles.”
As an explanation for why the company is denying compensation to passengers, EasyJet wrote in its letter: “To further explain what happened that day , Jersey had to close its runway for snow clearance, causing flights to be delayed for long periods or forced to be diverted to alternative airports».
As a result, long delays accumulated throughout the day. Some flights had to be canceled, others took off later. Everything would be fine, only the official temperature on August 15 was fixed at plus 22.8 degrees Celsius, that is, there could be no snowfall.
Passengers won and will receive compensation? It's not that simple.
The first verification showed that the letter from the airline was based on incorrect information that was manually entered into the delay recording system in the Easyjet operations control center.
According to EasyJet representative, the operator should have given the reason for the delay as “Due to Early Morning Fog”, but instead entered “Snow on the runway”. The airline admitted that the misunderstanding was the result of human error.
But this does little to help passengers. The airline maintains that severe weather and fog continue to be considered “exceptional circumstances” that are beyond its control. Therefore, there will be no compensation.