EasyJet has suspended its service for two months after completing its final rescue flight earlier this year. All cabin crew have been given a leave of absence for this duration. The company wants to reduce £4.5billion in spending, including payments for the new aircraft from Airbus, in response to the drop in demand for air travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. But how do you get a refund?
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Budget airline easyJet grounded its entire fleet at the end of March.
EasyJet will restart a small number of mainly domestic flights from 21 European airports from June 15.
Additionally, the airline said 4,000 of its 9,000 staff members would be furloughed for two months starting from April 1.
The company had already cancelled most services but was running rescue flights to repatriate Britons stranded abroad.
So far, easyJet has flown 650 rescue flights, taking 45,000 people home, but has said it will continue to work with government bodies to assist rescue flights as requested.
When its planes resume travel, the airliner plans to keep the middle seats on its places empty to allow for social distancing.
As things currently stand, easyJet intends for holidays in June, July and August to go ahead.
The airline says that cancellations are being evaluated daily, and if your flight does get cancelled, you’ll be notified at least seven days in advance.
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The airline’s CEO said: “I am really pleased that we will be returning to some flying in the middle of June.
“These are small and carefully planned steps that we are taking to resume operations.
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation across Europe so that when more restrictions are lifted the schedule will continue to build over time to match demand while also ensuring we are operating efficiently and on routes that our customers want to fly.
“The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew remain our highest priority which is why we are implementing a number of measures enhancing safety at each part of the journey from disinfecting the aircraft to requiring customers and crew to wear masks.
“These measures will remain in place for as long as is needed to ensure customers and crew are able to fly safely as the world continues to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We look forward to welcoming our customers back on board in June.”
The news from easyJet came after the UK announced a compulsory two-week quarantine period for anyone arriving in the UK.
All people arriving in the UK from June 8 will be forced to undertake a two-week quarantine.
The measures were being introduced to “keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave,” Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Passengers arriving in the UK by plane, ferry or train – including UK nationals – will have to provide an address where they will remain for 14 days.
There is a £100 penalty for anyone found to have not filled in this ”contact locator” form.
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How to get a refund if you have a flight booked with easyJet
EasyJet flights are cancelled until at least June.
If your flight has been cancelled you are entitled to a full refund to the original form of payment within seven days under EU air passengers’ rights rules.
You may also be entitled to a voucher for the value of their original booking or an alternative flight of the same price.
The airline has said impacted customers will be contacted to discuss their options.
If you are affected, you can contact easyJet yourself, but the airline has warned that customers are likely to experience long wait times due to the massive number of disrupted flights.
The customer service number for easyJet is 0330 365 5000.
EasyJet said: “We are experiencing higher than average wait times so we would thank customers for their patience and assure them that these entitlements will be available long after their cancelled flight has flown.”
You can also manage your booking online using the easyJet website here.
What happens if you have issues getting a refund from easyJet?
If you struggle to reach an agreement, you can escalate any claim to an alternate dispute resolution body.
EasyJet is a member of the Consumer Dispute Resolution Limited group and you can find information on how to start a complaint here.
If you booked a flight through a third part company, you need to contact them regarding a refund or alternative flight.
You can also claim your money back through your credit or debit card provider.
Credit card payments between £100 and £30,000 are covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Rights Act.
If you bought a flight using a debit card, you can claim a refund via your bank using the Chargeback scheme, which can be used to reclaim cash for goods and services you did not receive.
Claims apply for purchases made by debit card or by credit card for purchases under £100, but must be within 120 days of the transaction.
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