Edward Baker has sued EasyJet and won after he was pushed into buying unnecessarily expensive flights after his original tickets were cancelled.
The problems started when Edward, who lives in Tunbridge Wells, learnt that his flights to Lanzarote had been cancelled.
EasyJet sent him an email alerting him that his original flight wasn’t happening, with an embedded link that said he could rebook for free at another time or date.
EasyJet says he was also offered the option to get a full refund or a voucher at the time.
But Edward had bookings in place for a hire car, rented accommodation and even airport parking, which he did not want to lose.
When he clicked on the embedded rebook link in the email he was taken to flights on the same day with a warning saying just two were available.
He looked to check for alternatives via the embedded link, and then bought the two seats that the airline said were the last options.
Despite being told he could rebook for free, he was then charged £16 to transfer the flights.
The confirmation came through, giving him the same seats he’d previously booked but on a flight leaving at a slightly different time.
But then, when he went to the EasyJet website not using the embedded link, it showed the flight he was on was actually nearly empty, contradicting the “two seats left” message he’d been shown.
Even worse, the available seats were far cheaper than the ones he had booked.
His original flights had cost £361.92 and he’d paid the extra £16, which the airline says was due to a price increase.
But the available seats on the plane cost just £144 – meaning he’d paid £233.92 more than he needed to.
He told the Mirror: “The airline had lied. It had panicked me into taking an action which given the full facts available to other consumers, would have been more considered.”
As the holiday got closer, the flights continued to fall in price – eventually falling to £88 for two return tickets.
Edward contacted EasyJet to complain that he’d not been given the same options or price information as other customers booking directly through the website.
The airline agreed to reimburse him the £16 – saying the cost was due to a fare difference, but would not refund him any of the extra money he’d paid for flights.
It added that the “two flights remaining” message was specifically talking about seats at that cost.
Edward decided to take EasyJet to court to try and recoup the difference in fees between the price he paid and the £88 options he saw later.
He said that if he’d known how empty the plane was, he’d have waited and bought at the best cost.
The Mirror reports that EasyJet said it would try to recoup the £7,000 court fees if Edward lost his case.
The judge ruled in Edward’s favour, awarding him £273 for the cost difference in flight and an extra £105 for costs.
EasyJet has reiterated that it doesn’t agree with the ruling.
A spokesperson told the Sun: “Following the cancellation of Mr Baker’s flight, and in line with our obligations under the appropriate regulations, we communicated all of the options to him which include receiving a full refund, a voucher, or transferring to an alternative flight free of charge.
“Mr Baker chose to transfer onto an alternative flight for free, rather than opt for a refund. We are aware that Mr Baker was incorrectly charged a change fee, which we reimbursed him for as soon as we became aware of the error and apologised for any inconvenience this caused.
“While we disagree with the judgement in this case we now consider the matter closed.”
Edward told the Mirror: “The thing I would say to anyone else contemplating the small claims court, is don’t give up if big law firms start making threats about legal expenses in the hope that you’ll not show up.
“You’ve got to stick it out if you think you’re in the right. Stay calm, stay polite always and set out your case clearly.”
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