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 has not confirmed a date for restarting commercial flights yet.
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 said: “As a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of national lockdowns across many European countries, easyJet has, today, fully grounded its entire fleet of aircraft.
“Over recent days easyJet has been helping to repatriate customers, having operated more than 650 rescue flights to date, returning home more than 45,000 customers.
“The last of these rescue flights were operated on Sunday, March 29. We will continue to work with government bodies to operate additional rescue flights as requested.
“At this stage there can be no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights.
“We will continuously evaluate the situation based on regulations and demand, and will update the market when we have a view.”
The news from easyJet came as regional airline Loganair said airlines were unlikely to survive without a government bailout.
Loganair boss Jonathan Hinkles told the BBC any airline saying it could survive without government help “would probably be lying”.
EasyJet said on Monday it would not need a bailout.
The airline said: “We have no plans currently to ask the government for bespoke support as outlined by the chancellor.”
It added: “To support recovery in the future, we believe that further actions will be needed such as a temporary removal of Aviation Passenger Duty and Air Traffic Control Charges.”
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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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