EASYJET has warned it could close its Stansted, Southend, and Newcastle hubs but what does it mean for passengers and can you get a refund if your flight is cancelled?
The budget carrier currently has 163 aircraft in the UK at 11 airports, serving 546 routes and flying more than 52million passengers a year.
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What does easyJet closing three of its UK hubs mean for passengers with flights booked? We explain. [/caption]
But its devastating new proposal, which the budget carrier is now consulting on, could see 5,000 jobs lost.
The travel industry has had a tough time of late with millions of flights grounded due to government advice to only travel overseas if it’s essential.
British Airways, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic have also all announced job cuts as well as the scaling back of operations at certain regional hubs.
But what does the move mean for easyJet flights, and can you get a refund? Here’s what you need to know.
Has my easyJet flight to or from Southend, Stansted or Newcastle been cancelled?
Easyjet says its decision to ditch Southend, Stansted, and Newcastle as hubs is still being consulted on with a decision yet to be reached.
So at this stage it’s too early to know whether any flights will be directly cancelled as a result.
The budget carrier adds that the hubs won’t be removed until at least August, so flights before then aren’t impacted – although that’s not to say these flights won’t be cancelled due to other Covid-19-related factors.
And even if easyJet does remove the hubs it says it will continue to fly to and from these airports.
An easyJet spokesperson said: “As we have only just started this consultation and no decisions have yet been taken, the proposals are to close these bases at the end of August so customers booked to fly to or from these airports over the summer will not be affected as a result of this.
“These airports remain important network points for us and we will still continue to serve them as destinations as part of our wider network.”
If my flight is cancelled, can I get a refund?
If your flight is cancelled, easyJet says it will notify customers directly and inform them of their options.
It’s been doing this already with flights cancelled on a roughly seven-day rolling basis as a result of the UK overseas travel ban.
In this scenario, the budget carrier is offering customers with flight-only bookings three options; a cash refund, a voucher plus goodwill credit, or a change of flight.
There are slightly different rules in place for those with a package holiday booking – see easyJet’s website for more information on this.
If you’re struggling to reach an agreement with easyJet, you can escalate your claim to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) body.
EasyJet is a member of the Consumer Dispute Resolution Limited group – you can find information on how to start a complaint on the complaint body’s website.
You can also consider taking your complaint to your travel insurer or to your card provider if you paid using a credit or debit card, as they may be able to issue refunds.
Credit card payments between £100 and £30,000 are covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Rights Act.
To start a claim, you need to contact your credit card provider directly – Which? has a free tool that can help you do this.
If you booked by debit card, you may be able to claim a refund via your bank using the Chargeback scheme.
Claims apply for purchases made by debit card, or by credit card for purchases under £100, and must be done within 120 days of the transaction.
To start a chargeback claim, you need to contact your card provider but as it isn’t written into law there is no guarantee you’ll get your money back.
If you have travel insurance, it may be worth speaking to your provider but they’re less likely to refund you as it should be the airline’s responsibility. Check the terms and conditions of your policy.
My flight hasn’t been cancelled. Can I get a refund?
If your flight is yet to be cancelled, if you can, you should sit tight until nearer the time as it may be scrapped in the meantime.
Alternatively, easyJet is allowing customers to switch flights up to 14 days before flying – including to another airport – as many times as they like without being charged any admin fees.
You will, however, have to pay any price difference in flight prices.
If you no longer want to travel or switch your flight and your booking goes ahead, you won’t be able to claim a refund from easyJet.
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You’re also unlikely to be able to claim from your travel insurance or from your card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Rights Act or under Chargeback.
That’s because easyJet has provided the service you purchased, even if you didn’t want to take it up.
If you flight goes ahead and you didn’t travel you may, however, be entitled to a refund of the government taxes on the journey, which you can request by selecting the the “Claim a government tax refund” drop down option on easyJet’s Contact Us form.