On September 3rd, 2005, my friend and I boarded easyjet flight 969 bound from Geneva, Switzerland to London Gatwick airport. The aircraft was Airbus A319-100 HB
-JZI. The flight seemed to be on time (scheduled to depart Geneva at 0655), but just before starting to taxi, the captain shut the engines down, retracted the flaps and announced that he had a hydraulic failure warning. After two more trials, all the passengers were asked to unboard the plane while a mechanic would make the necessary repairs.
Once back in the terminal (at around 0745), the news came out that the aircraft could not be repaired immediately and that a replacement aircraft was to come from London, hence the new departure time announced was 1100 !
Having planned a one day stay at Gatwick with a return ticket the same day (EZS 976 LGW
, schedule 2000-2235), we decided not to travel as such a delay would have left us with not enough time to do what we wanted to. We were said that it was not a problem and that we would have to change dates on the airline's internet site, so we left the airport and went back home.
Finally, the flight did not leave until 1348 (!), say almost 7 hours late. Not to travel was definitely the right decision !
I wrote to easyjet the following Monday (September 5th). They answered in the evening of September 7th, telling me that the amount paid (actually 10 Swiss francs less = aprox. 7$), was credited to my account and that I could change my travel dates within the next 6 month, but that any price difference between what I paid and the price of the new journey would be due.
In conclusion, this means that my only compensation is that I can travel another day. Nothing more. But having made my reservation some 5 months in advance, how will I be able to travel for the same price in the coming weeks ? It's impossible unless I chose to report my trip to, let's say, February or March of next year.
In my opinion, I think that the airline should at least offer the passengers the possibility to choose any other date to travel, regardless of the price, as a compensation. What do you guys think ? Does anyone of you know a little bit about specific rights of the passengers in such a case ?
I look forward to read your opinions and comments !