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Long Check-in Makes Couple Miss Flight, Airline Ordered to Pay Up

EasyJet has been ordered to pay over $1,500 to two of its customers after they missed their return flight to Gatwick Airport (LGW) due to excessively long queues at the airline’s check-in counter in Sicily. Though Niall and Aileen Caldwell arrived at the airport two hours before their flight, they did not make it through the queue in time.

The budget carrier informed the Caldwells that the next flight was two days out and they would have to pay to be on it. Although the couple ultimately paid for the return flight, which was nearly double the amount of their original return flight, they plead their case at a compensation hearing this week and won. EasyJet denied accountability during the hearing, arguing that it’s the flyers’ job to arrive at the airport on time.

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FlyingUnderTheRadar October 23, 2015

Arriving at the airport is different from being checked in. The airlines will simply change their notices to "Passengers must be checked in at least X hours before the flight and be at the gate at least X minutes before departure." Some airlines already do that. That said, one does have to wonder about their staffing.

gglave October 23, 2015

This is a long-standing beef of mine. Airline cut-off times should apply to when you arrived in the queue, not when you arrived at the counter. Once you enter the queue the timer starts.

amanuensis October 23, 2015

But how is it just this one couple who missed their flight?

srdshelly October 23, 2015

It does look like EasyJet messed this one up. If it's their own incompetence that made it impossible for a passenger who arrives at the airport on time to get to a flight, they indeed should be held responsible. They're not responsible for delays at security or immigration, but they do have the duty to staff their own counters adequately.

djjaguar64 October 22, 2015

The airline was probably checking in 3 flights at the same counters and unless they send a agent asking for flight times, missing the flight is a huge possibility.