EasyJet has had to cancel more than 100 flights in the past 48 hours due to severe thunderstorms and adverse weather conditions.
The cancellations affected passengers traveling through London Gatwick Airport (LGW) on Sunday and Monday. The former saw 54 flights canceled, and the latter had 55 cancellations, alongside a slew of delays.
It is estimated that the canceled flights have affected more than 15,000 passengers, many of whom were embarking on early summer vacations in Europe.
The disruptions came after severe thunderstorms plagued the Gatwick area, impeding the smooth flow of arrivals and departures. As a result, flights to various popular destinations, such as the Canary Islands, Turkey and Greece, were canceled. This extensive disruption has had a cascading effect, with aircraft and crew members later being out of position for subsequent flights.
A spokesperson for EasyJet apologized for the disruption.
Sign up for our daily newsletter
“We are doing all possible to minimize the impact on our customers, providing those on canceled flights with options to rebook or receive a refund as well as hotel accommodation and meals where required,” the spokesperson said. “The safety and wellbeing of customers and crew is EasyJet’s highest priority, and while this is outside of our control, we would like to apologize to customers for the inconvenience caused.”
Passengers are advised to check with the airline before departing, as there are more weather-related issues in the forecast.
Weather conditions are deemed beyond airlines’ control, so affected passengers will not be entitled to compensation under the EU261 regulation. However, in compliance with the regulation, the airline you’re traveling with should ensure that affected passengers get rebooked on alternative flights at no extra cost. They should also provide meal vouchers and hotel accommodations when necessary.
“Due to unsettled weather conditions and thunderstorms across the south of England and Europe yesterday, temporary air traffic restrictions were put in place, which resulted in some flights being delayed and canceled,” a spokesperson for Gatwick Airport said. “London Gatwick apologizes to passengers for any inconvenience. Further thunderstorms are expected today, so passengers should contact their airline for further information.”
Adding to passenger woes, the fast train services on the Gatwick Express have been temporarily suspended for urgent track repairs. The service is not expected to run until at least Tuesday, although other train services are available.
Severe weather conditions have led to significant flight disruptions and cancellations for EasyJet passengers at London Gatwick Airport.
When weather-related disruptions are outside the airline’s control, passengers cannot claim EU261 compensation. However, if you find yourself affected by these disruptions, know that you should get booked on the next available flight and receive food vouchers and hotel accommodations in certain situations.