Wednesday, 17 August 2011
EASTYJET’S LATEST COMMENTS (you may note a trace of frustration in my reply!)
Dear Mrs Cordner
Thank you for your email to Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive Officer. I have been asked to look into this and respond on Ms McCall's behalf.
I am sorry that you have had a difficult time with us and as Ms McCall states we work hard to make travel easier for all our customers and are disappointed when this doesn't happen.
With regards to the issues you encountered I would like to assure you that I have conducted a thorough review of the circumstances concerning your complaint. In summary I can see from our records that you and your party were checked in between 06:22 and 06:24 on the 19th July. This was ahead of the check-in closure time and a further 22 passengers checked in after this time and successfully boarded the flight to Geneva.
After reviewing the boarding logs on our system it is apparent that boarding did not complete until after 06:56 and in total 29 passengers were accepted between 06:50 when you state you were at the gate and 06:56. This includes two families with infants that checked in after you.
Whilst there were 18 people that did not make the flight that morning we do have strict gate closure policies that ensure that once the gate is closed and the offload of baggage is commenced that we do not accept any further passengers onboard. This so that we do not inconvenience all of the other passengers that did make it within the correct time scales by delaying the aircraft.
I understand that you assert you were delayed whilst going through security and that the security personnel moved you to a different queue because you had a push chair. I have discussed this point with our airport management team who are not aware that the airport have such a policy to do this and indeed I can see that two other passengers who had infants and checked in after yourself successfully made it to the gate on time. As my colleagues have previously advised the provision of security is a matter for the airport and complaints concerning this should be made directly to them.
With regards to the recording of telephone calls between staff members I can confirm that calls at Luton Airport are not recorded or retained, therefore it is not possible to obtain this information.
In summary whilst I am sorry that you missed your flight and had an arduous journey to your final destination, I can confirm we will not be offering to compensate you for the additional expense you incurred as we believe we acted in accordance with our terms and conditions of carriage.
I appreciate that this is not the answer you are looking for, however we try to be fair, transparent and consistent with all our customers and making an exception in your case would not be fair on other customers who may find themselves in a similar situation.
Yours Sincerely Graeme MacLeod Head of Customer Operations
MY REPLY TO MR MacLEOD
Thank you for investigating this incident but unfortunately you seem to have left this issue more confusing than when you found it.
My first point is that one family of 4 adults, 2 children and 1 infant and a pushchair checked in simultaneously with us in the adjacent lane. They were also denied boarding, so your statement that “22 passengers checked in after this time and successfully boarded the flight to Geneva” was not accurate.
I can accept that maybe there were passengers who checked in after us, but when you are travelling with young children it is a slower process. Once through check-in we used the toilet and then went straight to security and from there straight to the gate. We did not stop to buy a newspaper, coffee or anything else.
Where do you take the stats from that “29 passengers were accepted between 06.50 when you state you were at the gate and 06.56”? Were these passengers already downstairs being loaded onto the bus? They certainly weren’t our side of the gate. This would bear out my suspicion that they were loading the bus downstairs while we stood upstairs.
You then go on to say that “18 people did not make the flight that morning”. Wrong, that should be 19 people including 2 infants. Unless you count that as 17 people, i.e. 17 seats because the 2 infants are not allocated seats and there was another person that I am not aware of who arrived at the gate after we had been escorted away.
Regarding security, because of the pushchair we were moved to another queue as was the other family mentioned above. Your own Customer Service Supervisor, Carrie-Louise Hughes writes “The situation you experienced at security was due to a refit in the security check area. It was for this reason you where asked to join a second security queue. I have been given confirmation from the airport that the lane you where moved to, lane 10, should not have taken any longer to process passengers than any other lane. They have measures in place to ensure passengers are processed as quickly as possible and the lane is monitored closely”. To which I would reply, how is it monitored closely? We weren’t even directed to lane 10 we were told to go to “a lane higher than 6”. I believe we went through lane 8!
I was annoyed that this had caused a further delay, but it had not resulted in us arriving at the gate late. This is why I did not raise this issue with the airport. Again I ask you, don’t you think that I would have gone this route if that was the case?
Please note: my replication of Ms Hughes email includes one of her 12 grammatical or spelling mistakes. It is not a typo on my part.
You say that telephone calls at Luton Airport are not recorded or retained. I don’t understand. How can anything be “retained” that that hasn’t been recorded in the first place?
I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that because of your vested interest this matter is not being impartially investigated.
I have now written to Watchdog.
I am a 71 year old widow who, along with my two grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren was denied boarding on this easyJet flight.
Attached is email correspondence between easyJet and myself which, due to conflicting statements and, quite frankly, what seem to be a cover up, I have concluded will never be investigated with any degree of impartiality.
I was tempted to complete an Air Passenger Rights EU Complaint form but feel that this would only add another level of bureaucratic complexity.
I would value your opinion on this.
Posted by Ann Cordner at 09:24