We were stuck on 12-HOUR easyJet flight & then ended up back where we started – it's ridiculous

A GROUP of more than 50 pensioners were stuck on a 12-hour easyJet flight – only to end up back where they started.

The pensioners, aged between 75 and 92, were hoping to fly off to the Isle of Man from Gatwick on their first holiday since lockdown.

But their flight had to land in Manchester due to high winds and after a three and a half hour wait it was cancelled and they were flown back to Gatwick.

Despite other flights making it to the Isle of Man, after a 90-minute wait at Gatwick they were told there was no hotel accommodation for them and the next flight was in three days time.

So the whole group was forced to cancel their £675 a head trip.

To add insult to injury, EasyJet said they wouldn't refund the flight cost as the wind was out of their control.

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The retirees – from Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable and Hythe – say they are disgusted with their treatment and will never use the airline again.

Eileen Booker, who organises trips for over-70s through her Blean-based Booker Trip, said in the end they decided to cancel the whole thing and return home.

She added: "We had people in their late 80s and even a 92-year-old. Since lockdown, this was their first holiday away. We were all hungry, tired, it was such a long day for nothing.

"It was absolutely disgusting the way were treated. Other planes were landing on the Isle of Man, other people had on-board apps showing that. Why they chose to abandon us I don't know."

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The group of 53 had set off by coach from Canterbury at 7.30am on May 22 for a four-night excursion.

But instead of visiting the Lexi Wheel, Manx Electric Railway and the House of Keys, they spent 12 hours being shuttled up and down the mainland and found themselves back at Gatwick.

Ms Booker, 77, said the captain on the return flight had told them that on arrival at Gatwick there would be a coach to take them to a hotel for overnight accommodation and there would be a new flight in the morning.

She said: "We thought we'd salvage some of our five-day holiday.

"But when we got back to Gatwick, nobody at EasyJet knew anything about us and they said there wasn't any availability for a group of 53 on a flight until Wednesday.

"I had to make the decision to abandon the trip. We lost our holiday because of them."

The party did not get home until the early hours of Monday, May 23.


Ms Booker said the whole experience left her feeling "disgusted" and she has vowed never to use EasyJet again.

A spokesperson for the airline said: "We contacted customers to advise them of the cancellation and their options to rebook or receive a refund and with information on arranging hotel accommodation.

"Unfortunately, we are unable to provide rooms for all customers and we advise that anyone who sources their own hotel accommodation will be reimbursed.

"Our team are reaching out to Ms Booker to apologise for her experience and to reimburse her and her group for their expenses.

"While this was outside of our control, we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation.

"The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is our highest priority."

Because the cause of the cancellation was considered as an extraordinary circumstance, EasyJet will not pay out any compensation.

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The company will however, reimburse customers for any reasonable expenses.

It is understood other planes may have been able to fly to the Isle of Man at the same time due to changes in the weather at the time of arrival.

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