Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say. After moaning vociferously last Friday about how snow had ruined my weekend break to Hamburg (Gatwick’s runways were icier than the atmosphere on the X Factor) I found that easyJet made the refund process really simple.
After hearing horror stories of how airlines failed to cough up for months after the ash cloud (including easyJet) I was prepared for a whole lot of complaining, then waiting months, even years, for any compensation.
As soon as I got my flight cancellation text last week, I logged onto easyjet.com to see what I could do. Astoundingly, next to my flight details there were two buttons: ‘amend booking’ or ‘refund’. After establishing that the next available flight was a good 52 hours later, I clicked on ‘refund’, half expecting some grovelling apology saying that easyJet weren’t obliged to give me any money back.
But – I was wrong. Instead, a box came up saying (along the lines of) thanks, your refund will be processed in the next seven days. As I was already logged in to the site, I didn’t even have to register my name or bank details.
Needless to say, I couldn’t quite believe it. Neither could anyone else, with many muttering darkly about the months they waited for ash cloud compensation, while I trotted out the line ‘I won’t believe it til I see it’. Yet, lo and behold, this Wednesday a full refund was credited to my account. That’s only three working days after I asked for my money back. I was hugely impressed.
This really should set the precedent for how other companies process their refunds. I knew I was entitled to compensation as the flight was cancelled, but knowing budget airlines like easyJet and Ryanair, I expected to wait until at least next summer. After all, with all the terrible press they’ve had recently, you wouldn’t blame me for expecting the worst.
But, I’m happy to say I was proved wrong, and I’m now £65 better off – plus my faith has (almost) been restored in budget airlines. Famous last words, eh?