Last updated: 08:08 AM ET, Fri July 24 2015

EasyJet Accused of Overbooking Flights, Violating EU Rules

Airlines & Airports | Patrick Clarke | July 23, 2015

EasyJet Accused of Overbooking Flights, Violating EU Rules

British low-cost carrier easyJet has come under fire for allegedly overbooking thousands of flights during the peak summer travel season, the Independent reported.

What's more, the report alleges that the budget airline has also violated the European Union's rules regarding overbooking by failing to seek volunteers willing to offload and switch to a later flight in exchange for cash or travel vouchers.

The report cites several recent incidents in which easyJet customers were denied boarding. 

Former British No. 1 tennis player Annabel Croft had to leave her daughter behind on her way to a family holiday in Portugal, and said that the airline told her she would be charged an additional $93 if she opted to stay behind as well.

Meanwhile, financial services executive Andrew Whelan was forced to offload his two sons on a recent flight to Spain for a family vacation. In that instance, the airline acknowledged a violation had occurred as the airline made no attempt to search for volunteers who might be willing to stay behind for a later flight in exchange for compensation.

"Unfortunately this process wasn't followed in this particular case and this issue is being addressed with the ground team who looked after that particular flight," said an easyJet spokesman via the Independent. 

In a statement addressing the recurring issues, easyJet denied any wrongdoing and said it's uncommon for customers to be offloaded. 

"It is extremely rare for easyJet to deny boarding of passengers because a flight is overbooked," said the carrier via the Independent, adding that "2.6 million passengers a year do not turn up for their flights and a flight will only be overbooked after reviewing the no show rate for the last three months."

"On average, across our flights we will only overbook by one or two passengers per flight," the airline added. "We continue to monitor our operating procedures daily to ensure that we adhere fully to our obligations."

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