A mum was left £330 out of pocket after easyJet cancelled her flight and left her stranded, before refusing to cover the total cost of her hotel.
Nikki Kirkland, from Grouville, Jersey claimed expenses from the budget airline after her flight was called off last month leaving her stranded in London for more than 48 hours.
Nikki, head coach of the Jersey Special Gymnastic Club, was returning from a competition alongside two other volunteers and three disabled athletes, who were all forced to find somewhere to stay.
However, having been forced to fork out for a hotel, she claimed the airline only reimbursed the 47-year-old for half of the £675 bill, despite the group having to stay for two nights.
Support worker Nikki was also forced to miss two days of work as a result of the cancellation.
She was left disappointed and confused when she received a reply to her claim on Monday, August 15, telling her that the hotel would only be covered for one night.
EasyJet said: “Our team has now reviewed your claim and we are pleased to confirm that we will partially pay you for the expenses claimed.
“Please see a breakdown below for the expenses that can be reimbursed.
“Hotel and Accomodation – Amount claimed: £675.
“Amount reimbursed: £337.5.
“Accepted for one night only.”
Nikki said: “When I saw the plane was cancelled I just thought ‘oh my god’.
“We were quickly trying to find a hotel, but because six other flights had been cancelled, they were all full.
“We finally found the Gatwick Inn, which had rooms with four beds so we were able to get two of those to fit the six of us.
“The morning flight on Tuesday (August 12) was the first available. There was no other option. I had to miss two days of work.
“They had a really great time at the competition. It was really successful, they all came back with medals.
“One has down syndrome, one has cerebral palsy and one has autism. The one with autism finds change really difficult, so the cancellations caused a lot of stress.
“I’m a single mum with two autistic children. When the flight was cancelled, it was just panic mode.
“My kids had been staying with my mum, so I had to phone her and make sure she could still look after them
“I had to phone work and take the days off. I had to sort hotel accommodation.
“There was just no easyJet staff there to talk to at Gatwick.
“The plane was sitting there waiting for us, but there was no ground crew. The pilot wanted to take us but he only had 30 minutes to be in the air or he was over his hours.
“The easyJet claims form is awful. There’s no way to add comments to explain your situation properly.
“Phoning customer service is hard when you’re working all day. I paid the money out of my account.”
Nikki shared her disappointment to Twitter on Tuesday morning, writing: “Not impressed @easyjet you leave a group of disability gymnasts stranded at Gatwick in July.
“Now you’re only paying one night of hotel when it was due to your cancellations we needed two nights.
“We will not be flying @easyjet again.”
In a statement, easyJet said: “We’re sorry that Ms Kirkland’s flight from London Gatwick to Jersey was unfortunately cancelled due to a ground handling delay at Gatwick airport, which meant the flight was unable to land in Jersey before the airport curfew.
“While we provided customers with options to rebook or receive a refund as well as hotel accommodation where possible and advised any customers like Ms Kirkland who arranged their own that they would be reimbursed, we are aware that flight options were limited on some routes at this time and fully appreciate the difficulty this will have caused the group.
“We are in touch with Ms Kirkland to apologise for her experience and for the delay in reimbursing all her expenses due to a misunderstanding by the advisor assisting her, and we have now reimbursed her in full.”