08/04/2010

easyJet to Gatwick: the delayed truth!

Contrary to the reported explanation of easyJet, the aircraft used for a the flight which left for London Gatwick 8 hours late last Sunday was already in the airport at the start of the day!


 

On Tuesday 3 August the Tribune de Genève reported the case of an easyJet flight to Gatwick leaving Geneva 8 hours late on Sunday 1 August. The article carried the statement, attributed to Thomas Haagensen, commercial director for easyJet in Northern Europe, that the aircraft used had come into Geneva only in the afternoon, having not been able to return to Geneva on the Saturday night before the 00h30 curfew. This is not a true statement: perhaps he had been slightly misled by the Geneva-based organisation of easyJet Switzerland, who operated this flight.

This delayed flight, EZS8569, scheduled to depart from Geneva at 7h20, was actually flown by the Airbus A319 with registration HB-JZI. This aircraft had been in Geneva overnight and had already done a return trip to Naples. The return flight from Naples touched down at 11h30, after which the aircraft then took off for Gatwick at 15h. The normal delay between an easyJet aircraft landing and taking off again is about an hour, so if the extra delay was to search for the baggage of a passenger wishing to disembark before takeoff, then his or her baggage must have been difficult to locate!

The whole weekend in general, and easyJet Switzerland in particular, was something that I commented upon in my previous blog (When August 1 falls on a weekend). To this blog can be added a few more details particularly relevant to flights to Gatwick : if you never go there by easyJet then you can economise on your brain power by ignoring the rest of this blog!

On the Sunday morning there were just eight aircraft available to easyJet Switzerland, one of which had just flown in from Heraklion (now a genuine night flight leaving Geneva late on Saturday evening and returning on the Sunday morning). However, there were 9 flights scheduled to go out early (there would normally have been 10, but on this particular Sunday the early flight to Nice was not scheduled). The two missing aircraft came back empty to Geneva (known as ferry flights) just after midday

In this kind of situation, and having no spare aircraft, it is clearly inevitable to cancel or delay flights. In the morning radio program “le Grand 8" on 15 July, the director of easyJet Switzerland stated that the flights to and from Gatwick are considered as prime candidates for such action, because there are many flights to and from London each day (which conveniently ignores the fact that most of them are operated by classical airlines not serving Gatwick!).

On this occasion, the EZS8569 flight to Gatwick was not cancelled. However, an aircraft of easyJet UK (G-EZIE) flew to Geneva as the return flight EZS8570. If this aircraft had then flown back to Gatwick as flight EZS8569 it would have been a standard easyJet Gatwick flight reversal (in which the flight to Gatwick then has about 4 hours delay). Instead, however, it was used for a late morning return flight to Nice, before returning to Gatwick as the late morning flight EZS8571 (again about 4 hours late).

A minor consolation to all those passengers for Gatwick might be that at least they got to their destination on the same day, which was probably not true for most Switzerland passengers on late easyJet Switzerland flights to and back from Malaga, Amsterdam and Paris Orly.

10:40 Posted in easyJet anecdotes | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tags: easyjet, geneva, gatwick, airport, delays | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

Comments

You should file a formal complaint http://www.gva.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-268/

Posted by: Alext | 08/05/2010

Lots of passengers should file formal complaints, including those that were stuck in Alicante when their flight left early for Basel and easyJet said they should have read their email and/or their SMSs. When I go on holiday I probably want to get away from email and mobile phones!!! Lots of others should demand indemnities when their flight arrives more than 5 hours late, but I am told that it is a real hassle (and almost impossible without Internet).

Posted by: Mike Gerard | 08/05/2010

The comments are closed.