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Capot
20th Jul 2008, 13:03
I realise that Easyjet's Speedy Boarding has been discussed ad nauseam already but.....

Today's Sunday Times Travel "Rant" section carries yet another story about this. This time the passenger who paid £10 for a service that was simply not provided eventually took the matter to the small claims court, and won.

Easyjet's response to the Sunday Times was to say that the passenger had emailed 21 times, they got fed up with replying and simply didn't reply any more.They stated that the charge is described as "non-refundable", as though that means something . They said that they had not attended the court by an oversight, implying that had they attended, they would have won.

I hope that Flying Lawyer occasionally still glances at these pages; my clear understanding of the law is that if you take someone's money to supply a service in the future, and then simply do not bother to supply that service, you must return the money on demand, perhaps with interest. You have a contract and you have failed to perform it, and the law has a number of remedies for the person who paid to seek. One of them, specific performance, is obviously no longer available.

It is simple, puerile nonsense to claim that describing the charge as "non-refundable" absolves Easyjet from providing the service paid for by the charge.

If it were not nonsense, every other crook in the country would be busily taking money from people by way of "non-refundable" advance payments for goods and services they have no intention of supplying, and getting away with it.

Easyjet could have attended that court with an army of lawyers, and would still have lost. Judges are not stupid.

I am amazed that anyone is foolish enough to pay for the so-called "Speedy Boarding" scam; anyone who has paid and does not receive it should note this case carefully and sue if necessary. You'll win.

Seat62K
20th Jul 2008, 15:23
I seem to remember that around a year ago I boarded an easyJet flight which dispensed entirely with boarding by category. When I queried this I was told that it was done to speed up departure (the flight was late). I'm not sure how common this was or is or, indeed, whether Speedy Boarding had been created by that point.

aviatordom
20th Jul 2008, 18:20
The sad & annoying thing i found was, was that when i flew a few months back from STN to AGP, the supervisor/gate person made an announcement saying that Speedy-boarding pax may now board......

At once, probably 3/4's of the pax at the gate shot up and there was a massive crowd by the desk, leading onto the escalators. There was no-way that they all paid for Speedy-boarding and they were all simply allowed to go through!

It was the same on the way back from AGP. Loads of people got up but this time the easyjet staff shouted out "Speedy-Boarding passengers only!!!!!!!!"

it's atrocious that easyJet don't offer refunds if the speedy-boarding process clearly goes all wrong!!!!!
======

Speedy-boarding works well for most flights but if you are going away in the summer holidays i wouldn't place a safe bet on getting a good seat if you go for speedy-boarding!

Globaliser
20th Jul 2008, 20:02
I am amazed that anyone is foolish enough to pay for the so-called "Speedy Boarding" scam; anyone who has paid and does not receive it should note this case carefully and sue if necessary. You'll win.I'd always been equally sceptical about "Speedy Boarding" myself - and I have never flown EZY myself.

But my partner and two travelling companions did this earlier this year to/from Heraklion, and were very happy that they got exactly what they paid for on both occasions, including being able to grab some very good seats.

I have no doubt that many EZY pax feel ripped off when it's not done properly. But it can work, and there are at least three EZY pax who - if they should ever fly EZY again - will be quite willing to give it another go on the sound basis of previous good experience.

SXB
20th Jul 2008, 20:38
I flew EZY a couple of weeks ago with my two children, I paid the extra money for priority boarding as I wanted to ensure we would be seated together, it worked fine at both Bale and Luton. If it hadnt worked I , like most, would probably not have bothered to ask for a refund as long as we were seated together but EZY, and the rest, can't hide behind the "no refunds" stated in their T&Cs. If they fail to provide a service which you've paid for they have to make amends and those who do pursue them in the courts will, generally, be successful. You can't sign away your rights....

Michael SWS
20th Jul 2008, 21:17
It can surely not be much longer before the unwashed masses latch on to the fact that once you figure in the luggage charges and check-in charges and "speedy boarding" fees, plus the cost of getting to and from remote airports in this country and abroad, you could have flown more cheaply and comfortably with BA in the first place...

Tudor
21st Jul 2008, 00:22
plus the cost of getting to and from remote airports in this country and abroad


Which 'remote' airports are these Michael? Gatwick? Manchester? Amsterdam? Paris CDG? Glasgow? Athens? Barcelona? Palma? Need I go on?

I too think 'speedy boarding' is a rip-off and a blatant money-making exercise but nobody is forced to buy it nor, for that matter, are they forced to fly with easyJet. If you were actually paying for specific seats then I could understand its purpose but what would happen if everyone on the aircraft had paid for 'speedy boarding'?!

I worked for EZY for over three years and think they're an absolute shower of c**** but I still fly regularly with them because, for me and where I wish to fly to and from, in terms of price and convenience, they are head and shoulders above any other airline and, I'm afraid, until that alters they will remain my preferred carrier for European destinations. Having said that, they're usually punctual and the crews are friendly enough so it's not as if it's a great ordeal having to fly with them anyway.

Doors to Automatic
21st Jul 2008, 09:05
There is only one thing wrong with Easyjet and that is that they do not assign seats. Why they don't is totally beyond me - especially given they could charge for it.

The speedy boarding/boarding by priority only works where it is administered properly and where announcements make absolutely clear to passengers what the process involves.

Ok at LTN or STN but forget it at Barcelona, Nice etc where the ground staff don't seem to understand that the system exists.

It is a shambles - but the airline won't be told. So until they change the system I don't travel with them unless I absolutely have to.

BurglarsDog
21st Jul 2008, 10:24
I have flown about 30 times this year with EJ; UK - Prague RTN. Normally with hand luggage only. Initially I perceived some advantage, so purchased EB. But, soon learnt that if you queued near the gate as a class A boarder (i.e internet check in or first 30 at the desk I think) then you still got basically the same choice of seat without the additional expense. For me, (without luggage), the first few rows (aisle) are always preferable as this option allows me a rapid exit to beat any queue at customs / hire car desk etc.
However if you are traveling with check in luggage then EB may be worth buying because at some airports it gives you access to a priority Speedy check in desk. At Prague for example while there is often a queue snaking out the door from the standard check in desk, there is often no one in the Speedy Boarding check in queue. Handy tip if you are going to arrive at the airport only about 1 hr before the flight.
All this said I think non allocated seating adds a lot of unnecessary stress and confusion at the gate. Jetstar tried the same model in Oz without the SB element and eventually went to allocated seating. The best model I have tried is with Tomsonfly whereby you select and pay for your seat accordingly on line. No need to stand in line at the gate as your seat is confirmed - and all for a fiver! If you want the extra leg room afforded by front row or Emergency exit seats then you pay for it. In fact with about 18 premium seats available on an A319, EJ may be better off charging for this service instead of implementing SB. Whilst on EJ dont ever travel overweight. Its a nightmare to have to leave the check in Q, join another Q to pay the excess baggage charge at a service desk, and then finally rejoin the check in Q!

DogGone:eek:

mmeteesside
21st Jul 2008, 11:52
When I flew with EZY between NCL and GVA (and return) at NCL "Speedy Boarding" got you onto the (same) bus first so there was no advantage to it. However at GVA I must say because of the airbridge they did get an advantage for paying :)

JulietNovemberPapa
21st Jul 2008, 12:20
"Speedy Boarding" got you onto the (same) bus first so there was no advantage to it.

In fairness, EZY does state to the right of its speeding boarding selection area in its booking process: "If you are bussed to the aircraft we canít guarantee that youíre off the bus first."

Michael SWS
21st Jul 2008, 12:34
Which 'remote' airports are these Michael? Gatwick? Manchester? Amsterdam? Paris CDG? Glasgow? Athens? Barcelona? Palma? Need I go on?
I was thinking closer to home. Why pay £15 to get to Luton or Stansted when you can get to Heathrow for £2 with an Oyster card? You're already bumping up the cost of your flight by almost £30.

In fairness, EZY does state to the right of its speeding boarding selection area in its booking process: "If you are bussed to the aircraft we canít guarantee that youíre off the bus first."But can they tell you in advance whether you'll be bussed to the plane or not? And does the average passenger understand the distinction, even if they notice the small print?

So that's £26 in train fares and £16 in two "speedy boarding" fees that I've saved by opting to fly BA... in my experience, that BA flight is already costing me less than the "low cost" Easyjet one.

k3lvc
21st Jul 2008, 18:12
It can surely not be much longer before the unwashed masses latch on to the fact that once you figure in the luggage charges and check-in charges and "speedy boarding" fees, plus the cost of getting to and from remote airports in this country and abroad, you could have flown more cheaply and comfortably with BA in the first place...


Absolutely - amazes me how many people still take the EZY option from LGW-GVA on Sun evening and GVA-LGW on Fri evening. In the last 15 weeks there's not been a single time when EZY was cheaper than BA.

Seat62K
22nd Jul 2008, 10:22
Michael SWS,
I agree with you that the total cost of getting from A to B needs to be considered. Getting to Heathrow may cost you £2 but for others it's considerably more. And what about those who can't stand the ghastly experience of travelling to LHR by tube? If you factor in the price of travelling by Heathrow Express or even Heathrow Connect the sums look different.
At the moment, for me BA is never cheaper, but then again Stansted is my local airport.

Seat62K
22nd Jul 2008, 10:47
BurglarsDog,
Some interesting comments on allocated seating. This is something I feel strongly about and readers might have noticed the thread I started precisely on this topic. From an IT point of view, choosing a seat as part of the OLCI process ought to be straightforward (after all, other airlines manage it). From comments posted on this Website and elsewhere I suspect that allocated seating might be popular and could generate revenue. Many passengers seem to hate the stress caused by "free-for-all"/"every man for himself" boarding.
It seems to me that part of the problem of the boarding chaos which I've all-too-often experienced on easyJet is that the company has too many boarding categories. Now take Ryanair, just two, priority and everyone else. This allows it to create two queues which, generally, works well in my view, providing the signs are in place. No crowding around the gate making staff's lives difficult or creating an unpleasant experience for passengers having to push their way through. I seem to remember when flying AMS-STN a couple of years ago easyJet had a similar system in place. The layout of the gate area there allowed this but I can think of lots of gates at numerous airports where four queues (Speedy Boarders, those needing assistance, A, B) would not be possible.

JulietNovemberPapa
22nd Jul 2008, 10:54
This allows it to create two queues which, generally, works well


I flew STN-SNN-STN last Wed to meet someone. (I paid a whopping £2.42 including taxes and card fee.)

I was impressed with FR's two very clear queue areas at both STN and SNN: one for those with priority boarding, one for those without. It worked very effectively.

I'm flying FR BRS-DUB-BRS next Tue, so I'll see what it's like at those two airports.

Michael SWS
22nd Jul 2008, 11:26
I agree with you that the total cost of getting from A to B needs to be considered. Getting to Heathrow may cost you £2 but for others it's considerably more. And what about those who can't stand the ghastly experience of travelling to LHR by tube? If you factor in the price of travelling by Heathrow Express or even Heathrow Connect the sums look different.
At the moment, for me BA is never cheaper, but then again Stansted is my local airport.
You're right, of course. I'm speaking as someone who lives in central London. If I lived near Stansted then the economics would be quite different.

Tudor
22nd Jul 2008, 15:15
I'm speaking as someone who lives in central London.

I'm glad you've clarified that Michael - I was wondering how you got to Heathrow from Swansea for £2 :)

As Seat62K says it's all dependent on where you live and where you want to fly to. I live within an hour of MAN, LPL, EMA and BHX and there are enough (short-haul) options there for me to not have to consider flying with BA or, indeed, out of a London airport.

easy1
22nd Jul 2008, 18:14
:ugh:Why's it a scam?? Do you tick the little box that says you have read the t and c's?? ALWAYS READ THE SMALL PRINT!!!!!!

Avman
22nd Jul 2008, 19:34
Easy 1, may I suggest you read post 1 again. Nothing to do with the small print, but all to do with NOT providing a SERVICE that the CUSTOMER has paid a PREMIUM for.

Seat62K
22nd Jul 2008, 20:06
JulietNovemberPapa,
I'm sure you'll find it works very well in Dublin, where Ryanair occupies the impressive new pier. I suspect that Ryanair may have had difficulty persuading some airport authorities to allow two queues and so it's down to gate staff to call priority passengers to come forward first. This can aggravate some of the moronic pax who've been queuing for a long time at the gate - from choice, I might add, because no-one has asked them to do so - when others board ahead. The two queue system seems, recently, to have experienced a little difficulty as passengers adjust to the fact that OLCI does not automatically confer priority status; even the current edition of Ryanair's in-flight magazine incorrectly states the status quo ante and is therefore wrong on this matter.

easy1
22nd Jul 2008, 21:02
Yes you may suggest, I know pax who get on saying the system doesn't work, trouble is everyone who buy's SB expects to be the first person on the a/c. As for pax crowding around the gate and not letting SB through how is that EJ fault?? That lies with the ground handeling agent, who may I remind you are not employed by EJ.

Avman
22nd Jul 2008, 21:37
Easy 1, if the handling agents don't do their job right it most certainly is EJ's responsibility to correct that via the handling agency they employ. May I remind you that the handling agent is employed by the handling agency which in turn is employed by EJ. Are you suggesting that it's OK to charge pax extra for a specific service and then hide behind the lame excuse of blaming a third party when the service is not provided, then add insult to injury by refusing to refund the money paid for that service which was not provided? Which school of Customer Service do you come from?

aviatordom
23rd Jul 2008, 06:01
I think that EZY know that this so-called "Speedy-boarding" does have its problems. And after, what over a year i think of operation nothing much has been done to sort them out!

EZY shd buy buses or pay extra to the handling agency so that they can have more hops to & from the a/c!

Put Speedy-boarding passengers ONLY on an earlier bus and then once they have all boarded, pick up the rest of the pax at the gate!

WHBM
23rd Jul 2008, 09:42
For those uncertain of the legal situation here.

It is not acceptable in UK law to "overwrite" standard legal principles in some contract document. If basic law says something is how it is, then that's how it is, regardless of what any contract may say.

And if the basic law says you can't charge for something, not provide it, and then keep the money, then that's how it is. It is surprising Easy's lawyers have not kept them straight on this point.

It all comes together in legislation called the Unfair Contract Terms Act which you can search for on the web.

Likewise handling agents. Your contract is with the airline and they are responsible for all aspects of service provision you have paid for. If they have a problem with their agents not doing what they are told to, that's up to the airline to sort out.

There's one point on Easy's network where everything works beautifully on the days when management from Luton comes up (preadvised) to check on standards, otherwise they are far more sloppy. There were posts about this here a while back.

Michael SWS
23rd Jul 2008, 14:57
I'm glad you've clarified that Michael - I was wondering how you got to Heathrow from Swansea for £2I travel frequently between London and Swansea by National Express, and only pay £1 each way. So it would actually cost me £3 to get to Heathrow from Swansea. :)