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Why did easyJet cancel our booking … but fail to tell us?

Miles Brignall
EasyJet cancelled booking with no notification. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

In December I booked an easyJet flight for my girlfriend from Agadir, Morocco back to London (Gatwick) and, because it was less than 30 days before departure, we checked her in and printed the boarding pass.

The day before her travel I noticed, by chance, that the money had been refunded to the credit card and I became suspicious. The easyJet website showed no booking.

The airline told us, via online chat, that the financial team had cancelled the ticket but could offer no explanation. As a result, we were forced to buy a more expensive Royal Air Maroc flight a day later, with extra hassles and travel costs as a result.

Had we not noticed, she would have shown up at the airport and been denied boarding. They did not call, or even send an email.

Can we claim this as “denied boarding”, as it would have been according to EU 261/2004 (pdf)? What about the extra costs involved? Can this be common practice, as neither of us has ever experienced something like this. MH, Norway

My first reaction was that this must have been a case of suspected card fraud, and so it proved. Flights booked using hacked credit card details appears to be a growing problem, although there is no explanation of why your booking was considered thus. EasyJet says it does not notify the passenger when it cancels a booking due to suspected fraud to “deter any further use of fraudulent payment details and to disrupt this type of criminal activity”.

It has apologised for what it says was an isolated, individual error and will refund the cost of the cancelled flight and we will also offer compensation in line with EU denied board regulations, any increase in fare difference between the original booking and the new one, as well as other reasonable expenses.

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