It should have been a summer holiday to savour – but a South Tyneside family say they have been left out of pocket after their sunshine flight left without them.
The Elliott family, from Jarrow, had been saving up all year for a 10-day break in Majorca and had checked in online, printing their boarding passes at home.
But when dad Will, 34, mum Charmaine, 32, Amelia, five and two-year-old Alexander, arrived at Newcastle Airport at the start of their holiday, they were told that their 7.45am flight to Palma had already left at a revised time of 6am.
EasyJet told the family they had been sent an email a week earlier informing them of the changes – but the family say nothing arrived.
After struggling to get an apology or refund from the airline since May 30, the company said on the day the Gazette contacted it for comment that it will pass on a £350 voucher for flights.
Will said: “Two weeks before we were supposed to be flying I printed our boarding cards and checked us in.
“They had changed the flights once, and they did inform us, which was fine.
“But when we turned up at the airport at 6am, well in time for the 7.45am flight, they just said ‘your flight’s gone’. It’s not really good enough.
“We checked all our emails and folders and we didn’t receive the email at all.”
Will, who works in social services, said EasyJet offered the family seats on a flight from Dublin, the following evening.
However, not keen on travelling all the way there with two young children and losing two days of their annual break, they managed to get three seats on a Thomson flight, so Charmaine and the children could fly out that day. But there was no room for Will, who was forced to wait until the following day to fly out and join them.
They were forced to spend an extra £400 on flights and taxis, which they have had to put on a credit card.
Will added: “We never expected to have to keep checking the flight right up to the day, how many people do that? I know it sounds like a small thing, but I missed out on a day with my family and they missed a day with me.
“My wife had to look after two kids on her own all day and juggle all the luggage.
An EasyJet spokeswoman had insisted the company had emailed the family to notify them of changes to the May 30 departure.
She said: “On the very rare occasion that EasyJet needs to make small changes to its timetable, we will always inform our customers as soon as possible.
“We are sorry to hear that the Elliott family missed their flight, but can confirm that we did inform Mrs Elliott via the email address she provided at the time of booking, seven days before the flight informing her of the time change.
“We will be in contact with the Elliott family directly to discuss this further.”