Flight refund for Liverpool fans hit by delays
Published 02/03/2013 | 04:20
Five-year-old Seth Livingstone couldn't wait to see his favourite team in action after Santa left him a ticket at Christmas.
He was due to travel to a match at Liverpool's Anfield ground with his dad Steven on an easyJet flight on Saturday, January 19.
The plane was initially scheduled to leave Belfast International Airport at 12.20pm, which should have given the majority of passengers, who were Reds fans, plenty of time to get to the game for a 3pm kick-off against Norwich.
Initially, the flight (EZY 6054) was delayed because of bad weather and then rescheduled for departure at 1.55pm.
That meant supporters would need to rush to Anfield, but in the worst-case scenario they still would have seen the second half of the Premier League clash.
However, once boarding had finished passengers were informed of a head count discrepancy between staff dealing with the flight at the airport and those inside the plane.
"Like me, many of the people on the flight were taking their kids to see their first match, so it was a bit of a nightmare," said Steven (29), who works for the Irish Football Association.
"As the time ticked on we soon realised we weren't going to see the match so a lot of us decided to disembark.
"Seth was absolutely distraught; this was his Christmas present from Santa and in the end it didn't happen and he didn't see Liverpool get their 5-0 victory that day."
The Greenisland man added: "Fans like myself are hundreds of pounds out of pocket as a result of missing that match."
The drama ended with scores of angry customers – and a near-empty aircraft, which finally took off a 3.42pm.
Refunds are normally only given when flights are delayed for more than four hours, but when contacted by the Belfast Telegraph a spokeswoman said easyJet had agreed to make this case an exception.
"EasyJet can confirm that flight EZY 6054 from Belfast to Liverpool was delayed due to severe weather disruption," she said.
"An irregularity with the passenger manifest added to the delay.
"We would like to sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and as a gesture of goodwill we are offering passengers a refund or future flight voucher up to the same value as their delayed journey if they did not travel.
"This is not our normal policy, but we recognise the disappointment caused to fans through a combination of weather and delays."