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Travel question of the day: Simon Calder on changing a flight due to medical reasons
15 June 2016 - 11:06, by , in Travel Tips And Guide, No comments

Q I have been attempting to achieve compensation from easyJet for a rearranged flight. With my wife, I had booked a flight from Luton airport to Catania in Sicily and back. On arrival in Catania I became unwell and in no condition to drive. We were lucky to find a hotel for an overnight stay, however the following morning I was no better so we decided to return to Luton. We had to purchase two tickets as we could not transfer our original tickets. I have enquired for compensation with easyJet for the cost of two tickets and received the reply “as I had not supplied a medical note certifying that I was unwell I would not receive a refund”. Could you please advise me on how I should proceed?

Name withheld

A Sorry to hear about your experience. I hope you are fully recovered. I fear, though, that I am not optimistic about the chance of compensation.

Like other low-cost airlines, easyJet offers the very useful facility to change dates and times without losing the full value of your original flights. For a fee that is typically £30 per person, plus the more-or-less inevitable increase in fare, you can switch your own flights online.

If there was a particular reason why you could not transfer flights, for example a temporary IT-failure, then it is possible you could reasonably ask the airline for the additional cost you incurred.

The response from the airline also indicates that, had you been able to provide medical evidence at the time, you may have been able to switch for free. But this is a courtesy that goes beyond easyJet’s obligations, and evidently the moment has gone. The airline could reasonably refer you to your travel insurer – though that might also require medical evidence.

Every day, our travel correspondent Simon Calder tackles a reader’s question. Just email yours to s@hols.tv or tweet @simoncalder

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