College rugby team in flights reclaim battle

Easyjet image.
Easyjet image.

A rugby group from Portadown College has been involved in an altogether different type of scrum - as it attempts to claim compensation from easyJet after a delayed flight.

PE teacher Stephen McDowell has been ‘trying’ unsuccessfully for seven months to reclaim the money he and the pupils are rightfully entitled to.

Stephen took the Medallion Rugby team to Wales in February but on the way home from Bristol to Belfast the party of 26 was delayed for more than three hours due to a technical fault.

This meant each member of the party was entitled to 250 euros compensation.

He said, “On my return I completed an EU261 compensation form for each member of the group and forwarded it to easyJet.

“I received an email nearly immediately confirming that every member of my group was entitled to the money and what address did I want the compensation to be sent to.

“I confirmed the school address and just assumed the cheque would be sent. Nearly seven months later, a lot of phone calls and a lot of emails between myself and easyjet groups I still haven’t received any compensation.

“I keep getting fobbed off with the same message ‘we will look into this’ or they won’t respond to my emails.”

In a recent telephone conversation he was told the case was closed and payment should have been received.

Stephen has also contacted the Civil Aviation Authority asking them to investigate the complaint, and has kept a record of the lengthy email correspondence.

The Portadown Times contacted easyJet which promised to investigate the complaint and later issued this statement.

“We are sorry that Mr McDowell’s flight was delayed and would like to apologise to him and his party for the inconvenience and delay in compensation payment.

“A member of our customer services team has been in touch with Mr McDowell directly to process the payment.”