Airlines cancelling flights due to lack of demand

Belperpete

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I had booked a trip to Prague in the spring, that obviously did not go ahead. A month or so ago, after the travel restrictions had been lifted, I re-arranged my Easyjet flights for this autumn, and got the hotel to change my booking to match. No charge to amend the flights, slight charge for the hotel booking.

However, I have just been told by Easyjet that my new outward flight has now been cancelled. No notification yet about the return journey, suppose I will have to wait until their notification engine rolls that far forward. OK, I knew that there was a risk that the trip might get cancelled if there was a resurgence in covid, but not that the airline might just decide not to bother running the advertised schedule.

Looking at their booking engine, they have cut the number of flights substantially, from two a day, every day, to just a single flight every other day. That is a substantial cut. Are other airlines doing similar?

People who had their holidays cancelled by covid, and who have rebooked based on all the enticements from the airlines to travel again, are not going to be happy if the airlines now cancel on them again. I think Easyjet are shooting themselves in the foot by doing this. Overseas travel in now a complete lottery.
 
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HSTEd

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They can annoy some customers or they can haemmorhage money running planes very few people want to fly on.
 

joncombe

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Yes I have the same issue with SAS. They cancelled both my outward and return flights with only just over 2 weeks to departure. This is despite an earlier "re-schedule" about a month ago (that moved the flights by about 2 hours). It is very annoying as in my case the outward journey now isn't possible in a single day and my hotel booking became non-refundable 1 month before departure, at which points the flights I booked were still operating.
 

jtuk

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Easyjet at least refunded the flights I had booked with them in June quickly enough, unlike anyone in the Lufthansa group who are worse than useless
 

joncombe

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They can annoy some customers or they can haemmorhage money running planes very few people want to fly on.
Well it's quite likely the first option is also likely to lead to having to make refunds (it has done in my case) which also hits cash flow.
 

nlogax

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BA are doing this as and when required; for example I booked a flight at the end of July which was cancelled fifteen minutes after the booking confirmation arrived in my mailbox.
 

Bletchleyite

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Yes I have the same issue with SAS. They cancelled both my outward and return flights with only just over 2 weeks to departure. This is despite an earlier "re-schedule" about a month ago (that moved the flights by about 2 hours). It is very annoying as in my case the outward journey now isn't possible in a single day and my hotel booking became non-refundable 1 month before departure, at which points the flights I booked were still operating.
Does your travel insurance not cover you for that?
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I had booked a trip to Prague in the spring, that obviously did not go ahead. A month or so ago, after the travel restrictions had been lifted, I re-arranged my Easyjet flights for this autumn, and got the hotel to change my booking to match. No charge to amend the flights, slight charge for the hotel booking.

However, I have just been told by Easyjet that my new outward flight has now been cancelled. No notification yet about the return journey, suppose I will have to wait until their notification engine rolls that far forward. OK, I knew that there was a risk that the trip might get cancelled if there was a resurgence in covid, but not that the airline might just decide not to bother running the advertised schedule.
Can you use Easyjet from another airport?
Easyjet have just cut back at Southend and some other airports (in terms of aircraft based there), while still running from others.
I've still got two trips booked that I've postponed twice at a tiny cost (£1), but they must still be at risk of cancellation.
It could be worse - Qantas have just said no international flights till July 2021 at the earliest!
 

joncombe

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Easyjet at least refunded the flights I had booked with them in June quickly enough, unlike anyone in the Lufthansa group who are worse than useless
Depends if you can get them to admit that the flight is actually cancelled. I had two bookings with them where I got an email that my booking had been "amended". In one case they had changed the departure date, departure airport, flight no and flight time. In both cases you then log into Easyjet website and it's as if those are the flights you originally booked. For these bookings they removed the "Manage Disruption" option and said if you didn't accept the change you have to telephone them to change the booking or obtain a voucher (no mention of a refund) - they removed the options to change them online. I tried on many occasions mostly getting the "we're too busy to answer you call please try again later" and on the occasions that I did get through I waited over an hour before giving up.

I did find a refund form on the website anyway and tried to fill that in but they denied my refund as "the flight still ran". Well the one they amended my booking to might have, but the one I booked did not! I also tried emailing but eventually just got back an "FAQ" that didn't answer what I'd asked. I eventually got the money back via a chargeback via my credit card company. The law is very clear if the flight is cancelled (identified by the flight no changing, as it did on both my bookings) they must offer a refund. So EasyJet were trying to get around it by claiming an amendment for a cancellation.
 

Domh245

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Would't the low travel demand be a benefit since it would help with 'social distancing' on the planes?
Airlines aren't interested in social distancing, only turning a profit. If the demand falls below a point that they won't make money by flying, why would they?
 

Elwyn

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I travelled with Easyjet from Belfast to Edinburgh and back 2 weeks ago. The flight was packed. (There's just 1 a day). No social distancing. No empty seats between you and the next passenger (as publicity some months ago said they would be doing). You had to wear a mask but when they came round with the drinks trolley those wanting to eat or drink were allowed to remove them. Mhm.
 

Envy123

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I travelled with Easyjet from Belfast to Edinburgh and back 2 weeks ago. The flight was packed. (There's just 1 a day). No social distancing. No empty seats between you and the next passenger (as publicity some months ago said they would be doing). You had to wear a mask but when they came round with the drinks trolley those wanting to eat or drink were allowed to remove them. Mhm.
Same with my flight from Heathrow to Moscow on the 2nd August. Aeroflot seemed to cram three flights in one, from the looks of things.
 

Bantamzen

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I travelled with Easyjet from Belfast to Edinburgh and back 2 weeks ago. The flight was packed. (There's just 1 a day). No social distancing. No empty seats between you and the next passenger (as publicity some months ago said they would be doing). You had to wear a mask but when they came round with the drinks trolley those wanting to eat or drink were allowed to remove them. Mhm.
As mentioned above airlines, especially budget ones, need flights to be as full as possible to make a profit. Social distancing is simply not possible without either charging many times more per ticket, or the company losing money. Unlike the railways, airlines are not getting any help from our government so they cannot afford to cart fresh air about.

I would ask though, if you were concerned about the lack of distancing, why did you fly at all? Cabin air is filtered and refreshed on average every 2-3 minutes, and airlines mandate mask wearing and thorough cleaning after every flight, meaning that you've probably got more chance of catching the virus in your local supermarket than in the cabin of a modern aircraft.
 

Elwyn

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I wasn’t concerned. Merely that Easyjet had said in previous news items that they would leave middle seats empty for social distancing reasons. And I am puzzled why they insist on face masks if you can remove them at any time to eat and drink.

Not very consistent.
 

Bantamzen

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I wasn’t concerned. Merely that Easyjet had said in previous news items that they would leave middle seats empty for social distancing reasons. And I am puzzled why they insist on face masks if you can remove them at any time to eat and drink.

Not very consistent.
They did originally say that about seats. However given that their primary rivals (Ryanair) haven't blocked off any seats, its probably an economic decision. As for masks, well as I said aircraft cabins could well be amongst the safest environments around so mask wearing is probably only there to appease the various governments around the globe who are desperately trying to find a political solution to a biological problem.
 

Silverlinky

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I've just come back from a holiday in Greece, flew out from that busy airport that is Leeds Bradford with Jet2!!

Flights both ways were full, all 189 seats taken so no "social distancing" going on......yes masks were removed to allow people to eat and drink, their own stuff and also when the trolley came round. The flight back one stewardess was a bit more proactive in going round and asking people to pull their masks up over their nose rather than them wearing them on their mouths and chins!

The new normal is not that much different from the old normal if i'm being honest, still those who hang around the gate just before boarding, still the many who are up out of their seats as soon as the plane lands and the seatbelt sign goes off.....like the doors get opened any quicker! Still the queues for check-in, security, passport control etc.

And despite the requirements to fill in the passenger locator online, both for the Greeks on the way out and the UK on the return, neither document got anything more than a cursory glance, indeed the Border Control officer at Leeds said we didn't need to bother showing him our forms at all......

Apart from wearing a mask, its was the same old same old.
 

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