So I made my case to Easyjet and have heard back. As many people have suggested, their response was pretty poor. Here it is:
Dear Mr Bailey,
Thank you for contacting us.
I was concerned to read about problems you have experienced while travelling with easyJet lately. I can appreciate inconvenience caused by the fact that you and your family were not able to sit together during the flight.
Please note that when you are booking flight with easyJet, we do not allocate seats, therefore it is not possible to guarantee that all passengers from certain booking will be seated next to each other. From your comments I have noted that the flight attendant did her best to arrange 3 seats for you, however it is not possible to force any of the passengers to change their seats with somebody else.
As a lot of passengers are anxious about sitting together, we have decided to introduce the Speedy Boarding service. This service provides passengers with an option of being preboarded and in fact they have the bast selection of seats on the aircraft.
It is with regret that I need to advise you that easyJet is a non refundable airline. As you could not use the third seat due to the fact that simply there were not 3 or 2 seats available next to each other, no refund is payable.
I do hope I have been able to answer your question fully, if I have not, please click here and we will be more than happy to assist you further.
Customer Experience Champion
Now a few things are totally unacceptable about this.
- I was obliged to buy a seat for my two year old son, due to aviation rules. To then suggest that he could sit on his own is entirely unacceptable. He is a minor and cannot be unaccompanied on a flight. If you buy a ticket for a minor, he must be sat next to a parent or guardian. This isn’t about service – this is about safety.
- At no point during the booking was I told to buy Speedy Boarding to avoid my son being unaccompanied. I am not “anxious about sitting together” – it is a physical fact that my son, unaccompanied on that flight, would have been a disaster for all involved. Also we were advised at check in that we would have priority boarding as we had a child. What we weren’t told is that we would be preceded by Speedy Boarders. Therefore to state that I should have therefore booked Speedy Boarding, after the fact, is unacceptable.
- “easyJet is a non refundable airline” – a pretty ridiculous statement. I paid for a seat which I was prevented from using. I therefore entered a contract in good faith, in accordance with the company’s policy on children having their own seat, but was prevented from taking benefit of that purchase by the company’s policy of insisting I sit separately from my 2 year old son. Amazingly they seem to regard my need for him to have a seat over my need to be sitting next to him. The basis of being a non-refundable airline in this case id flawed.
- For a “Customer Experience Champion” this does nothing to chamption my customer experience, which was very poor. So don’t suggest there’s any championing going on, unless you’re going to actually champion me.
So where does this leave me. Well I went back to their fantastically buried and hard to use customer feedback interface and managed to find a “ring me back” facility which then refused to accept my home number with international prefix (as instructed). I’m not into conspiracies but its hard to feel Easyjet isn’t actively trying to make me give up. Because of personal annoyance, a sense of justice and professioanl curiosity I will not.