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easyJet revises cancellation and change fees – I compare with BA

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easyJet dropped me a line with its revised cancellation and change policies which went into effect on Wednesday.

These policies are not all new but are worth highlighting because, in general, they are reasonable and show why more cost-conscious business travellers are moving across.

easyJet A319 at Rome Ciampino

Name change

British Airways does not allow name changes on issued tickets.  You would need to cancel your ticket – usually with nothing refunded on a cheap economy flight – and rebook for the current price.

easyJet will let you change the name of a passenger as long as the lead passenger name is unchanged.  This will cost £45 per sector and just £15 per sector if done more than 60 days before departure.  This presumably comes in handy if you’re not sure that your current partner is a ‘keeper’!

Flight changes

easyJet will let anyone change their flight time for £45 plus any fare difference.  This is reduced to just £15 plus any fare difference if done within 60 days of departure.

British Airways also allows flight changes on payment of a £60 change fee plus any fare difference.  The BA fee is per ticket whilst the easyJet fee is per flight segment, so the cost could be higher if you make the change within 60 days.

Note that if you make your change by telephone, easyJet adds on an extra £5.  British Airways adds on an extra £30.

Missed flight rescue fee

This one is slightly trickier to judge.  If you arrive at the airport up to two hours after your original flight departed, easyJet will put you on the next available flight for a flat fee of £80.

Whilst BA is not contractually obliged to do this, they would – in many cases – do this for nothing in my experience.  If they refused, you would have a very expensive bill to pay for a ‘bought at the airport’ one-way ticket.

This last option is a very powerful one for business passengers who would otherwise buy a semi-flexible British Airways ticket.  As long as the only risk was that the passenger would be delayed for a couple of hours, it makes an easyJet ticket substantially better value even if the £80 fee has to be paid.

With easyJet moving its entire Gatwick operation into the North Terminal next November, it will continue to grow in the business market.  The one thing that is still not clear is whether it will start offering interlining (letting you check through a bag to your ultimate destination) – transferring from one easyJet flight to another is currently inconvenient if you have a checked bag.

Comments (29)

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  • harry says:

    It’s true that BA won’t normally change names (unless there’s a simple mistake in spelling etc), ie:
    Outside this cooling off period, flight-only tickets are non-transferable and you will need to cancel the original booking and make a new booking for the new traveller (at current ticket prices). Please call us if you’d like more advice and assistance.

    However, the staff have a fair bit of discretion and by being pleasant on the phone, they were happy enough to change one of the names on our group of 5 tickets, from my wife to my niece. The nice lady probably bent the rules but it does pay to be nice to them yourself 🙂

  • Andy says:

    I must be missing a trick if people say BA are flexible when you are a few minutes late. I regularly travel from LHR to GLA but on 2 occasions Heathrow Express was a few minutes late and I arrived at T5 security with 34 minutes before the flight. Customer service always say I must pay for a new ticket because I’m a no show. Does anyone have any tips for me?

    • harry says:

      Only the obvious tip you won’t welcome, ie that you’re not allowing enough time for transfers/ getting there.

      The old days are gone, when you could turn up last minute and slip onto your flight & 5 minutes later they’d close the door and the plane would taxi away.

      LHR-GLA is not in the arrive 3 hours before flight class that I’d recommend for more important flights – lounges make this perfectly bearable – but honestly, 90 mins would be minimally prudent.

      As for the tips you’re really after: did you try phoning ahead? Are you decent status & mention it?

    • Rob says:

      BA is not at all flexible in holding planes – they known punctuality is a problem and are doing all they can not to delay aircraft. They are flexible in putting you on other planes without charging you for a new ticket.

      • Joe says:

        I find this surprising. Once I missed a flight by 10 minutes (dus-lhr), was in club (poug) and they wanted me to buy a new ticket for the next flight for £400. I went to the easy check in desk and even tho I didn’t want lgw, gave them the £130 and got a taxi back to lhr

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        No they’re not! I also turned up at security two minutes late for a simple LHR-NCL. Loads of little delays added up and killed my contingency time.

        What annoyed me is I had to pay for change fee and fare difference and even after all that (took about 10 minutes for them to rebook me) I got through security and my original flight was still boarding. I could have easily made my flight but instead I was forced to pay for the privilege of sitting in the galleries club lounge for many more hours (my next flight was also delayed). This was made worse that I was collecting a car at the other end so couldn’t even enjoy any alcohol which would have at least killed time.

        • Alan says:

          Yes it’s one of the most annoying things about T5 – if you’d been doing that flight the other way round you would have still made it at NCL. I don’t object to them not holding planes back, but conformance can be really annoying (and doesn’t seem to make their punctuality any better than the LCCs!)

  • Susan says:

    EasyJet also have the priority boarding by bus thing sorted which is a regular moan on FT BAEC – last time flying FCO to Malta there was myself and another couple with speedy boarding – we were put at the front of the bus and our area tensa-barried off. At the plane we disembarked and were up the steps before the rest were let off. Felt a bit DYKWIA but very efficient (for us 😉

  • Paddy says:

    Cabin Change query – if I book a long haul flight with Avios and money in Economy and a reward seat appears in business some time later, is there a charge from BA to change/upgrade from Economy to Business (other than the expected additional miles and money as if I had booked Business in the first place)?

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