Holidaymaker blasts EasyJet for sending bosses on luxury trip

Holidaymaker whose easyJet break was ruined by cancelation, delay and miserable conditions blasts the airline for sending bosses on five-star luxury trip

  • Chloe Smith, 31, was stranded in Turkey after EasyJet flight home was axed 
  • She had gone with 19 members of her family to celebrate her late grandmother 
  • Luxury five-star trip airline organised for executives at same time outraged her 
  • EasyJet organised jolly to Majorca in five-star hotel for seven senior bosses
  • Chloe’s family were put in hotel where ‘honestly I wouldn’t choose to put my dog’

A holidaymaker whose EasyJet break was ruined by cancellation, delay and miserable conditions has blasted the airline for holding a five-star trip in the sun for its bosses.

Chloe Smith, 31, was among 19 members of her extended family who were left stranded in Turkey after their flight home was axed as they waited to board the plane.

She says that EasyJet placed her and partner Stewart Begg, 37, and their two young children in a run down and dirty hotel for the night after the last-minute cancellation.

They then had to wait three days for a new flight home and she was left struggling to feed her seven-month-old daughter Ella who had run out of the special prescription milk she needs.

And Chole said she was ‘shocked’ to see MailOnline’s report about how seven senior EasyJet executives enjoyed a two day working jamboree at a five star hotel in Majorca.

Chloe blasted: ‘It’s unbelievable that EasyJet bosses should be behaving like this during this crisis. I am absolutely disgusted.’

Chloe Smith, 31, with her partner, Stewart Begg, 37, and their two young children, were left stranded in Turkey after their flight home was axed as they waited to board the plane

Chloe, who had been with 19 members of her extended family in Turkey, says that EasyJet placed her and her immediate family in a run down and dirty hotel for the night after the last-minute cancellation and she was ‘shocked’ to see that seven senior EasyJet executives enjoyed a two day working jamboree at a five star hotel in Majorca at the same time

MailOnline told yesterday how the management team stayed at the £500-a-night Iberostar spa hotel in Palma after hassle-free easyJet flights from Gatwick and Luton.

Members of the group enjoyed a meal in the hotel’s acclaimed a la carte restaurant before several had a late-night drink in the sunset champagne bar.

They were seen chatting and laughing under starry skies at the bar which offers champagne at 18 Euro a glass or bottles of Dom Perignon Rose at 375 Euro.

After breakfast, they sat down in a conference room to discuss the current crisis which has sparked scenes of chaos at airports with 1,300 EasyJet flights cancelled in the last two weeks of June.

The group included chief executive Johan Lundgren and David Morgan who became interim chief operating officer following the recent resignation of Peter Bellew from the post.

The executives were later picked up by a fleet of three Teslas and whisked to dinner on the terrace of Lundgren’s £3million three-story villa on a hillside on the outskirts of Palma.

Chloe, who lives near Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, said: ‘How can they do this when ordinary families who pay their wages are left struggling after their flights are being cancelled all over the place?

‘They put my family in a hotel where I honestly would not choose to put my dog. Getting through to the airline to try and find out what was happening was next to impossible.’

Senior executives from the budget airline flew to Palma on the Mediterranean island of Majorca on Tuesday for a two-day jamboree at a plush five-star hotel

Interim Chief Operating Officer David Morgan climbs into a chauffeur driven Tesla in Palma

The management board of Easy Jet on working holiday at a luxury 5 star spa hotel Iberostar Selection Platja de Palma in Palma, Mallorca, as thousands of passengers have had their holidays ruined

Chloe’s grandfather Ronald Smith, 74, of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, had paid for all his family to go on holiday to celebrate the life of his wife Brenda who died aged 69 in 2017.

Accounts clerk Chloe said: ‘It was devastating for my grandad when my nan died, and then he had to go through all the Covid lockdowns while living on his own.

‘He just wanted to do something nice for all the family by taking everyone away on holiday as a way of remembering my grandmother.

‘The holiday itself was absolutely lovely and everyone had a fantastic time, but it was completely ruined by easyJet afterwards. It turned into a nightmare.

‘It was shame because the whole thing had been paid for by my granddad who had spent months shielding on his own after my nan died.

‘My granddad was left so disheartened and the holiday had been ruined when he had paid over all that money.’

Chloe said her whole family had been due to return from Dalaman airport to Gatwick on an EasyJet flight at around 10.30pm on June 4 after their break at a five star hotel in Fethiye.

But the flight was delayed, and the family only realised it had been cancelled at about 1.30am when they were at the departure gate and saw their luggage being unloaded.

Easyjet has been one of the worst hit airlines for delays and cancellations this summer. Pictured: Passengers queue at Stansted Airport on Thursday

Chloe and Stewart, and their daughters Ava, two (pictured), and Ella were forced to stay at the airport until 4.30am before the airline sent a coach to take them to a hotel 30 minutes away 

The relatives were eventually taken to different hotels by EasyJet after being told that they would be given different flights back to the UK

Chloe and Stewart, and their daughters Ava, two, and Ella were forced to stay at the airport until 4.30am before the airline sent a coach to take them to a hotel 30 minutes away.

She said: ‘The place they sent us to looked beautiful in a brochure, like a boutique hotel, but it was totally different in real life.

‘It was more like a hostel than a hotel with cockroaches in the rooms, stains on the bedding and it stank. Several people refused to sleep in the rooms because they were so bad and just stayed around the reception area.

‘We got an email in the morning, telling us we had got a flight to Manchester at 1.30pm that day so we caught a taxi back to the airport.

‘We got there at about 11.30am, and then at check-in they told us that they actually only had seats for my daughter and I with the baby on my lap, and nothing for my partner.

‘I obviously could not accept that because I could not travel back to Manchester with two small children and all the luggage, and then find our own way back to Gatwick where my car was parked.

‘I told them there was no way that it was possible to do that. We were told to hang around until the plane left, just in case someone did not turn up and there was room on board for Stewart.

‘So we waited, and then they pulled us out from the gate when they realised the flight was full.

‘We started looking at trying to book our own flights, but all the seats were around £600 each and we did not have credit cards with us because we had been on an all-inclusive holiday.

‘There was nobody from easyJet to speak to, and we ended up being escorted out by security staff.’

Chloe said she and her partner and daughters whose holiday had cost £2,900 waited at the airport until 7.30pm before taking a taxi to another hotel arranged for them by easyJet.

They were told that they could all be put on a flight to Gatwick four days later on June 9 after she made around 50 calls to easyJet to ask what was happening.

Fortunately for the seven strong group – which also included chief executive Johan Lundgren – none of their flights from Luton and Gatwick were delayed

There is also a spa and gym and the beachfront hotel offers classes on making mojitos and local Moroccan herb liqueurs as well as an extensive range of water sports

Chloe said: ‘The hotel was better than the place we were in the previous night, but there was no cot so all four of us had to share a bed.

‘We got given dinner by the hotel on the first evening, but then we had to feed ourselves.

‘I was really stressed because Ella has a cow’s milk protein allergy and the only drink she can really cope with is a variety of prescription milk.

‘I had bought some extra supplies with me in case of emergencies, but it all ran out on June 6. I tried pharmacies and looked on the internet, but I couldn’t find the type of milk she needed.

‘I had to give her water. She had only just started to be weaned, so I was able to give her a bit of melon and cucumber.

‘But what made it worse was that she had picked up diarrhoea, and was getting dehydrated.’

Chloe said her father, her brother Conor Smith, 26, his girlfriend Bobbi Spooner, 22, her father Kevin Smith, 51, and his wife Joanne, 49, were given an easyJet flight back to Bristol in the early hours of June 7.

Joanne’s children Abbi Fitts, 26, and Mason Fitts, 22, were also on the same flight which they had to book themselves.

Chole’s uncle Terry Smith, 48, his wife Paula, 48, his son Alfie, 25, and stepson Bailey Simmons Strahan, 22, also managed to return to Bristol at around the same time.

Her grandfather Ronald, his daughter Sharon Tarplett, 44, her husband Wayne and their 12-year-old twins Sadie and Sonny were also initially offered a flight to Manchester.

But they had to return to work and instead booked a TUI flight to Bournemouth on June 6.

Chloe added: ‘By the Tuesday morning, after I ran out of milk, everyone in the hotel was trying to help me.

‘When my dad landed, he went straight to the easyJet desk and told them that I was trapped in Turkey with no milk for my baby.

‘They made such a fuss that easyJet put us on a plane to Gatwick that night and we left just before midnight after two nights in the second hotel.’

Chloe said she and other family members were now battling to get compensation from easyJet.

Three luxury Teslas picked up the group from their hotel for the short twenty-minute drive to Mr Lundgren’s home for the meal which ended just before midnight

It was all smooth flying for the executives who all had priority boarding for their flights to Majorca before checking into the Iberostar which is one of the island’s premier hotels (pictured)

She said the airline had so far paid a statutory £350 compensation per head to around a third of the travellers for the cancelled flight, but two thirds of them were still waiting.

Chloe is asking for expenses of around £400 to cover her family’s food and drink, cost of extra car parking at Gatwick, and additional £30-a-day kennel fees for her dog.

She added: ‘I keep being told that our case is being assessed. It is really difficult trying to get answers. My stepmum spent three and a half hours on the phone to them trying to get answers.’

An easyJet holidays spokesperson said of Chloe’s experience: ‘We’re really sorry to hear about Chloe and her family’s experience after their holiday was impacted by recent flight disruption.

‘In a fast-moving situation like this, it’s always our priority to provide hotel accommodation and get our customers home as soon as possible.

‘We’re in touch with the family to apologise for their experience and support them with their compensation claims.’

An easyJet spokesperson added: ‘As a pan European airline and with more than half of our flights originating in Europe, it is entirely appropriate for the easyJet management board to undertake business meetings around the network as well as regularly travel to our European bases to meet with crew and pilots.

‘The entire management board remains absolutely focused on the daily operation in order to deliver a safe and reliable service for customers this summer.

‘The vast majority of our customers continue to fly with us as planned, as we operate up to 1700 flights carrying up to a quarter of a million customers each day.’

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