Passenger beats easyJet in court

Victorious: Adam Rubens

Victorious: Adam Rubens

A businessman has won a legal victory over easyJet after challenging its cancellation fee for a flight to Israel.

Adam Rubens, of Bushey, Hertfordshire, said it was not the £58 plus £50 costs awarded to him in Watford County Court that mattered but the principle.

Mr Rubens, a member of Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue, booked a return flight to Tel Aviv with the budget airline last December for his daughter. Half an hour later, he cancelled it.

From his £306 payment, easyJet deducted £135. "That's the equivalent of 44 per cent as a cancellation charge," he said. "In my opinion, that was wholly unreasonable and I challenged them to justify it. Their response was that they were entitled to make those deductions under their terms and conditions."

Mr Rubens said he had been ready to pay a cancellation charge. But on top of a £60 cancellation fee and £17 credit card charge, easyJet had "also retained the £38 baggage fee and £20 seat allocation fee, neither of which, the court decided, they were entitled to."

He added: "This was never about the money. It was all about the principle that one should not accept what is blatantly unfair.

"This has implications for millions of passengers travelling using budget airlines. Too many people accept their fate because it is written in a company's terms and conditions. The court held that those terms still have to pass the test of reasonableness."

An easyJet spokeswoman said that its cancellation policy was "clearly stated in our terms and conditions, which passengers agree to and acknowledge as part of the booking process".

    Last updated: 12:43pm, June 12 2014