Insects on Board: An EasyJet flight from Amsterdam to Manchester experienced an unexpected and lengthy delay when one of its pilots was bitten by a mosquito. The incident led to additional cleaning measures, leaving passengers waiting in the terminal as they wondered about the cause of the delay.
Inconvenience for Passengers: Passengers aboard the Airbus A320, which usually takes just over an hour for the journey, were left in uncertainty as the departure time kept extending. They were initially informed of “technical difficulties” as the reason for the delay. It was later revealed that the pilot had been bitten in the cockpit, prompting a deep cleaning of the aircraft.
Aircraft Deep-Cleaning: EasyJet confirmed that the flight was held up after insects were discovered in the cabin, necessitating “additional cleaning.” The airline stressed that the pilot’s ability to operate the flight was never compromised, and the decision to proceed was made once the issue was resolved.
Passenger Frustration: Some passengers, like veterinary nurse Rachel Green, expressed their dissatisfaction with how the situation was handled, suggesting that EasyJet could have deployed another aircraft to transport passengers. During the delay, travelers were provided a food voucher worth £3.90.
Airline’s Response: In response, EasyJet highlighted that this incident was an “extraordinary circumstance” beyond its control, making it exempt from providing compensation to passengers. The airline reiterated its commitment to the safety and well-being of customers and crew, apologizing for any inconvenience caused.
UK Law on Flight Delays: Under UK law, airlines are obligated to offer “care and assistance” to passengers in cases of significant flight delays. This includes providing “a reasonable amount of food and drink,” often in the form of vouchers. Compensation is only required if a flight arrives more than three hours late, and the delay is the airline’s fault. EasyJet maintains that this mosquito incident falls under the category of “extraordinary circumstance.”