Aer Lingus apologises for 'technical glitch' as passengers charged to rebook cancelled flights
Storm Emma updates
Aer Lingus has apologised after a 'technical glitch' on its website resulted in some guests being charged in error to reschedule cancelled flights.
The glitch comes as the travel plans of tens of thousands are disrupted by flight cancellations caused by Storm Emma and the Beast from the East.
Specifically, Aer Lingus has been experiencing problems with the change-for-free facility on its website, which allows customers to rebook flights at no charge in the event of cancellations.
Customers of one specific fare class have been charged in error for these changes, it has emerged, and the airline is working to resolve the issue.
All affected passengers will be refunded, it says.
“We are experiencing a technical glitch on our website which is resulting in some guests being charged in error to change their flight which is entirely unintentional on the part of Aer Lingus," the airline told Independent.ie Travel.
Dear @AerLingus it's bad enough that you've cancelled all of your (extortionately priced) flights tomorrow but charging €174.91 for the privilege of rebooking for Saturday is a disgrace. #takingadvantage #BeastfromtheEast pic.twitter.com/mtThGxYFs2— Lucinda Creighton (@LCreighton) March 1, 2018
"We wish to reassure guests that all wrongly incurred charges will be refunded and we continue to uphold our change for free facility as per our communication on our website and via our social media channels."
Frustrated customers included former TD Lucinda Creighton, who tweeted yesterday to call a €174.91 charge to change flights "a disgrace" (above).
Passengers whose flights are cancelled this week are entitled to refunds or re-bookings without charge under EC Regulation 261/2004.
Ryanair and Aer Lingus have cancelled all flights from Ireland Friday, and are scrambling to rebook tens of thousands of affected passengers. Both have experienced call centre delays and apologised for weather-related disruptions.
"Some 50,000 guests’ travel plans have been disrupted due to the severe weather conditions and we appreciate this is a very difficult and challenging time for them," the airline said in its statement.
"We have dedicated teams right across the airline working to resume operations as quickly as we can and when it is safe to do so.
"We thank guests for their understanding and are doing everything possible to minimise any further disruption to their travel plans.”