EasyJet has been accused of ‘recklessly swindling’ customers with their ‘misleading’ offer of free airport parking if customers can find a cheaper deal.
Computer science expert Professor Ross Anderson says he booked parking at Stansted Airport through the airline for £72.
But he then found the same parking £5 cheaper, if booked direct with the airport.
So he tried to claim the offer, but was later denied because he was unable to find out how to apply.
Professor Anderson said the correct link to access the form to claim the offer was ‘deliberately hidden’ on their website.
It does not appear when booking on a mobile, and on the desktop booking page it is accessed behind several clicks at the bottom of a long list of terms and conditions.
Easyjet have been accused of swindling customers with a difficult to claim offer of free airport parking if you can find a cheaper deal
Flyer Prof Ross Anderson (pictured) was denied a refund from Easyjet as he did not fill in a ‘deliberately hidden’ form in time
EasyJet planes standing on the ground at Stansted Airport
Professor Anderson told MailOnline: ‘If a professor of computer science at Cambridge and Edinburgh can’t find it what chance does the average citizen have?’
‘They’re claiming that they give you cheaper parking when it’s more expensive – a price guarantee,’ he added. ‘As a practical matter I couldn’t find the guarantee and I couldn’t exercise my right to it as I couldn’t find the link.’
Prof Anderson booked parking for £72 at Stansted Airport from January 30 to February 1 with Easyjet and their partner Holiday Extras after the airline emailed the enticing offer to him when he booked a return flight to Edinburgh.
The computer scientist from the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh booked the parking on January 25 and immediately found the same parking £5 cheaper direct with Stansted.
He sent the screenshots that day to Easyjet customer support to claim the refund, who responded four days later on January 29 to tell him he needed to fill in a specific form so his claim could be assessed.
Prof Anderson heard back later that day from Holiday Extras, who operate Easyjet’s parking scheme, who said that his claim had been denied as refund requests must be submitted within 24 hours of booking.
When approached by MailOnline, Holiday Extras accepted that it was not Prof Anderson’s fault that he did not get the refund and said they would pay him back the £72 in full.
A brief search suggests that booking parking through Easyjet can often be a few pounds more expensive than booking directly with Stansted Airport.
Prof Anderson told MailOnline the refund form is ‘deliberately hidden’ in a tactic to ensure as few people as possible claim the deal even if they are entitled to it while paying slightly more for parking.
OFFER: ‘If you can find the same product cheaper within 24 hours of confirming your booking with Holiday Extras, it’s yours for FREE’
The link (the word ‘form’ right) to the claim form is hidden behind several clicks at the bottom of a long list of terms and conditions
If accessed on the mobile site, the link to the form to claim the free parking does not appear
The page which explains how you to claim free parking if you find a better deal than Easyjet’s
He said: ‘I did file the complaint within 24 hours and they then waited four days before telling me go and complain at this other website. They told me you didn’t complain within 24 hours – but I didn’t see that form.
‘It’s clear that this was designed to ensure that nobody would be able to make a valid claim. Anybody who tried would be held up until Easyjet could say that a refund claim was out of time.’
If booking parking on the mobile version of the website there is no link to the form, meaning that customers cannot find it when booking parking on a phone.
To find the link on a desktop browser when booking parking, a user has to click on a box about the offer, then click a link in the box called ‘more information’.
A flyer must then scroll to the bottom of a long list of terms and conditions and click a one-word link – ‘form’ in the ‘how to claim’ section.
This section is not immediately visible when viewing the terms and conditions and here it explains the claim must be made within 24 hours.
The link to the form however can be accessed before starting the process for booking airport parking, if a customer clicks a ‘more info’ button on a box advertising the deal.
A spokesperson from Holiday Extras told MailOnline: ‘Having been made aware that the delay in Mr. Anderson’s claim was through no fault of his own, we have accepted the claim and processed a full refund for his booking.’