EasyJet Tries To Stop Guy From Boarding Because He Tweeted Something Critical
from the customer-service! dept
Flight delayed 90min. Soldier going to miss last connection & @easyjet refusing to help pay for him to get to Portsmouth. Get right into em!— Mark Leiser (@mleiser) September 24, 2013
“I put out a tweet about it and then when I got in the queue, and a member of staff approached me and asked if she could have a quick word," Leiser explained. "She said she understood I’d said something on social media about easyJet and then told me they were not allowing me to board the flight.Leiser eventually brought up the concept of free speech (which doesn't technically apply here, as it wouldn't have been the government stopping him from speaking, and EasyJet, as a private company, can choose not to allow anyone on their planes, no matter how stupid the reason). That seemed to spook the apparently clueless EasyJet employees, who asked if he was a lawyer. Once he told them he taught law, they thought about it and eventually let him on the plane.
“I said you’re kidding me; I asked where that had come from and she told me I should know I’m not allowed to do that. I was stunned. I told her I didn’t really understand what she was telling me and she said: ‘You’re not allowed to talk about easyJet like that and then expect to get on a flight’.”
“She then asked me to step out of the queue and repeated that she was not letting me on the flight. I told her she’d better get somebody down to discuss this and she told me the manager was on his way to speak to me. Then she told said she couldn’t believe I thought what I’d done was appropriate. I was just sitting there in disbelief.
“So the the manager arrived and told me that based on my tweet they couldn’t let me board the flight because I wasn’t allowed to do that and I should know better....
Now, once again, EasyJet certainly can choose not to do business with anyone they choose. However, if they decide to do it for monumentally stupid reasons like they don't like the tweet that someone sent out, then they have to deal with the consequences of that, such as being called out for it, and widely mocked for being ridiculous.
The company, for its part, appears to be in something of denial about what happened, issuing the following statement:
EasyJet has never denied boarding due to comments on social media. On the rare occasion that we consider denying boarding it is on the basis of disruptive behaviour.While technically this might be true (they eventually let him board), it certainly appears they were about to not let him board because of social media. The airline would have been better off admitting that some staff members got a little power hungry after their colleagues were criticized for being uncaring, and that it would review its training and policies on these things.