SCHOOLCHILDREN were in tears when EasyJet cancelled a school trip at the last minute.
The Year Six pupils, aged ten to 11, were told the return flight had been axed less than two weeks before they were due to head out. was scrapped less than two weeks before the flights.
Teachers at Broadclyst Primary School in Exeter desperately tried to book alternative air, train, coach or ferry travel but were unable to due to the group’s size.
One mum told DevonLive: “A lot of the children were in tears when they found out and very upset as they’ve been so excited about the trip.”
The 33 children plus teachers were meant to fly from Bristol to the Netherlands as a big end-of-school trip to make up for cancelled trips in years four and five due to Covid.
Another parent said: “The children are devastated.
“They have been so excited about the trip having missed out on all residentials in Years four & five and so much more due to Covid.
“This is their last term at primary school and the trip was going to be a large part of making up for everything they have missed out on over the last few years.”
Headteacher told parents in a letter: “Sadly we were informed last Friday that both the outbound and return flights for the trip to the Netherlands have been cancelled by EasyJet.
“We have spent the past few days trying to find alternative modes of transport.
“However, due to the proximity of the departure and the size of our group it has not been possible to book anything.
“We have tried alternative flights, other airports, trains and the Eurostar and travel by coach and ferry. Everything is fully booked.
“Please be assured that we have not made the decision to cancel lightly and we are so disappointed for the children who have been looking forward to this opportunity.
“We are now working with the school insurance to get a refund and we will be in touch shortly to arrange for the money you have paid to be refunded to you.”
Mr Bishop added: “On a personal level, I don’t go on many trips any more because I oversee four schools.
“But I was going on this one as they haven’t had anything in three years.
“I wanted to ensure it went well. We did utterly everything to try to save it – phoning coach firms and ferry companies.
“Because of the size of our group it was just impossible – there were 33 children and five teachers.
“We were finding flights – but they didn’t have enough places.”
The price of flights had also risen from £140 to more than £300 each.
He added: “The impact of something like this is huge. We’ve worked for many years with a school over there in the Netherlands, building relationships.
“A trip like this gives children a real sense of history, geography and culture. It’s such a sadness and disappointment.”
There have been months of disruption to EasyJet flights and passengers facing long queues, delays and last-minute cancellations at Bristol Airport.
EasyJet later said that it would try to help the school find alternatives.
But Mr Bishop coaches and accommodation bookings had all been cancelled.
He added: “While it would be amazing if we could get flights organised, we would need to re-book the centre, etc to be able to make this trip happen. We are obviously very willing to try!!”
EasyJet has been approached for comment.
It comes after huge queues filled Heathrow and Stansted airports this week.
Holidaymakers are already facing hellish queues, cancelled flights and mountains of lost suitcases – and it’s only set to get worse when schools break for summer holidays.
There are triple the number of passengers flying in and out of Britian’s airports this summer compared to last year.
And on top of this Ryanair and easyJet crew members are set to strike.
Source: The Sun