I missed my easyJet flight as Apple’s Calendar app gave me the wrong time

A hyperlink from the airline’s website was an hour out, so when I got to the airport, the flight was closed

I booked a return flight with easyJet from Gatwick to Ibiza in May. The confirmation email contained a hyperlink to add the details of the flight to the calendar function on my iPhone. It said the flight was due to leave at 6.35am; we turned up at the airport at 5am, only to find that the flight details had been incorrectly imported. The flight was in fact departing at 5.35am and the gate was closed.

EasyJet had not heard of a problem like this before and was unable to help. We managed to find a flight with another carrier later in the day, but at considerable cost.

I contacted Apple and spoke to its most senior level of technical support, who confirmed that the problem lay within the hyperlink sent by easyJet. When I wrote to easyJet it said that its technical department would investigate – but I haven’t heard anything. I then read an article describing how the Apple Calendar app “handles time zones terribly”. RT, Oxford

Apple ignores three requests to comment on your case. Its support page explains that its Calendar app uses the default time zone in the settings of your Apple devices, and you have to turn on time zone support to create events in other time zones.

However, you have had your settings checked and the times you were given make no sense. Your app declared your flight to Ibiza was calculated using GMT+1, which was correct for British summer time, yet the departure time was an hour out.

Since then, you’ve received a calendar invitation for a local yoga class in Oxford that imported at GMT-5. Apple at this point acknowledged a software error but, you say, has failed to get back to you.

It sounds as though easyJet, despite its silence, has realised there is a problem with Calendar. “We previously offered calendar invites to passengers for flights they had booked,” says a spokesperson. “We became aware after launching the feature that the flight time was influenced by local calendar settings and the time zone the passenger was in when adding this to their calendar. As soon as this became apparent easyJet removed the ‘add to calendar’ function. This occurrence is extremely rare and easyJet apologises that RT missed their flight as a result.”

It says that while the correct flight time would have been displayed on boarding passes, online check-in screens and email confirmations, its customer service team will get in touch to “resolve the situation”. This “resolution” turns out to be a refund of £26 – the tax on the flight you missed.

It would seem that there has been a technical error, but neither company is admitting it. You, meanwhile, are left to cover the cost – £971 for the two alternative tickets to Ibiza plus £50 for a taxi to Heathrow. Addictive as new technology is, it would be wise in future to check the times of a flight with the airline or airport the day before departure, since these can in any case change at late notice.

If you need help email Anna Tims at your.problems@observer.co.uk or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number.

Contributor

Anna Tims

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
EasyJet should take on board our complaints about communications
The departure signs were not updated and the flight was called after the gate was closed

Anna Tims

18, Jan, 2017 @7:00 AM

Article image
EasyJet failed to listen to reason over a flight compensation claim
I was given a string of different excuses for the cancelled flight and now the airline won’t pay

Anna Tims

27, Feb, 2019 @7:00 AM

Article image
Three easyJet flights are cancelled and no one says why
Our fare refund has inexplicably been reduced and it won’t pay our expenses

Anna Tims

14, Dec, 2016 @7:00 AM

Article image
Why did easyJet insist on a needless visa?
The airline refused a refund for our tickets as it blamed us for not having the correct documents

Anna Tims

07, Mar, 2018 @7:00 AM

Article image
Opodo manages to book us flight tickets on a barred airline
It was only when we arrived at the airport that we realise CemAir wasn’t operating

Anna Tims

04, Apr, 2019 @6:00 AM

Article image
Wrong information on Google flight card meant we missed our flight
We were told of a delay to our Tigerair departure when there wasn’t one

Anna Tims

19, Jan, 2017 @7:00 AM

Article image
Our Nectar luggage payment to easyJet landed up in hold
We paid for baggage for a family of five, but at the airport we were told we hadn’t booked any luggage

Anna Tims

17, Nov, 2016 @7:00 AM

Article image
EasyJet used four different reasons for not compensating us
We’ve been told our flight was cancelled due to lightning, air traffic, a strike and staff shortage

Anna Tims

17, May, 2018 @6:00 AM

Article image
I fear easyJet has cancelled my flights but hasn’t even told me
I booked three flights from Luton to Ibiza in September but now I’ve noticed that the easyJet website says ‘no flights on this day’

Anna Tims

11, May, 2017 @6:00 AM

Article image
EasyJet left us stranded in Nice with two diabetic children
It blamed foggy weather in London, but other airlines were operating

Anna Tims

24, Aug, 2017 @6:00 AM