Passengers have claimed easyJet cancelled their flights to amber list countries before making the same seats available at “double the price”, following the changes to travel restrictions.

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, announced this week that double-jabbed adults and all children would be able to travel to amber list countries from July 19 without having to quarantine on their return to the UK.

The recommendation that people should not travel to amber list countries will be removed, but passengers will still be required to take a pre-departure and day 2 test.

But the news was dampened for some travellers after they found their flights, which had been cancelled, became available again at increased prices.

Michael Volpe was due to fly to Catania, Italy, on August 1 with his family and paid about £800 for three people with easyJet.

But when he tried to check in on Wednesday morning, he noticed the flight had been cancelled, and received an email notifying him of the cancellation the following day.

Travel countries on the red, green and amber list

After the travel announcement, he checked the price of the flight again on Friday and claimed it had “doubled to £1,600 for three passengers”.

“It’s been so uncertain all the way through since we booked it,” he said. “They didn’t give me the option. They took away my opportunity”.

Jack, who did not wish to give his full name, was due to travel to Malaga with his girlfriend on August 4 for a week. The return flight cost £179.96.

On Wednesday, he received an email explaining the flight had been cancelled and they were rebooked on alternative flights leaving and arriving back at different airports.

“Less than 24 hours after our cancellation, easyJet put on a service on the same days and same airports as our previous booking,” he claimed.

“If I were to book onto the new flights, which were actually my original ones, it would cost me around twice as much.” 

The new price had reportedly risen to £317.98.

Bea Fuentes tweeted the airline claiming her flights were cancelled on Thursday morning only to discover they were available again “but double the price”.

“Two years I haven’t seen my family,” she wrote. “Please explain.”

EasyJet denies ‘artificially increasing fares’

EasyJet said in a statement that the company “absolutely do not artificially increase fares”.

“As with all airlines, our pricing is demand-led, which means that our fares start low and increase the closer it is to the date of departure and as more seats on the aircraft are booked,” it said.

Following the announcement, the company saw “significant increased demand” and have since added “over 172,000 extra seats” between the UK and amber list countries, it said.

Due to the pandemic, the company said it has been required to continually adjust its flights.

“Unfortunately, this has meant that we have been required to cancel some flights and when we cancel, we do so some weeks in advance to provide customers with as much notice as possible to adjust their plans,” it said.

EasyJet added that customers whose flights have been cancelled can move them “without a fee and no fare difference is applicable”.