Legal verdict on EasyJet tweet row: ‘Get a 24 hour PR team,’ says London School of Economics law professor Andrew Murray
Murray, who specialises in cyberlaw, concludes: “No one appeared to be alarmed or put in fear as a result of Mark's tweet. The tweet was itself lawful and is in accordance with the DPP guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media. In particular, the guidance in relation to credible threats.” Murray goes on to consider the “million dollar question” of whether easyJet staff were within their legal rights to refuse boarding for Leiser using the relevant criteria from the company’s terms and conditions. Section 15.2 of the terms and conditions state that the airline is permitted to deny boarding or delay any flight “where we consider this to be justified by circumstances beyond our control or for reasons of safety”. Murray said: “Now obviously this was not an attempt to deny boarding because of "circumstances beyond our control or for reasons of safety," unless they genuinely believed Mark was a risk to passengers or crew. “Thereby I don't believe easyJet's terms and conditions permit them to deny boarding on the basis of a social media communication.” He concludes: “Perhaps the moral of the story is if you run a 24 hour business you need a 24 hour PR team managing situations like this.” EasyJet released a statement following the incident confirming that no passenger would be denied onto a flight for making comments on social media. An investigation into events is now underway.
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