Having a flight canceled at the last minute is a two-pronged problem. First, there’s the task of sorting out your plans to make sure your vacation can still go ahead. Secondly, there is the small matter of getting a refund for the lost flight and possible compensation for the inconvenience.
For Wizz Air customers, this last hurdle proves particularly inconvenient, with many facing long waits and exorbitant phone bills after attempting to contact the carrier’s no-frills customer service team.
On Wednesday last week, Telegraph Travel published an article about how many Wizz passengers had been disappointed by the cancellation of their flights at the last minute, usually via text message. And our feature has prompted other readers to tell tales of doom after booking with Wizz. Below, we’ve rounded up the most telling answers.
Also, Wizz’s refund department is getting busier and busier. When we analyzed the data for the period from May 7 to June 6, we found that Wizz Air’s cancellation rate was 2.16%, making it the seventh least reliable of the top 20 airlines in the world. departure from Great Britain (KLM was at the bottom of the pile). For the period from June 7 to July 10, its cancellation rate tripled to 6.9%.
What readers had to say about Wizz
Stephen Perkins wrote: “Booked on a Sunday in June for a flight to Greece in October. Canceled by Wizz three days later with refund within three months. Looks like we’re funding this company – avoid at all costs.
Another reader, Robert Allan Sutton, wrote: “I’ve been on flights with them where to avoid paying the late fee they rush you to the gate within the time limit for non-payment. indemnity, then keep you there for an hour or two. . Officially, you weren’t delayed.
Chris Thompson added: “We tried flying Wizz Air once. About seven hours before departure, the flight was delayed by just under five hours. After check-in, the flight was delayed an additional two hours, then a little later an additional 25 hours. I tried to cancel as I should be able to but according to their system I was ‘on board’ the plane so cancellation was not possible. It was in Majorca and the plane hadn’t even arrived.
“I was promised in an email from Wizz Air customer service a refund. I gave them bank details but so far they haven’t sent anything. I haven’t received any response. I’m not going to give up.”
Simon Elliott wrote: “This is nothing new for Wizz. I had a flight from Krakow canceled at the last minute in October 2019. Non-existent customer service as well.”
After a flight to Dalaman was cancelled, Mark Cooper commented: “Rather than just getting a refund, I had ‘Wizz Credits’, which I then had to apply to be converted into real money and then changed to GBP I had to give full flight details, bank details including IBAN numbers (which meant I had to call the bank for 30 minutes to get the details) Obviously they wanted me to give up. I didn’t. I’m still waiting for the actual refund as it can take 30 days from the request to convert the “credits”.
A reader by the name of “House Cat” wrote: “I used Wizz Air to fly to Poland just before the pandemic. Huge delays in both directions. On the way back we waited 90 minutes for our luggage thanks to their horrible ground operation (which I guess they pay peanuts for). No Wizz staff to consult and their customer “helpline” is a premium rate number.
Si Thepie said: “For a seven hour delay in Crete, Wizz handed out a €4 voucher which the airport kiosk did not accept. They refuse to be accountable and from what I can gather, having had the misfortune of using them a lot this year, they are just trying to fly more flights than they can handle.
The stories of woe continued. Adrian Alsop wrote: “Our holiday was ruined because our Wizz flight from Luton at 7.10am on Monday was canceled by text message at 1.02am on Sunday. No explanation, no alternative flight, and no email explaining our rights. We had spent the night at a Premier Inn airport, paid for parking and the fast lane in Luton and spent an extra £156 to book hand luggage and priority seating. Trying to claim compensation and other costs from Wizz through an online form is cumbersome and can take up to 30 days. I will never fly with Wizz again.
Paul James wrote: “I had a flight to Madeira on Tuesday which was canceled last week, I have still not had a refund. However, I have just received an email containing vulgar words describing the conditions of use, but no apology or explanation.”
N. Fellowes wrote: “My daughter had her flight from Lisbon canceled and no alternative was offered until three days later. She eventually flew to Manchester instead of Luton, had to spend the night in a hotel and then catch a train to London at a total cost of £600. Wizz is currently refusing to compensate as the flight was canceled due to issues beyond her control. No explanation provided though. At £2 a minute to call their helpline and no response, it’s a total rip off. The CAA should step in and revoke their license.
What Wizz had to say about Chaos
“We are truly sorry that too many of our passengers are currently experiencing delays and, in some cases, cancellations. In the travel industry, Wizz Air and every airline is doing everything possible to help as many passengers as possible. possible to reach their destination on time and with minimal delay.However, among other issues causing operational instability throughout the travel industry, there is a widespread shortage of staff, particularly in control air traffic, ground operations and baggage handling, security and at airports.
“Wizz Air has increased direct communications with all of our customers via SMS, emails and phone calls to ensure – where possible – that they are best informed of any changes to our services. Book directly on wizzair.com or the WIZZ app – unlike other online booking platforms – remains the best way to ensure we reach our customers faster.
“Our sincere apologies to customers whose travel plans have been affected, as we understand how disappointed they are, especially when so many people want and deserve to travel the world again. We are trying everything we can for their offer a range of options so they can travel, including alternative flights with Wizz Air, a full refund or 120% airline credit (both of which we aim to process within a week).
What are the next steps if my Wizz flight is cancelled?
On the Refunds and compensation Wizz Air page, it is written:
You can rebook on the next available flight on the same/similar route. Alternatively, in the event that there are no flights available on the same or next day (and later available dates are not suitable given your travel purpose), you may choose to arrange your own travel via a another airline or other appropriate means of transport (i.e. train, bus or rental car). Please note that any alternative transport must be carried out under comparable transport conditions at your destination. Reasonable and properly documented related costs and expenses may be submitted for reimbursement by us via wizzair.com. So remember to collect and submit all relevant receipts and invoices related to the cost of such alternative travel (eg ticket or fuel).
You can cancel your reservation and request reimbursement in WIZZ credits on your WIZZ account for the canceled flight and for the return journey, if applicable; or later, you can request a refund to your original payment method instead of WIZZ Credits.
What to do if your flight has been diverted?
Wizz says: “Where applicable, in the event of re-routing, where the departure time of the new flight is the day after the originally scheduled departure of the canceled flight, we will arrange hotel accommodation and transportation between the airport and free accommodation. If it is not possible for Wizz Air to provide such support, we will reimburse the cost of meals, hotel accommodation and transportation between the airport and the place of accommodation.
Will I be entitled to compensation?
The compensation rules are as follows:
1500 km or less: 250 €
“If you are offered a new flight and the arrival time does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of your booked flight by 2 hours, this amount will be reduced by 50%.”
Between 1501km and 3500km; €400 EUR (in the case of all intra-community flights (EU-EEA))
“If you are offered a new flight and the arrival time does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of your booked flight by 3 hours, this amount will be reduced by 50%.”
More than 3500km; €600 (applicable only to non-intra-community (EU-EEA) flights)
“If you are offered a new flight and the arrival time does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of your booked flight by 4 hours, this amount will be reduced by 50%
Are there scenarios where you will not receive compensation?
No compensation will be offered to you if:
Your flight was canceled two weeks before the scheduled departure time
An alternative Wizz flight is offered to you between 14 and 7 days before your scheduled departure time, when the new departure time is no more than two hours before the scheduled flight and arrives less than four hours after the arrival time planned.
An alternative Wizz flight is offered to you less than seven days before your departure date, with a departure time no more than one hour before your scheduled flight and an arrival time less than two hours after your scheduled arrival.
Does it cost to call Wizz Air?
The Wizz Air customer service number is 0905 707 0000. According to charges-d-appel.fr, it usually costs between £1.53 and £2.60 per minute to call 0905 numbers from a UK landline. From mobile it usually costs between 50p and £2.55 per minute.
Wizz Air states: “In some countries, you can only reach the call center with premium rate numbers specific to the country you are calling from.”
It also adds that “a call center transaction fee of €15 is charged per transaction for requests available online” and that “calls from mobile networks may be charged at higher rates”. However, the transaction fee will not apply to passengers whose flight is disrupted.