Wizzair, the Hungary based low-cost carrier was founded in 2003. Today, it is a highly profitable airline that flies to 142 destinations across Europe and the Middle-East. wizzair review
My First Impression – Non Existent Customer Service
The first time I booked a flight ticket with Wizzair was about six years ago. Soon after, my uncle passed away, and I wasn’t able to fly. In the case of a death of a family member, most airlines will refund your plane ticket. I scanned the death certificate and sent it to Wizzair, hoping that I would get a refund. Well, I was wrong, because they didn’t even bother responding to my request. Wizzair review
Second Impression – Fined for a Traveling with a Carry-On
When I moved from New York to London 5 years ago, I started frequently flying between Budapest and London. Fellow Hungarians warned me that I should never fly with Wizzair unless I wanted to be waiting for the plane for 5-6 hour. I kept their advice for a while, but sometimes, when I needed a last minute ticket and I would still book a ticket with Wizzair. Wizzair review
At one point about 3 years ago, Wizzair decided to change their luggage policy and started charging for the carry on luggage that neither Ryanair nor EasyJet charge for. Once, I was trying to get back home for Easter, I paid about £50 for a ticket, and I ended up paying another £40 for attempting to board the flight with luggage that was bigger than a small backpack. They changed their baggage policy, which I didn’t know, so I had to pay the price of another ticket. I m sure I wasn’t the only one who fell for their trap. Wizzair review
Last Impression – The App Wouldn’t Work Because of a Bug. Pay €30 for a Boarding Pass
In the past year, I had to make many trips between Budapest and London, and many of these trips were last minute. The only great thing about Wizzair that even if you want to book a ticket in the very last minute, you can fly with them, because they have such a bad reputation at this point, that most reasonable Hungarians won’t fly with them. Another good thing about Wizzair is that they fly to every small town around Eastern-Europe, so if I have to travel to lesser known places like Podgorica, Sofia or Tirana, I can quickly find a ticket.
I often face delays on my flights, but the most unfair thing happened about a week ago when the Wizz air app wasn’t working at the airport. It wouldn’t download the boarding pass, and they made me and another 6 customers pay €30 for printing the pass, even though all of us had checked in previously. When I filed a complaint later, Wizzair customer service advised me that there was nothing wrong with their app and it was all my fault. Interestingly there were a lot of other people, who couldn’t download the boarding pass and they were all charged €30. There was even a family of four who was charged €120. Wizzair would not take responsibility for the technical issue and refused to refund the passengers.
Interestingly another friend of mine was flying to Milan a few days after this incident and the same thing happened to her when she was trying to go through security. She checked in online a day before departure; she arrived at the airport, and the boarding pass wouldn’t load. Then, she paid €30, and she was allowed to board the flight. So, it looks like there is an issue here that Wizzair can’t be bothered to fix because they are making a killing on it. They are pocketing thousands of euros from people who cannot download their boarding passes from their faulty app. What a genius way to rip off the naïve consumer!
The Low-Cost Business Model
After reading an article about the business model of the low-cost carriers in the US, I realized that they are trying to charge as many ancillary fees as they can. These ancillary fees include accidental non-expected charges such as bag fees, seat fees, extra legroom, etc. 46,4% of the Spirit Airlines’ revenue comes from this kind of charges. I imagine at least 70% of the income of Wizzair must come from ancillary fees, given how unethically they are overcharging every customer they can.
Wizzair became a mainstream airline today that covers all the major cities across Europe. They are 2-3 hours late in most cases. Most of their flights are scheduled to leave either ridiculously early or late. They usually fly from remote airports such as London Luton, which are difficult to access. However, their prices are lower than most airlines, so people will travel with them. Their customer service is useless. Don’t even try to complain about your issues, because those people are trained not to care about your problems.
Their Luggage Policy
They have the worst luggage policy of all the low-cost carriers in Europe. While Ryanair and EasyJet allow you to bring a small carry-on on board, Wizzair will only let you have a backpack for free. If you want to bring luggage, that’s ok, but it will cost you as much as your ticket or even more. I have seen a passenger breaking his luggage into pieces and leaving it at the Nice airport after Wizzair tried to fine him €30 for trying to bring a carry-on on board.
They hire attractive Eastern-European flight attendants, who look great in their purple attire, but they are some of the rudest flight staff I have seen with any airline. I think they train them to be rude. Every time I board a plane they want to check my boarding pass, and if I don’t have my boarding pass in my hand, they become mean, and they don’t let me take my seat on the plane until I find it. Interestingly, EasyJet flight attendants never gave me a hard time because of the boarding pass, when I was boarding the plane. I try to have as little interaction as I can with the Wizzair staff whether it is on the aircraft or at the airport.
The aircraft are relatively decent. The seats are covered with purple leather. They are comfy, but they don’t recline. Of course not, what was I thinking for £50? Forget about entertainment on the plane. You won’t get anything.
Wizzair used to be 5-6hours late about 5 years ago. They have improved much since then. These days every other flight I take is 2-3 hours late. Last night I took one from Budapest. I was lucky it was only an hour late. Of course, they blamed it on Luton airport in London. It s never Wizzair’s fault.
They will take at least 3-4 days to respond to your email if they respond and they don’t care if you had a problem. Everything is the customer’s fault, and Wizzair is always right. Don’t even hope of getting a refund for something. Sometimes they admit their mistakes, and they say they will issue the refund, but the money never arrives. If the Wizz air app wasn’t working and you couldn’t get the boarding pass, tough luck. If your relative dies and you can’t fly. Don’t expect any sympathy. It’s all business for them. Every €30 euros.
The Wizz air App
A new app was launched about a month ago. It looks beautiful, it has lovely colors, but the app has bugs, and it’s not working properly. Avoid using it if you can.
Wizzair in the Press
I googled Wizzair, and I have read many interesting things about it in various Hungarian websites.
Wizzair is the company that the Hungarian Bureau of Consumer Protection received the most complaints about in 2016. Customers complained about unfair treatment and incidents, denied boarding, extra charges for luggage and late check-in, etc.
Homar.Blog.hu, a blog that publishes complaints of Hungarian consumers, who were mistreated by merchants, has pages and pages of complaint posts about Wizzair. In fact, every 5th post that was uploaded to this blog is related to Wizzair. Frustrated consumers are expressing their anger for the following reasons:
- Wizzair Customer Service representative has no idea about the terms and conditions of the airline
- Luggage of the client was lost and never found. Wizzair customer service representative called the passenger a liar instead of taking responsibility and compensating the customer
- Wizzair offered passengers to cancel their flight in return for full refund, except that the refund never arrived. Not even after repeated emails and calls to customer service
- Wizzair charges €25 extra on top of the ticket for Discount Membership regardless whether you opted for it or not. Customers contacted Wizzair, and they never received any response or refund
- Wizzair didn’t indicate at the airport, where passengers can check-in. Later they didn’t allow passengers to board. Passengers had to buy two new tickets with Aegean Airline for €735
- Customers were asked to pay €30 each for printing their boarding passes and then they were denied boarding in Rome. They lost their flight and the €30 they paid for the boarding passes
- Customer purchased a ticket, checked in, went through security, and she was refused to board at the gate because the flight was overbooked. The poor old lady was flying first time in her life. What a horrific experience!
- Passenger purchased a seat few hours before departure. The seat reservation didn’t go through in the Wizzair system, but the credit card was charged. Surprisingly the refund was never issued.
Advice If You Still Want to Fly with Wizzair
Wizzair is the worst airline in Europe regarding punctuality, staff, customer service, baggage policy or technology. If you still want to fly with them, make sure to do the following:
- Print out your boarding pass
- Don’t use their app
- Try to interact with the staff as little as possible
- Get a small sized CabinZero backpack to fit all your stuff in it
- Expect to get to the destination hours later than you are supposed to, so if you have to be somewhere right after you land, don’t book them, because you are never gonna make it
- Have very low expectations
Enjoy Your Journey and Don’t be Surprised by Anything!