Save, make, understand money


Frustrated Wizz Air passengers refunded more than £1m

Frustrated Wizz Air passengers refunded more than £1m
Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Wizz Air has paid out £1.24m to passengers after reviewing previously settled refund claims when it came to flight delays and cancellations.

The budget airline undertook a review of claims received from passengers left frustrated and angered over their treatment when it came to providing alternative flights to get them to their destination when flights had been cancelled.

Wizz Air re-examined 25,486 claims received for replacement flight, transfer and hotel costs made for flights due to depart from or arrive into a UK airport on or after 18 March 2022.

Following this action, it has made additional payments in around 6,000 cases, with £1.24m refunded to customers.

It comes after regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) took enforcement action last summer following “significant concerns” over high volumes of complaints about Wizz Air not paying passengers money they were legally entitled to.

The CAA was also concerned that Wizz Air “failed to meet its passenger rights obligations” when it came to cancellations and significant flight delays.

Paul Smith, consumer director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “This is good news for passengers and our concerns have been validated by the outcome of our actions.

“While we welcome the steps taken by Wizz Air after falling short in its treatment of disrupted passengers, airlines should routinely look after passengers and uphold their rights when flights are delayed and cancelled.

“Passengers have every right to expect their claims to be resolved quickly, efficiently and in line with the regulations. These outcomes will now provide Wizz Air’s passengers with a better experience.”

As part of the enforcement action, the airline was required to make changes to its policies to ensure that in the future, it “consistently complies with its re-routing and care obligations”.

What does Wizz Air say?

The airline said that as part of the agreement with the UK CAA in July 2023, it made several commitments regarding the handling of claims for costs incurred following a flight disruption.

“The CAA has conducted checks on a random sample of claims and has confirmed that Wizz Air is fully compliant with the agreement”, a statement read.

It added: “The UK CAA found no additional errors from the claims proactively re-visited by Wizz Air”.

The airline said it has invested £90m to improve its performance and operations in 2023, resulting in a flight completion rate of 99.24%, “which is one of the best in the industry”.

Further, it said 90% of refunds are now processed within five days, adding that it has also “identified and paid all known County Court Judgments (CCJs)”.

Wizz Air UK managing director, Marion Geoffroy, said: “We are pleased the Civil Aviation Authority has recognised the significant steps Wizz Air has taken to improve performance for our customers. Like all airlines in Europe, we faced unprecedented operating challenges in the summer of 2022 but the improvements we put in place have led to a better customer experience and our performance in 2023 was among the strongest in the industry.

“We are seeing a significant uptick in our customer satisfaction scores and we remain fully committed to continuing to improve our operations in 2024 and beyond.”