Boo

Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Sunday, January 20, 2008

To: customerrelations@wizzair.com

Last weekend I was all set for a couple of days in Warsaw, arriving Friday evening at 11pm, and leaving Sunday afternoon. I have recently moved from Warsaw to Brussels, and as a faithful wizzair customer, had thought it was one of many future flights on this route at these times.

On arrival at Charleroi, at 7.30pm, I checked in and was told there was a delay 'of two hours' by the check-in staff. This was unfortunate, because a couple of hours delay would mean arriving in Warsaw in the middle of the night, but at that point I was just thankful it hadn't been cancelled.

After getting through security, I looked at the departure screen and was rather surprised to see the estimated departure time was 2.05 on Saturday morning. It was around 8pm by this time. I and a planeload of other passengers, had the prospect of waiting 6 hours before leaving for Warsaw.

I tried to find a member of staff to ask, but the only members of staff were the security staff, and they had no information at all. There were no announcements and nobody was available to provide information about why the departure had been delayed so long.

At around 10.30 or 11pm, we were told to proceed to the gate to start 'boarding'. This prompted a cheer from some passengers, who obviously thought we were about to board a plane. Unfortunately, we were just to board a bus, bound for Liege airport. The staff checking tickets told us we were headed to another airport because Charleroi closed earlier than Liege. No further explanation was offered.

Upon arrival at Liege, the busloads of passengers were dumped, along with our bags, and nobody was at the airport to greet us, or tell us what was going on. Indeed, when we found staff members, they denied any knowledge that we were coming. Apparently nobody had bothered to tell them about the change of plan.

The departure board only told us that we would have to wait an extra hour: departure was now at 3.05am.

We all collected our bags, most people headed for the one cafe that was still open, as it was nearing midnight, and prepared to wait. The seats were uncomfortable, the glass-fronted airport was cold and everybody was getting very tired. Again, no announcements, no staff to explain our delay, no information.

Just before 2am, we had to check in once again. The man checking us in told us how he had had to ask for a passenger list to be faxed, as staff at Charleroi had not even called to explain the situation. We boarded and finally left Liege at 3.05am. Instead of arriving in Warsaw on Friday evening, with the prospect of a relaxing weekend, I arrived at 5 am on Saturday, with the prospect of sleeping for most of Saturday morning and a return journey the following day.

I find it unacceptable, even with 'low-cost' airlines, for there to be nobody to explain such a lengthy delay. The 'two hours' delay at the check-in stage was plainly mis-information given to me by somebody who did not want to have to explain to passenger after passenger that they would be expected to wait 6 extra hours before departure.

Not only were we not given any information, but we were not offered so much as a glass of water.

Does wizzair find this acceptable?? It is not the first time I have heard of such experiences, but having gone through it myself, I am weighing up the advantages of low-cost vs. more reliable services.

I look forward to receiving your response and explanation.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Kinuk said...

OMG!! That's insane. Isn't there a new EU law about compensation and blah blah blah during delays? Or does that not cover the budget airlines? 6 hours is insane, though.

4:37 pm  
Blogger pinolona said...

That's awful! I totally sympathize: my Wizzair flight home for Christmas was delayed for four and a half hours. When I arrived at check-in they said there would be a little delay. Twenty minutes later they told us the plane would be a couple of hours late because it hadn't arrived in MALMO yet: the plane was already at Katowice but it had to fly to Sweden and back again before taking us to London!

The best bit was that we had to sit on the plane for an extra hour because half the passengers were stuck going through over-zealous Polish security.

I always heard Wizzair were pretty reliable, but I'm not feeling the love to be honest.

On the plus side, it was a great exercise in airport vocabulary.

Hope you managed to have a good weekend in Warsaw in spite of it all!

9:31 am  
Blogger Steve said...

Wow, what a story. I'm not sure it is worth the time or expense to travel with service like that. I'm surprised the airline didn't offer you some sort of compensation for that fiasco. A free flight or discount off your next ticket. Flights here get delayed or cancelled all the time but the airlines are quick to whip out the discount pad or the free vouchers, in fact when I was flying back and forth from Virginia to Michigan all the time I would schedule my flights on purpose to flights I knew where going to be over booked just to get the free flights and othe vouchers. If you have the time its great. I paid for one flight and got almost a years worth of flying free because of it. Anyway I say you should complain to the airline and ask how they will compensate you, the worst that can happen is they ignore you, but you never know you might get a free flight or two out of the whole mess. Hope you had a good weekend despite all the trouble though

7:45 pm  
Blogger Aaron Fowles said...

Airline travel is such a sham these days. A few years ago LOT Polish delayed me 5 hours each way on a trip from Warsaw to Chicago. I managed to get a free ticket out of the deal. The EU regulations were introduced shortly after. Good luck and don't be afraid to ask for a manager time and time again.

5:12 pm  
Anonymous Ola said...

This is so funny, because we're just now in the process of booking some tixs for a trip soon and we're skipping flights with airlines that have crappy reputation (Air Canada the super popular for that here, and this is a major airline for us yet major for problems too!). Yes, air services are not as reliable, too bad because that turns people off from traveling by air all together... :(
Hope luck is better next time for you!

8:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was due to fly back from Poland, Katowice airport on the 24th of July 2008, however as normal I always check on the internet for delays etc. On checking flights out of Katowice to Belfast I could not find my flight and decided to give Wizzair a call and unfortunately was on hold by telephonic robot for over an hour at a cost of £1.00 per minute. At this stage I was very angry and decided to call Belfast International airport who kindly told me that Wizzair had pulled all of their flights out of Belfast as of the 17th of July. I was devastated, I my heavily pregnant wife and my 2 year old daughter were left stranded in Poland and had no way of contacting Wizzair. I looked on the internet for alternative flights and they were an absolute fortune and the best I could do was to fly from Prague the following Sunday,4 days later and a 5 hour journey by car. I have since sent multiple emails to Wizzair and have had no response. I would not recommend this airline to anyone and as far as I am concerned they are unprofessional and you cannot get in touch when anything goes wrong.

4:36 pm  
Blogger Kateryna said...

Hi,

Did you (or anyone else who posted here) ever receive compensation from Wizzair? I wrote to them claiming compensation which they rejected. I've now gotten in touch with the aviation watchdog over this. Wondering if anyone else had success...

Many thanks,
Kateryna

10:50 pm  
Blogger Becca said...

I didn't receive a thing... anyone had better luck?

11:47 am  
Anonymous Ella said...

Hiya! I also have a huge problem with Wizzair. My flight London Luton - Prague was cancelled at the last minute when everyone was at the airport, and they could only offer a replacement flight after two days! I needed to be in Prague for a funeral, so obviously I had to treck across London to Gatwick in the middle of the night to catch an easyjet flight, and Wizzair now refuse to give compensation or even a refund of the flight! Incredible! Did you get anywhere with your problem?

Commiserations!

10:48 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:41 am  

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