Passengers hit by cancellations from low-cost airline Wizz Air UK (W9/WUK) are being forced to rebook their own flights and hotels as Wizz Air agents are not making them aware of the airline’s obligations and duty of care.
Several passengers contacted UK Aviation News after being left stranded in Heraklion, Greece when their flight was cancelled and Wizz Air told them they would need to book their own flights back.
One passenger told us: “They just didn’t offer any help, not even to rebook onto another Wizz Air flight, we had to that ourselves and have now been left trying to find accommodation for 3 days”
Under the regulations set down by the EU and the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) if a flight is cancelled then the airline must rebook the passenger onto the next available flight, even if that is with another airline, at their expense. They must also cover the cost of accommodation if required along with set levels of compensation. They can also refund the passenger but the important thing to remember is it is the passenger’s choice not the airline’s.
The news comes just days after consumer group Which? called on the CAA to investigate low-cost rival easyJet for not making passengers aware of their rights under the denied boarding regulations.
Wizz Air has been asked to comment on the claims but has declined to do so at this time.
So what are your rights?
If you are denied boarding or your flight is cancelled then you are entitled to compensation as follows.
|Length of flight||Length of disruptions||Compensation|
|short-haul flight of under 1,500km (e.g. Glasgow to Amsterdam)||Arrive 2 hours or more later at final destination||£220|
|short-haul flight of under 1,500km (e.g. Glasgow to Amsterdam)||Arrive less than 2 hours later at final destination||£110|
|medium-haul flight of 1,500km – 3,500km (e.g. East Midlands to Marrakesh)||Takes off more than 2 hours before your original flight, and arrives 3 or more hours later at final destination||£350|
|medium-haul flight of 1,500km – 3,500km (e.g. East Midlands to Marrakesh)||Takes off 2 hours before your original flight, and arrives less than 3 hours later at final destination||£175|
|long-haul flight of over 3,500km (e.g. London to New York)||Arrive 4 hours or later at final destination||£520|
|long-haul flight of over 3,500km (e.g. London to New York)||Takes off less than 1 hours before your original flight, and arrives less than 4 hours later at final destination||£260|
Data from Civil Aviation Authority. All figures are per person.
In addition, Your airline must offer you an alternative flight. It’s up to you whether to fly as soon as possible or at a later date that suits you. Airlines often refer to this as being ‘rerouted’.
If you want to fly as soon as possible, your airline must also provide care and assistance while you wait for the flight. This means food, drink, communications and accommodation if you stay overnight.
If you don’t want to fly, you can get your money back instead. You’ll get a refund for all parts of the ticket you haven’t used.
For instance, if you have booked a return flight and it’s cancelled, you can get the full cost of the return ticket back from your airline.
If you’re part-way through a journey when it’s cancelled, your airline should also provide a flight back to your starting point.