Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: What does a £1.79 Wizz Air flight get you? I try it out (Part 2)

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This is part 2 of my review of my recent Wizz Air flight. Part one of our Wizz Air review – click here – covers the difficulty in booking the free-bag-only no-extras £1.79 flight itself. Wizz Air doesn’t make it easy, but I did get away with just paying £1.79 in the end.

How was my Wizz Air flight?

All things considered, my flight with Wizz Air was fairly comfortable, mainly because the flight was virtually empty. There were only a handful of passengers on board an aircraft that Wizz crams with 180 seats.

The good news is that Wizz Air flies an exclusive A320-family fleet, which means marginally wider seats and aisles than on the Boeing 737s operated by Ryanair. Although the difference is small I find it makes a BIG difference to the overall experience and always prefer the A320 to the 737.

Check in

I used the Wizz Air app to check in for my flight and have to admit that I was impressed.

During the check-in process you are given a short list of all the documents you need to bring for your flight. In my case, this included a test and vaccination certificate. Having this in the app and during the check-in process is extremely helpful and should be what all airlines do.

The app also asks you to upload your proof of vaccination, which was again extremely simple to do. I could do it all within the app, without being taken to a separate page in my browser. The process was extremely slick.

Unfortunately, due to the remaining document checks (such as the Austrian requirement for a test certificate) I wasn’t able to complete online check. I did, however, find the whole experience much better than almost any other airline, British Airways included.

I made sure to get to Luton Airport the requisite two hours prior to my flight because I was extremely wary of long queues at check-in due to the document checks. I needn’t have worried, because this was what welcomed me:

Wizz Air Luton check in

There was no-one waiting whatsoever, and I managed to duck under the ropes and get to the desk in no time. I was glad I arrived early however – it is impossible to predict what these things are like. If you have booked Wizz Priority then you do get to queue jump.

Wizz Air Luton check in desks

I found the ‘No mask, no fly!’ slogan particularly entertaining.

Having been allocated my seat (25B, at the rear of the aircraft) and given my boarding pass I then breezed through Luton’s normally nightmarish security:

Luton security

The queue was small although it did take 5-10 minutes to get through as there was only one security lane open. The clientele at Luton Airport also tend to be infrequent travellers who are unfamiliar with security protocols which can increase processing times as they realise they have to decant all their liquids into a single plastic bag etc. (One person asked whether a glue stick counted as a liquid. I will leave that particular query to a popular vote in the comments.)

10 minutes is not bad for Luton, and I was quickly through into the duty free zone. Luton has, I admit, improved in recent years. The main terminal building now feels very modern and there is a greater selection of restaurants and boutiques than you would otherwise expect to find at a similar low-cost airport elsewhere.

Still, during peak times, Luton Airport can be heaving. When I was there 50% of the shops were closed and it was eerily quiet, which made for a fairly relaxing time.

Unfortunately the Aspire lounge is currently only open in the mornings and the Clubrooms lounge is permanently closed. I had to make do with the public seating which isn’t the most comfortable, especially when it turns out your flight is delayed by 30 minutes.

(My recent review of the Aspire lounge at Luton Airport is here.)

Luton concourse


Eventually, the gate was announced and I headed over to the aircraft. It was at this point that it became clear just how empty my flight would be, with just a handful of people queuing at the gate:

Wizz Air Luton boarding

Anyone with Wizz Priority gets the Priority queue, which you can see on the right hand side.

I was one of about 35 passengers in total, it turns out, and quickly boarded the aircraft. There was no jet bridge so you are exposed to the open elements, which is miserable in bad weather:

Wizz Air Luton boarding aircraft

Inside Wizz Air’s A320

I was assigned seat 25B but had a whole row to myself and consequently sat in the window seat instead. The Wizz Air seats are quite smart, if a little garish, in blue and pink:

Wizz Air A320 seats

Leg room, as you would expect, is pretty tight. For reference, I am 6’2″ (188 cm):

Wizz Air leg room

A safety card, sick bag and in-flight magazine are in the seat pocket:

Wizz Air magazine

The in-flight magazine also outlines the buy-on-board dining options, which include meal deals for €7.50:

Wizz Air meal deal


Wizz Air drinks

No hot food appeared to be on offer, not even a warmed panini. I can’t review the food as HfP had banned me from buying anything in order to stick to the £1.79 total cost!

The tray table is fairly small and surprisingly highly placed, although I’m sure it suffices for the small amount of food available:

Wizz Air tray table

I am glad I did not have a passenger next to me, however. I have been on full Wizz Air flights in the past and the experience is very different.

On those flights, boarding queues were a nightmare and staff were VERY fussy about luggage size, forcing anyone who had more than they had booked to pay the chunky at-airport fee. This, followed by a jam-packed 180 seat aircraft, makes for a far less comfortable flight.

All in all, I managed to get a solid 2.5 hours of reading in on my flight and was only mildly disturbed by the nursery vibes coming from the large family a few rows behind me ….


My quiet flight was, I admit, not particularly representative of Wizz Air, particularly during normal times.

For £1.79 it’s hard to go wrong although, in reality, you are likely to pay much more. Without a larger cabin bag I was restricted to my Eastpak backpack and I ended up wearing the same clothes for my entire trip, bar a change in underwear. For any longer stays, or where you want a choice of outfits, you will have to pay significantly more for luggage – at least an extra £20 one-way.

Once you factor in all the extras you are probably spending just as much as you would flying a legacy airline such as British Airways, which lets you take a trolley bag on for free. Plus, you’ll also benefit from any status benefits you have and the ability to collect Avios and tier points. These days, BA can be just as cheap (if not cheaper) than any low cost carrier.

That said, British Airways can learn a LOT from the slick in-app check-in and travel processes that both Wizz Air and easyJet have. You can’t even check in properly within the BA app – you end up being diverted to the website and then need to restart the app to access your boarding pass.

Would I fly Wizz Air again? For the right price, absolutely, especially as Wizz is about to start 14 new routes from Gatwick. That said, the hassle of booking the ticket is enough to make me think twice. With Wizz Go, Wizz Priority, Wizz Flex …. there are so many different bundles it can get a little overwhelming. Sometimes, simpler is better.

Next stop …. I went from my £1.79 flight to one of the most luxurious hotels in Europe, indeed one of the very best I have visited anywhere. More to follow.

Head for Points made a financial contribution to the Woodland Trust as part of this trip. The Woodland Trust creates and manages forests in the UK in accordance with the Woodland Carbon Code.

Comments (82)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Sam Wardill says:

    I think the comments about the slick IT are very telling. This is where Wizz can have a real competitive advantage over other airlines. They operate from a country to which many organisations would choose to outsource their IT. Therefore they have an inherently low cost base for IT (which is an increasing source of competitive advantage). The woes of BA IT are well known and (in my opinion) Virgin don’t even bother trying to leverage IT much. To be honest, I don’t user Ryanair or Easyjet much but my sense is that Easyjet have slightly slicker IT than BA but not as slick as what you describe for Wizz.

    • Alex Sm says:

      We can only take our hats off to LCCs who are trying to be at the forefront of technology and convenience, compared to the old industry behemoth like BAs of this world. Ryanair has a similar system of pre-flight documents check and upload via the app. My partner and I used this on our flight from Corfu to Southend recently and were impressed in a similar way Rhys did about Wizz system. In fact, this was the ONLY flight since the start of the pandemic (and I did quite a few) which allowed me to have a mobile boarding pass before the flight, without additional checks at the airport.

  • jamesv92 says:

    Wizz air are also a very good option if you’re in proximity to Doncaster/Sheffield airport and have quite an interesting selection of destinations now.

    Have managed to get some places I’d never have got to if it hadn’t been for wizz air! – Ohrid, Skopje, Vilnius, all of which were great.

    • Dubious says:

      I have chuckle – I wonder if the residents of Ohrid, Skopje and Vilnius have similar thoughts about Doncaster 😉

  • Sam says:

    You’ll have to travel with Ryanair before drawing a conclusion that A320 is better then B737. The seat pitch in Ryanair is much better than Wizz.

    • Rhys says:

      I’ve flown Ryanair and many other 737 operators.

      The A320 IS better than the 737 every time, in my opinion.

      • Brian says:

        Im not sure about every time, Rhys. Normally I prefer the A320 over the 737, but having recently flown on a Lauda A320, I think a ULCC layout on the 737-800 is superior to the A320. The Boeing Sky interior with much larger overhead bins and mood lighting of the newer 737s is better than an old-school A320 too.

        Objectively, the pitch at 189Y on a 737 is 30-31″, its 28-29″ on a 186Y A320. That will change as FR introduce more of their 197Y -8200 “Gamechangers”.

        Aircraft comfort varies quite a bit between airlines and even aircraft types within the same airline. I don’t think a statement like “every time” is great.

        • Rhys says:

          You are comparing old gen vs new gen, though. I personally prefer the extra 1/2 inch seat width you normally get on the A320 vs the extra pitch.

  • ankomonkey says:

    @rhys, how did you/will you get back to the UK? Wizz or someone else?

    • Rhys says:

      I used Austrian!

      • ankomonkey says:

        Couldn’t face a second Wizz flight then…?

      • Londonsteve says:

        Do they still wear those ghastly red tights in combination with an all red uniform? For an elegant nation like the Austrians, I cannot imagine whose idea it was to combine retina shocking bright red with matching red tights. Looking forward to their uniform refresh. I quite like the sky blue engine covers and mostly white fuselage with flashes of ‘trad’ Austrian red on the exterior.

  • John says:

    “Once you factor in all the extras you are probably spending just as much as you would flying a legacy airline such as British Airways”

    I think this is factually incorrect. The low-costers have a completely different cost structure than BA and they can offer lower fares even if you factor in ancillaries.

    In the year 2019, Ryanair’s average fare was EUR 37.03. On top of that, they earned ancillary revenues of EUR 17.15. That’s roughly EUR 54 per (one-way) ticket. Enough for a solid profit as the cost was EUR 47.02 per unit.

    The costs of BA are WAAAAY higher than that on a typical 90 min one-way flight. (The average Ryanair flight is just 75-90 min long.) Consequently, their fares are a large multiple of what Ryanair charges. Ancillaries you may need at a low-coster are too small to make up for the difference.

    Remember that priority at Ryanair as well as Wizz starts around EUR/GBP 8 (it tends to get costlier if added after booking and on longer routes).

    And checked baggage and ASR fees are substantially lower on W6 and FR than on BA (when you start with an HBO fare on BA).

    They just have a much leaner cost structure. Less staff. Lower-paid staff. Unified fleet. Simpler operations (P2P vs. hub-spoke) with higher operational efficiency (higher load factors; shorter turnaround times, cheaper ticketing systems etc.).

    As of today, FR and W6 cannot serve business customers effectively (90% of their customers are travelling privately, i.e. tourists, family visitors, travel of migrant workers etc.). But non-business customers they can serve at a fraction of the price as BA.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but claiming that once you add the extras on W6, the price advantage disapperars has to be characterized as a myth.

    • Rhys says:

      It would be interesting to see a proper analysis on this. My gut feeling, based on my own experiences, is that legacy and LCC are quite close in cost, albeit perhaps not exactly. Once you factor in status of course – ie. BA Silver with lounge access, seat selection etc – then in many cases it makes more sense to fly BA.

      • Sam Wardill says:

        I’m with Rhys. The LCCs have a lower cost structure but they also have a lower revenue opportunity (i.e. they don’t have premium pax with lower price sensitivity). If you are a price sensitive passenger flying on a route served by a legacy carrier then you can usually get a reasonable price that is comparable to the LCC price

      • John says:

        This has already been done. It’s well-studied in the literature for at least two decades, albeit older studies probably study the US market and the early LCC such as Southwest. Ultra-LCC such as Wizz, Spirit, Frontier, or Ryanair are a bit of a more recent phenomenon. Ofc, there’s literature on those, too.

        For an overview of the literature, I recommend searching for something such as “low-cost carrier cost analysis” or “competitive advantage low-cost carriers” on a research portal such as This will give you hundreds of hits including scientifically rigorous comparisons.

        This is not exactly surprising, either. Why else would the legacies try to emulate the LCC model? Just look at Vueling, Level, Eurowings, Transavia and co. Or the new BA Gatwick operation which also tries to exploit some of the cost advantages of a more P2P-style operation, with a unified fleet, schedules optimized so that there’s no need to pay for crew overnight layovers etc.

        • John says:

          Or, looking at it differently…

          For the past two decades, almost the entire growth in short-/mid-haul markets has been due to growth of LCC. This is true for intra-US flights as well as for intra-Europe flights, and for a good part of Asia, too.

          Why do you think that is, if not due to the fact that LCC can offer more competitive prices?

          • chabuddy geezy says:

            I think overall prices are cheaper for LCCs, but for lots of people’s circumstances they are not. A Ryanair flight might be cheaper but you have to factor in paying for the Stansted express and a potentially more expensive transfer from a secondary airport that is further away. With BA you can get to Heathrow on the tube or TFL Rail. Ryanair might have cheaper fares, but if your flight leaves at 6am you might have to pay for an airport hotel stay or a more expensive taxi to the airport.

          • BlueThroughCrimp says:

            I do agree with the jist of what you’re saying, however I’d add in the growth of second tier cities expanding underused airports and former cold war airbases is a major factor, along with the pre-2020 immigration patterns to the UK, particularly of the newer EU accession states.

            More recently, I’ve seen that LCCs have moved to more regular bases, Rygge has closed, Weeze is struggling badly with passenger numbers plunging.

            The future for routes from the secondary cities (to the UK at least) is interesting.

          • Dubious says:

            The total number of passengers travelling has also increased over that time frame. In my opinion LCCs and ULCCs have, for the majority, been tapping into a new market /new set of customers that previously did not travel or very rarely travelled.

            Whilst they may be influenced by lower fares (perceived or real) it does not automatically follow that LCC/ULCCs offer lower overall costs for the customer than legacy.

            That said, there are issue of comparing apples with pears.

  • Alex M says:

    “One person asked whether a glue stick counted as a liquid. I will leave that particular query to a popular vote in the comments”

    If you think this question is silly, then here is another one for you: is cheese counted as liquid? The answer is Yes (if it’s a soft cheese).

  • Paul B says:

    Rhys, out of interest how much was the flight back, in my experience you get a cheap flight going out but return is always 10 times more!

  • ADS says:

    Kudos to Wizz for having seat pockets!

    One up on Ryanair on the seat pocket front. You don’t think they matter until you don’t have one, and then you find out they can be bloody useful!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.