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Forums Other Flight changes and cancellations help Wizz Air canceled flight in advance, what are my rights?

  • shuriccc 14 posts

    had quite a saga with wizzair flight London-Funchal booked for August

    Flight was changed 3 times: original flight from Luton was moved to Gatwick on a different date, then back to Luton, then canceled. I changed accommodation and car hire twice.
    Now wizzair seems not flying that route at all during the summer schedule so I have to book more expensive alternative flight with Easyjet or BA.
    I assume I could claim a replacement flight cost from wizzair?
    What are my right for cancellation made in advance? I know I could get a refund but this makes little sense as alternative flights are much more costly

    yonasl 987 posts

    Tbh just to ask “what are my rights” won’t get much traction here but:
    – Compensation: None, your flights were cancelled more than 14 days before take off
    – Refund/Rebooking: Do not cancel, do not accept a refund as Wizzair should offer you for a similar flight for a date of your convenience. Ask them for an alternative flight to your original destination with them (if they fly to a nearby airport) or with another airline. They will most certainly not accept which puts you in a position to book the new flights yourself and then take them to court to pay. The risk/reward of that is up to you.

    PeteM 785 posts

    Worth noting that before you go to court you can also try ADR, they use: https://www.aviationadr.org.uk/how-to-complain-about-wizz-air-flight/

    shuriccc 14 posts

    thank yonasl, PeteM

    they don’t fly to Madeira from any Uk airport in the summer so I could not possibly rebook with them.

    the thing is I have to book alternative flights anyway regardless if I manage to persuade wizzair to cover some/all of the alternative flight cost

    My next actions as I see them, please correct if I missed something:

    1. contact wizzair and ask them to rebook with EasyJet or BA or cover the cost of the new flight which I book myself. Already submited a claim
    2. if they refuse I go to aviationadr
    3. small court claim

    PeteM 785 posts

    Yup, sounds right ✅

    JDB 4,800 posts

    thank yonasl, PeteM

    they don’t fly to Madeira from any Uk airport in the summer so I could not possibly rebook with them.

    the thing is I have to book alternative flights anyway regardless if I manage to persuade wizzair to cover some/all of the alternative flight cost

    My next actions as I see them, please correct if I missed something:

    1. contact wizzair and ask them to rebook with EasyJet or BA or cover the cost of the new flight which I book myself. Already submited a claim
    2. if they refuse I go to aviationadr
    3. small court claim

    The steps are correct, but if you receive a decision in your favour from AviationADR with which Wizz refuses to comply within the specified time limit, I would write to the CAA/CMA chairmen with all the details before going to MCOL that will cost you money and drag on for months and you could end up with another unsatisfied judgment. Unlike some foreign airlines reported as failing to comply even with court orders, Wizz has a UK AOC and OL.

    PeteM 785 posts
    shuriccc 14 posts

    Got a quick update from wizair, quite lengthy and wordy reply where they refuse to rebook with the alternative airline, saying a refund or rebooking with wizzair are the only options.

    just a few bits I want to quote:

    “We would like to inform you that Wizz Air wants to maintain its point of view and considers that this is the final point of view in your case.
    If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you can refer your complaint to an alternative dispute resolution body.”

    When I told them I would take their advice to dispute with aviationADR and possibly small court claim:

    “Thank you for contacting Wizz Air Customer Service Department.
    Please be informed that our Customer Relations team is not a legal team and has done everything that is within their scope of operations.
    We kindly ask you to forward the aforementioned court judgement and afterwards, the case will be overtaken by the appropriate department.
    Wizz Air wishes you a good day!”

    I guess I took a reasonable effort to resolve case with airline and left no choice other than a dispute

    Lady London 2,160 posts

    At least you’ll have time now to book a replacement flight so will hopefully not have to lay out a huge sum before you take action to get it back.


    @JDB
    posted on another thread here on HfP very recently – in the past 5 days I think so should be findable – that the Hungarian equivalent of the CAA has teeth and will use them – personally a complaint to them would be my first step.

    It’s interesting that clearly Wizz’s customer services has been given a standard response to hand out in this (doubtless recurring) situation. It kind of formalises the “So sue us” standpoint of Wizz when they cancel routes. Despite them being fully subject to EU261 which does require them to reroute you.

    You may find it less stressful to check if your travel insurance will cover it. Will s75 work for replacement cost I wonder?

    NorthernLass 8,438 posts

    I read the other day that Wizz is actually registered in the UK now – or at least part of the business is – so I don’t know if that now makes them liable to be pursued here?

    Edit – it was in an article entitled “Worst UK airline”!!

    Lady London 2,160 posts

    Yeah as stated by you NorthernLass here and in the other Wizz thread that has very useful comments especially by JDB, the issue with Wizz is enforcement after you get a judgment and according to JDB the Hungarian authority will take enforcement action.

    After all, the aim is not to get it stated officially who’s right or wrong but just to get Wizz to do what they are supposed to do.

    Gottskalksson 24 posts

    I was on a Wizz Air flight that landed 2h56mins late (as per destination airport website); however, the plane was still taxiing and the door was open above the 3h threshold. The delay was due to a technical issue with the aircraft (confirmed via in flight announcement).

    Am I entitled to compensation? Is landing time the same (door open) in the UK law as EU261? How can I prove this?

    This was extremely inconvenient. Should I at least claim food expenses at the airport (as expected, nothing was offered by Wizz)?

    shuriccc 14 posts

    thank you Lady London, NorthernLass for you advice, i found another topic about wizzair with Hungarian regulator details.

    I found that flights London to Madeira are operated by wizzair UK, UK registered airline with UK operational certificate I believe it is covered by UK aviation regulations

    https://www.caa.co.uk/passengers/resolving-travel-problems/delays-and-cancellations/cancellations/

    it says clearly alternative flight should be provided in case of cancellation.

    what I did so far

    1. booked alternative flight with easyjet, price difference for 4 return tickets about 1.2k. Wizzair clearly refused to book those for me so i feel have to fix the cost and then explore various routes for reimbursement. Could book one way with Avios but decided to book cash fare to make claim more straightforward.

    2. fill the AviationADR dispute, application was surprisingly simple not more than 15 min

    3. next steep would be Hungarian regulator claim and possibly small court claim

    wizzair does not accept amex, so i guess my amex platinum insurance does not cover it. Paid with virgin money Mastercard, did not contact them yet about s75, quick search shows they cover extra expenses in case airlines goes bust, nothing about airlines just refuse to provide alternative flight

    What is covered under s75:
    the cost of your flights if the airline goes bust
    the cost of your holiday if the holiday company goes bust
    additional expenses or consequential loss — for example, if you had to buy more expensive flights to get home after an airline went bust.

    anyway did not explore that avenue yet, might be worth to talk to credit card company

    shuriccc 14 posts

    on the broad note, it seems wizzair sold some tickets and then canceled a few holiday destinations from London this summer. Not only Madeira but Chania, Malaga, Tenerife, and a few others https://simpleflying.com/wizz-air-cuts-8-london-routes/

    I feel many families who booked spring half-term or summer holidays flight with them would face the exact same situation with alternative flights much more pricier.

    Wondering I could not find many discussions online about that, I guess people just do not bother and bear the cost

    JDB 4,800 posts

    @shuriccc – now you have filed your claim with AviationADR, your next step, assuming you win, is to seek enforcement of the decision, not to make another claim in Hungary as you suggest and certainly not MCOL. The CAA/CMA will assist with this. I really don’t know why people keep raising s75 in this context – Wizz would be delighted as it tantamount to you asking for a refund.

    Lady London 2,160 posts

    No JDB s75 is not tantamount to asking for a refund. Section 75 makes the UK credit card company jointly liable with the vendor for you getting what you paid for. Even if the replacement costs more than the original purchase, under s75 the cardco is liable.

    This is completely different from chargeback. Chargeback only gives you back what you paid and is a voluntary scheme by the cardco’s, not a UK statute.

    Of course cardco will try to treat a s75 claim as a chargeback as chargeback is taken back by them from the merchant. Instead of them having to pay their own money to get you what you paid for. So be clear with the cardco as to the basis of your claim I would suggest.

    As to flights, date of flight and quite possibly time must surely be of the essence of what was purchased, So even if an airline offers to carry you on a later date (not that many always do offer this even when UK / EU261 requires), I don’t view that as the airline having provided what you pay for and I would be surprised if the airline could use an offer of same flight later date from the vendor to evade the cardholder’s claim.

    I don’t have access to court records so can’t verify if this has been tested in court but would hope so.

    JDB 4,800 posts

    @Lady London – I’m sorry, but you are talking out of your hat, but we have been through this before; it’s simply not how s75 works and I don’t think you can have read the few lines of s75 in the legislation. By extension of your ‘argument’ you will now be advising people to get UK/EC261 delay compensation or downgrade reimbursement from their card providers as well and expecting credit card staff to make determinations re matters such as ‘extraordinary circumstances’.

    I am very aware of the difference between a chargeback claim and a claim under s75, but you neglect to consider how the process actually works in practice. The card provider will first initiate a chargeback and only after the outcome of that (if necessary as arbitrated by Visa/Mastercard) will it consider its own potential liability under s75.

    Lady London 2,160 posts

    They may prefer to do that.. but they shouldn’t. And I think a cardholder would have every right to say they’re claiming on s75 and that claim should be dealt with first by the cardco with the cardholder and cardholder is not requesting a chargeback.

    However this is most likely a moot point, as s75 would be a bit of a last resort anyway. After the preferred approach of dealing with the airline(s) to try to resolve and the fallback of claiming on travel insurance which should be used in preference, s75 comes far behind those.

    I do recall though, early in the Creation saga you defended Creation’s behaviour by saying it’s a practice in the card industry to stop providing benefits as soon as notice of termination is given to the cardholder. Notice in the cardholder agreement typically required to be at least 60 days ahead of actual termination of the card. And with nothing in the agreement allowing cessation of benefits while the card agreement is still in force. Which it will be until the termination date 60 days later, after notice is given, so benefits should continue.

    To me ceasing to provide benefits during a notice period is out and out breach of contract and yet you seemed to think just because cardco’s may have that practice, it’s OK. Ditto here – if I make an s75 claim then it’s a different thing to a chargeback and cardco practice should not be able to do a chargeback on a s75 claim. Different of course if they’re paying the s75 claim – how they recover that money from the vendor after paying out on their joint liability to the cardholder under s75, is up to them.

    0 post

    Wizz did smth similar to me few years ago and refused to buy my ticket with another airline. I bought ticket myself and MCOLed them later, they paid up couple days before hearing.

    shuriccc 14 posts

    Wizz did smth similar to me few years ago and refused to buy my ticket with another airline. I bought ticket myself and MCOLed them later, they paid up couple days before hearing.


    @Oviplokos1
    I assume you did claim with an airline and then aviatinADR before turning to MCOL. Did they refuse both and then paid just before the hearing?

    Paul 139 posts

    I have posted about my (sons) experience with Wizz air
    Outbound to Cyprus – deplaned at midnight after 3 hours on board on ground at LGW. No assistance simply police moving them on! Slept on floor by checkin desk. Departed 5 pm next day. €400 paid 5 months later.
    Return cancelled 3 days before, no assistance, no information. Rebooked eventually on flight 2 hours earlier. EU261 refused- ADR instigated – Wizz Air did not engage or respond. ADR found in sons favour Wizz paid £175 on last possible day, 9 months after flight!

    You can and will beat them! And despite the time it feels great!

    They must reroute, so OP should buy new tickets and then go via ADR. Sadly they are inundated and short of staff but victory is assured!

    Gottskalksson 24 posts

    I was on a Wizz Air flight that landed 2h56mins late (as per destination airport website); however, the plane was still taxiing and the door was open above the 3h threshold. The delay was due to a technical issue with the aircraft (confirmed via in flight announcement).

    Am I entitled to compensation? Is landing time the same (door open) in the UK law as EU261? How can I prove this?

    This was extremely inconvenient. Should I at least claim food expenses at the airport (as expected, nothing was offered by Wizz)?

    Update on this – surprisingly, Wizz paid out the compensation without much fuss. I only sent one message (the initital one). It took around 5 weeks in total.

    Lady London 2,160 posts

    @Gottskalksson thanks very much for letting us know of your success.

    shuriccc 14 posts

    They must reroute, so OP should buy new tickets and then go via ADR. Sadly they are inundated and short of staff but victory is assured!

    I did just that, bought new tickets with BA, submitted an AviationADR

    get a letter from aviationADR yesterday, they start looking into it and no other evidence could be submitted. It does not look wizzair submitted any evidence/arguments or I am unable to see it on my side. it also said a final decision is binding to the airline, not sure what that means exactly if wizzair does not take part in the dispute. I wondering if Wizair even aware of it. Here is the letter:

    Dear Passenger

    ‘We have a Complete Complaint File’

    I write further to your complaint with AviationADR.

    Current status of your claim

    The time for both parties to submit their evidence in this matter has now closed. At this stage we declare that we have a ‘Complete Complaint File’. The effect of this is as follows:

    i) We will now not accept any further evidence from either party, meaning that we will base our decision upon the information and evidence we have as at today’s date; and
    ii) Under the ADR Regulations and Civil Aviation Authority Rules, we have 90 days from today’s date to finalise your complaint and produce a final determination.
    What happens next?

    Your case will now be reviewed by an adjudicator who will produce a final determination. The final determination is binding on the airline.

    If there are updates on your case, or indeed if we have any questions, we will message you via the portal. Please can we ask that you do not contact us in the meantime unless your message is urgent, or you believe we have gone past 90 days (from today’s date).

    Thank You

    AviationADR

    PeteM 785 posts

    This thread has been useful in deciding against Wizz in favour of easyJet on our return from Sharm el Sheikh. £200 more, but at least EZ, in my experience, pay out promptly when things go wrong.

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