Enforcement action against Wizz Air has led to £1.24 million being refunded to passengers, the UK Civil Aviation Authority has announced.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority took enforcement action against Wizz Air last year following concerns over complaints about the airline not paying passengers what they are owed and failing to meet its passenger rights obligations.
Passengers were left frustrated because they believed the airline had failed to meet its passenger rights obligations, particularly around providing alternative flights to enable passengers to get to their destinations when their flight had been cancelled.
Passengers also felt Wizz Air was not providing appropriate care when flights were significantly delayed.
Wizz Air said it had fully complied with the deed of undertaking signed with the UK Civil Aviation Authority last year following disruptions to its service in the summer of 2022.
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.”
The undertakings required Wizz Air to make changes to its policies to ensure that in future it consistently complies with its re-routing and care obligations.
Wizz Air was also required to review previously assessed claims it received for replacement flight costs, transfers when replacement flights were via different airports, and care and assistance (typically hotel costs) following flight disruption.
The airline cooperated with the action and has now completed its review of claims. This has led to more than 25,000 claims being re-examined, and additional payments given in around 6,000 cases.
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.”
The regulator’s action covered claims made for flights due to depart from or arrive into a UK airport on or after 18 March 2022.
No action was needed on the part of these passengers to ensure their claims were reviewed.
Following Wizz Air’s review of claims, the UK Civil Aviation Authority undertook sample checks to gain assurance that passengers have received what they were owed. These checks have provided confidence that Wizz Air has now met its air passenger rights obligations for these previously considered claims. These obligations apply to all airlines operating into and from the UK.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority also worked closely and in cooperation with Wizz Air to improve its policies, procedures and passenger communications. UK passengers should now be better informed about their rights and options when faced with disruption.
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