The low-cost airline that’s riling readers with last-minute cancellations and useless vouchers

travel wizz air flight chaos airport cancellation

Having a flight canceled at the last minute is a two-pronged problem. First, there is the task of sorting out your plans to ensure your holiday can still go ahead. Second is the small matter of securing a refund for the lost flight, and possible compensation for the inconvenience.

When it comes to customers of Wizz Air, the latter obstacle is proving particularly troublesome, with many facing long waits and eye-watering phone bills after attempting to contact the no-frills carrier’s customer service team.

On Wednesday last week, Telegraph Travel published an article on how numerous Wizz passengers had been left disappointed by having their flights canceled at the last minute, usually via text message. And our feature prompted other readers to come forward with tales of woe after booking with Wizz. Below we’ve collated the most eye-opening responses.

What’s more, Wizz’s refund department is only getting busier. When we crunched the data for the period between May 7 and June 6, we found that Wizz Air’s cancellation rate was 2.16 per cent, making it the seventh least reliable of the 20 biggest airlines flying from Britain (KLM was bottom of the pile). For the period between June 7 and July 10, its cancellation rate has trebled to 6.9 per cent.

What readers had to say about Wizz

Stephen Perkins wrote: “Booked on a Sunday in June for a flight to Greece in October. Canceled by Wizz three days later with a refund within the next three months. Sounds like we are bankrolling this company – avoid at all costs.”

Another reader, Robert Allan Sutton, wrote: “I have been on flights with them where, to avoid paying the delay compensation, they rush you to the departure gate within the deadline for not paying compensation, then hold you there for an hour or two . Officially you were not delayed.”

Chris Thompson added: “We tried to fly Wizz Air once. About seven hours before departure the flight was delayed for just under five hours. After check-in the flight was delayed a further two hours, then a bit later by another 25 hours. I tried to cancel as I was meant to be able to, but according to their system I was ‘on board’ the aircraft, so cancellation was not possible. This was in Mallorca and the plane had not even arrived.

“I have been promised in an email from Wizz Air customer relations a refund. I have given them bank details, but so far they have sent nothing. I have chased up once and not received any reply. I will not give up.”

Simon Elliott wrote: “This is nothing new for Wizz. I had a flight from Krakow canceled at the last minute in October 2019. Non-existent customer service then too.”

After having a flight to Dalaman cancelled, Mark Cooper commented: “Rather than just giving me the money back, I had ‘Wizz Credits’, which I had to then apply to be converted into actual money, and then to switch to GBP. I had to give all flight details, bank details including IBAN numbers (which entailed me having to ring up the bank for 30 minutes to get the details). Obviously they wanted me to give up. I didn’t. I’m still waiting for the actual refund as it can take 30 days from applying to convert the ‘credits’.”

One reader going by the name ‘House Cat’ wrote: “Used Wizz Air to go to Poland just before the pandemic. Huge delays both ways. On return, we waited 90 minutes for our luggage thanks to their awful ground operation (which I assume they pay peanuts for). No Wizz staff to consult and their customer ‘helpline’ is a premium rate number.”

Si Thepie said: “For a seven-hour delay in Crete, Wizz gave out a €4 voucher that the airport kiosk didn’t accept. They refuse accountability and from what I can work out, having been unfortunate enough to use them a lot this year, they just try to run more flights than they have capacity for.”

The tales of woe continued. Adrian Alsop wrote: “We had our holiday ruined because our Wizz flight from Luton at 7.10am on Monday was canceled by text at 1.02am on Sunday. No explanation, no alternative flight, and no email explaining our rights. We had spent the night in an airport Premier Inn, paid for parking and fast track at Luton and spent another £156 booking priority hand luggage and seats. Trying to claim compensation and other costs from Wizz by online form is a pain and may take another 30 days. Will never fly Wizz again.”

Paul James wrote: “I had a flight to Madeira on Tuesday that was canceled last week, still not had any refund. I’ve just received an email with weasely words describing T&Cs, however, but no apologies or explanation.”

N. Fellowes wrote: “My daughter had her flight canceled from Lisbon and no alternative was offered until three days later. She eventually flew to Manchester instead of Luton, had to spend the night in a hotel and then get a train to London costing a total of £600. Wizz is currently refusing to compensate as the flight was canceled due to issues beyond their control. No explanation provided, however. At £2 a minute to call their help desk and with no response it is a total scam. The CAA should step in and revoke their license.”

What Wizz had to say about the chaos

“We are so sorry that too many of our passengers are being subjected to current delays and, in some cases, cancellations. Across the travel industry Wizz Air and every airline is doing as much as we all can to help as many passengers as possible reach their destinations in time and with minimal delay. However, amongst other issues causing operational instability throughout the travel industry, there is a widespread shortage in staff, in particular within air traffic control, ground operations and baggage handling, security and across airports.

“Wizz Air has increased direct communications with all our customers through text, email and phone calls to ensure – as much as possible – that they are best informed of any changes in our services. Booking directly on or the WIZZ app – as opposed to other online booking platforms – remains the best way to ensure we reach our customers more quickly.

“Our sincere apologies to those customers whose travel plans have been affected as we do understand how disappointed they are, particularly when so many people want and deserve to travel the world again. We are trying everything we can to offer them a range of options so that they can travel including alternative flights with Wizz Air, a full refund or 120% in airline credit (both of which we aim to process within a week).”

What are the next steps if my Wizz flight is cancelled?

On the Wizz Air Refunds and Compensations page, it says:

You can rebook onto the next available flight on the same/similar route. Alternatively, in case there should be no available flights on the same or next day (and later available dates are not suitable considering your purpose of travel) then you may elect to arrange your own travel through another airline or other appropriate means of transport (namely train, bus or rental car). Please note that any alternative transport must be under comparable transport conditions to your destination. Related reasonable, and properly documented costs and expenses may be submitted for reimbursement by us via Remember therefore to collect and submit all relevant receipts and invoices connected to the cost of any such alternative travel (eg ticket, or fuel).

You can cancel your reservation and request refund in WIZZ credits to your WIZZ account for the canceled flight and for the return sector, if applicable; or later on you will be able to request refund back to your original payment method instead of WIZZ credits.

What if your flight has been rerouted?

Wizz says: “If applicable, in the event of re-routing, when the time of departure of the new flight is the day after the originally planned departure of the canceled flight, we will arrange hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and place of departure. accommodation free of charge. Where it is not feasible for Wizz Air to provide you with such care, we will refund the costs of meal, hotel accommodation and the transport between the airport and place of accommodation.”

Will I be eligible for compensation?

The compensation rules are as follows:

1500 km or less: €250

“If you are offered a new flight and the arrival time does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of your booked flight by 2 hours, this amount will be reduced by 50%.”

Between 1501km and 3500km; €400 EUR (In the case of all intra-Community (EU-EEA) flights)

“If you are offered a new flight and the arrival time does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of your booked flight by 3 hours, this amount will be reduced by 50%.”

Over 3500km; €600 (only applicable to non intra-Community (EU-EEA) flights)

“If you are offered a new flight and the arrival time does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of your booked flight by 4 hours, this amount will be reduced by 50%

Are there any scenarios where you won’t receive compensation?

You will not be offered compensation if:

Your flight was canceled two weeks before the scheduled time of departure

You are offered an alternative Wizz flight between 14 and 7 days before your scheduled time of departure, where the new departure time is not more than two hours before the scheduled flight and arrives less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival

You are offered an alternative Wizz flight less than seven days before your departure date, with a departure time no more than one hour before your scheduled flight and an arrival time of less than two hours after your scheduled arrival.

Does it cost to call Wizz Air?

The Wizz Air customer service number is 0905 707 0000. According to, it typically costs £1.53 to £2.60 per minute to call 0905 numbers from a UK landline. From a mobile it typically costs between 50p and £2.55 per minute.

Wizz Air says: “In certain countries you can reach the Call Center only through premium rate numbers specific to the country you are calling from.”

It also adds that a “‎€15 Call Center Transaction Fee is charged per transaction for requests that are available online,” and “calls from mobile networks may be charged at higher rates.” However, the transaction fee will not apply for passengers with a disrupted flight.

What are your experiences with Wizz Air? Comment below to join the conversation

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