DALLAS – Wizz Air (W6) has been heavily criticised by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for what it has called “unacceptable” behaviour in the way it has handled passenger claims and payments.
The regulatory body said its latest quarterly data has ranked W6 “as clearly the worst airline” for complaints escalated to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) schemes or its in-house complaints team. Some 811 grievances per million passengers on UK flights were escalated between July and September 2022. Most other airlines had less than half this number, with easyJet (U2) recording 245, Ryanair (FR) 235 and British Airways (BA) 166.
CAA Head of Consumer Policy and Enforcement Anna Bowles said, “We have made it clear to Wizz Air that its behaviour is unacceptable and that we expect overdue complaints and claims to be resolved in advance of Christmas.”
Bowles added that “the large number of County Court Judgements made against Wizz Air, has raised significant concerns for the CAA.”
“We understand the payment of County Court Judgements may continue into January, but we are encouraging Wizz Air to ensure that the payment of these is also prioritised,” Bowles commented.
“We will continue to monitor the situation. Where we have evidence that an airline is letting passengers down, we won’t hesitate to take further action where required.”
Clearing the Backlog
The CAA added that W6 had expressed regret over the backlog. The Hungarian airline has now said it is “committed” to clearing the backlog by Christmas. In a statement, W6 said, “We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience we have caused our customers and we are working hard to put things right and resolve all outstanding claims as quickly as possible.
“The major disruption we navigated last summer meant that we have been dealing with an unprecedented number of claims. Despite this, 91% of claims have already been processed.
“We have recently doubled the size of our customer services team and are working continuously to process all outstanding customer claims, Alternative Dispute Resolution claims and settle all County Court Judgments.”
In August, W6 was identified as being the worst airline for flight delays from UK airports in 2021. The investigation conducted by the PA news agency found that most of the airline’s flights were, on average, 14 minutes and 24 seconds behind schedule.
The airline currently operates from nine UK airports, including Aberdeen (ABZ), Birmingham (BHX), Cardiff (CWL) and Liverpool John Lennon (LPL).
Featured Image: Wizz Air Airbus A320 (HA-LYX). Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways.