Wizz Air has been criticized by the aviation regulator for “unacceptable” behavior as its passengers are much more likely to complain than those on other airlines.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it had “significant concerns” about the Hungarian airline, which is also delaying payment of amounts due to passengers.
Some 811 complaints per million Wizz Air passengers on UK flights were brought to independent bodies between July and September.
We have made it clear to Wizz Air that their behavior is unacceptable
Anna Bowles, CAA
With the exception of Royal Brunei Airlines, which had 555 aggravated complaints per million passengers, all other airlines’ fares were less than half of Wizz Air’s.
Escalating complaint rates per million passengers from other airlines included easyJet (245), Ryanair (235) and British Airways (166).
The figures relate to complaints lodged with Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) systems or the CAA by passengers unhappy with an airline’s response to their initial report of a problem.
Many airlines and airports are members of ADR bodies, which are independent third parties that examine the facts and make binding decisions.
We have made it clear to Wizz Air that their behavior is unacceptable and that we expect overdue complaints and claims to be resolved before Christmas.
Anna Bowles, CAA
Anna Bowles, head of consumer policy and enforcement at the CAA, said passengers have “every right” to expect their complaints and claims to be resolved “quickly and efficiently” and to be “treated fairly” by the airlines.
Wizz Air’s delays in processing and paying claims, combined with the “large number” of county court judgments rendered against it, have “raised significant concerns for the CAA”, she said.
Ms Bowles continued: “We have made it clear to Wizz Air that their behavior is unacceptable and that we expect overdue complaints and claims to be resolved before Christmas.
“We understand that the payment of county court judgments may continue until January, but we encourage Wizz Air to ensure that the payment of these is also a priority.
“We will continue to monitor the situation.”
She added that the CAA “will not hesitate to take further action” when it has evidence that an airline is “letting passengers down”.
Wizz Air operates short-haul flights from 10 UK airports including Belfast International, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Gatwick and Luton.
A PA news agency analysis published in August found it was the worst airline for flight delays from UK airports last year.
The carrier’s UK departures were on average 14 minutes and 24 seconds behind schedule in 2021.