Wizz Air passengers could get £100s back as airline is forced to review wrongly rejected refund claims – here's what you need to know
If your Wizz Air flight has been delayed or cancelled in the past six years AND the airline refused to refund you for additional costs incurred, such as replacement flights, you could now get your money back, as the airline's been forced to review previously rejected claims – but you may need to resubmit your complaint.
The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is taking enforcement action against Wizz Air over concerns passengers haven't been paid what they're owed. It comes after the regulator found Wizz Air failed to meet its legal obligations, particularly around providing alternative flights to enable passengers to get to their destinations when their original flight had been cancelled. This left some paying for alternative flights and taking the airline to court to get their money back.
Wizz Air will now review some rejected claims (see below for more on this). The CAA has also told the airline to make changes to its policies and procedures going forward, stating that the way it treated passengers was "unacceptable".
The airline blames the problems on its customer services team being unable to cope with increased demand caused by air traffic control strikes, staff shortages and airport constraints.
If your flight has been cancelled or delayed, you can see our Flight delays and cancellation compensation guide for your rights.
Here's whose complaints WILL be automatically reopened
Your complaint will be automatically reopened if you were supposed to fly to or from a UK airport with Wizz Air on or after 18 March 2022 and you submitted one or more of the following claims, with receipts, that came to the value of £20 or above:
- Replacement flight costs - because a replacement flight was not offered, or the replacement offered was unsuitable, for instance because it was days later, and earlier comparable alternatives were available.
- Travel costs between airports if you were re-routed.
- Care expenses, typically for overnight accommodation.
In addition, to be eligible you can't have:
- Only claimed for meals and refreshments.
- Already taken steps to escalate your refund claim to a court or to AviationADR - the 'alternative dispute resolution' body Wizz Air uses.
If you're eligible, you don't need to do anything. You should be contacted by Wizz Air by 30 September 2023 and, if your claim is approved, your refund should be processed within seven working days.
If you disagree with the outcome of Wizz Air's review, and the outcome of your original claim was less than a year ago, you can escalate your case to AviationADR. If the outcome of your original claim was more than a year ago, you can't escalate the reviewed claim to AviationADR, but you can take it to court. See our Flight delays and cancellations guide for further help on this.
Here's whose complaints WON'T be automatically reopened
If you fail to meet the requirements outlined above, your refund claim will not be automatically reopened, so if you think it was unfairly dismissed you'll need to request for it to be looked at again. You can only request for your claim to be reopened if your booked flight was no more than six years ago, beyond that it's too late under law.
For those who meet this criteria, you can resubmit a claim by replying to your previous email exchange with Wizz Air. If you cannot access your email exchange, you can contact the airline's existing bookings line on 0330 977 0444. Make sure you have to hand your booking number, case number, flight date and route, and the names of the passengers.
It's important to note that this reviews process as a whole only applies to refund claims for extra costs you had because your flight was disrupted – it does NOT apply to claims for the extra compensation you can get under flight delay and cancellation laws (see more on this below).
Your flight delay and cancellation refund and compensation rights explained
If you're on a qualifying flight – one that either departs from the UK or arrives in the UK or EU with an EU or UK carrier – you're entitled to assistance for any delays of over two hours or cancellations.
This includes accommodation, transfers, food and drink and being able to make phone calls. Where this isn't paid for by the airline upfront, you should be able to recoup comparable costs.
In addition, if the flight is cancelled, airlines are required to offer passengers the choice of an alternative flight at the earliest opportunity or a full refund. Airlines are also expected to reimburse passengers who've had to rebook their own replacement flights.
If your flight is delayed by at least three hours or cancelled within two weeks of departure – and it was the airline's fault, because of staff shortages, for example, you may also be entitled to compensation on top of between £110 and £520.
For more information, see our Flight delay and cancellation compensation guide.