Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wizarding Wizzair

The trip to Poland was made by airplane.

Flying from the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands to the city of Katowice in Poland.

Using a low cost carrier from Hungary called Wizzair.

Wizzair is a fine airline.

They use relatively new Airbuses 320, they have friendly stewardesses and they are pretty well organized.

But this time something went wrong.

The Wizzair plane was delayed.

And not five minutes.

But more than three hours.

It was explained what was the reason.

The plane had left its airport of departure too late.

The different countries in Europe have all their own laws.

However, there are also European laws that apply to anybody in any country that is a member of the European Union.

One of them is Regulation 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004.

It is a law to protect the rights of air travelers.

If an airline cancels a flight, denies boarding or suffers of delays, the passenger has specific rights regulated by European Law EC 261.

In the case of Wizzair having a delay of over three hours on a flight of less than 1.500 km, the European Law EC 261 says each passenger should be paid € 250 / $ 317 as a compensation.

That is remarkable because the price of the ticket for this flight is about € 60 / $ 76.

Of course Wizzair didn’t invite the passengers to file a claim.

They just announced repeatedly through the PA system that the flight was delayed.

As they are also required to do by law.

In an Airbus 320, the plane Wizzair uses, are 180 passengers.

If all passengers would file a claim, it would cost € 45.000 - € 10.800 = € 34.200 / $ 44.000

The profit margins of low cost airlines like Wizzair are super slim: they will have to make many profitable flights before to have recuperated this € 34.200

Nevertheless, a claim was made.

On the website of Wizzair, contrary to other airlines like KLM, there is no option to present a claim due to a serious delay of a flight.

Hence, a message was sent to Customer Service.

And indeed, very quickly a reply was received.

Dear Passenger,

Thank you for your letter sent to our Customer Relations Department.

Please accept our apologies for any inconveniences caused by the

disruption of your flight.

Your claim will be handled according to the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004

of the European Parliament and Council and our General Conditions of

Carriage. For further details please visit the following websites:!celexplus!prod!CE



Our Customer Relations Representative will contact you in order to

settle your claim.

Thank you for your time and your patience until you are contacted.

Wizz Air Customer Relations

On several consumer websites it is explained that to get some financial compensation from airline companies is a dreary, lengthy and often impossible task.

But it has been initiated and now we all together will see what happens.


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