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Flight cancellation - Wizz Air

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flight Delay Compensation
8 replies 1.2K views
Fran2511Fran2511 Forumite
2 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flight Delay Compensation
Hello,
My partner and I recently booked a long weekend in Porto (through a third party) flying with Wizz Air (Oct 19) and due to rain, the return flight was cancelled into LTN. The option at the time was to be transferred onto the next flight (72 hours later) or to book ourselves an alternative flight and claim a refund. Due to being unable to take more time off work we opted to book a return flight ourselves for later that night, however it was into Bristol (£300+) where we had to book a hire car (£100) to LTN to collect our car to return home.
We submitted a claim to Wizz Air for the refund of the rebooked flights and car hire however they quoted that it was ‘extraordinary circumstances caused by bad weather’ and therefore they would only refund the cost of the original cancelled flight tickets. There was a bit of rain that day and a few flights were delayed by a few hours however, Wizz Air chose to cancel their flight (I may add it was the ONLY flight cancelled and we have photographs of the departure board to show this) and within 30 minutes of the flight being cancelled, the rain stopped.
My question is that I don’t believe this counts as an extraordinary circumstance enough for them to justify their cancellation and leave us with very little options and therefore, what is our next step? Can we escalate this and have a realistic prospect of reimbursement?
Thank you

Replies

  • JPearsJPears Forumite
    4.9K posts
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    It doesn't matter what the cause of the dealy or cancellation, Whizz air are still liable for your alternative transport/re-routing.
    Articles 5 and 8 of the 261/2004 regualtion.
    I would be very suspicious of the reason and therefore you may also be due compensation. Which is separate from re-routing costs. Don't accept a refund as the airlines seem to think this means they can wash their hands of any claims.
    So you are due:
    1. Additonal costs of your alternative flights AND car hire to get to Luton, over what you paid for the whizz air flights.
    2. Possibly compensation for the short notice cancellation.
    Put your flight details into Botts online and EUClaim to give you and indication of possible compensation.
    If you're new. read The FAQ and Vauban's Guide

    The alleged Ringleader.........
  • Fran2511Fran2511 Forumite
    2 posts
    Hello
    Thank you for responding so quickly. Are we better to go back to the airline and get into an email battle with them or are we better to push it onto another authority and if so, who? Thanks
  • legal_magpielegal_magpie Forumite
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    Follow the advice in the final sentence of the post from J Pears before doing anything else
  • nigandjulesnigandjules Forumite
    42 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hi. I wonder if anyone can help or advise.
    I was due to fly back to the UK from Israel with Wizz Air on 2nd March 2020. Due to a problem with the plane's computer, the flight was eventually cancelled after a few attempts to reset it. To cut a very long story short, the re-scheduled flight departed at around 11pm the following day (over 24 hours after the original flight).
    I used Resolver to make a complaint, but got an email from Wizz Air (through Reslover) saying I had to fill in a complaints form on Wizz Air.
    I copied and pasted the letter from Resolver.
    This is the reply I received from Wizz Air on 02nd April 2020:
    Thank you for contacting Wizz Air Customer Service Department.

    We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the flight cancellation. After a thorough investigation of your case, we can conclude that the flight was canceled due to extraordinary circumstances
    Please kindly note, that we take all reasonable measures to operate flights while ensuring passengers’ safety and comfort, yet sometimes unexpected circumstances cause unavoidable disruptions.
    The above referenced circumstances, as per the European Regulations 261/2004, fall into the category of Extraordinary Circumstances, therefore, we regret to inform you that no compensation is due.
    “(14) As under the Montreal Convention, obligations on operating air carriers should be limited or excluded in cases where an event has been caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such circumstances may, in particular, occur in cases of political instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with the operation of the flight concerned, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes that affect the operation of an operating air carrier.”
    in compliance with the European Regulation 261/2004:
    “An operating air carrier shall not be obliged to pay compensation in accordance with Article 7, if it can prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken."
    Let me please draw your attention to the fact, that in accordance with EC Regulation 261/2004, we can reimburse the expenses, encountered directly due to the cancellation, such as meals, refreshments and communication charges (2 phone calls, e-mails, fax). As for the additional expenses, we kindly ask you to forward all related receipts, as an attachment to your reply, so that we can determine a possible compensation.
    Should you have any further questions we will be delighted to answer them.

    I would be grateful to receive any advise as I don't think this constitutes 'extraordinary circumstances'

    Thank you in advance.


  • JPearsJPears Forumite
    4.9K posts
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    Technical issue is NOT an EC. ie the computer failure.
    I suspect Whizzair are being disingenuous in their reply, hiding behind Covid which generally is an EC.
    Reply back stating that a computer failure/tech issue is not an EC and that compensation is due.
    What expenses did youincur as result of the delay - accomodation etc?
    If you're new. read The FAQ and Vauban's Guide

    The alleged Ringleader.........
  • nigandjulesnigandjules Forumite
    42 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Good afternoon,
    I replied back, but I haven't heard back from Wizzair and it's now over 2 weeks. Could someone please advise me what the next course of action is.
    Many thanks for all your help.
  • DrA_HarrogateDrA_Harrogate Forumite
    333 posts
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts
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    Your next course of action is to find and download Vauban's excellent guide and follow the steps therein. As you correctly observe, a broken aeroplane is not an extraordinary circumstance. The guide will tell you to issue an NBA and take it from there. By all means check with Bottonline first.
  • nigandjulesnigandjules Forumite
    42 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Good morning. Just want to thank you for your help.
    I used the excellent Vauban's guide and after I sent the NBA, and got no reply (well, 6 days late and dismissing my claim), looked into MCO & European Small Claims Process. I did a google search to see which one to use, and while searching came across the CAA website. I was directed to https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/How-the-CAA-can-help/Alternative-dispute-resolution/
    This is from the CAA page:

    Some airlines and airports are members of alternate dispute resolution bodies (ADR). Some of these bodies have been approved by the CAA for providing a high standard of dispute resolution for consumer disputes stemming from a contract for aviation services; others will have been approved by other EU Member States.

    If you have been dissatisfied with the response of an airline or airport to your complaint, you should be sent information on whether ADR is available in the airline/airport's final response. If you have not received a final response in eight or more weeks, you may also be able to refer your complaint to the ADR body directly - check below for whether your airline has agreed to participate in an ADR scheme, and for the contact details of the different CAA-approved ADR bodies.

    Airline ADR schemes must handle the following types of complaints:

    • Denied boarding, delay, or cancellation;
    • Destruction, damage, loss, or delayed transportation of baggage;
    • Destruction, damage, or loss of items worn or carried by the passenger;
    • Problems faced by disabled passengers or passengers with reduced mobility when using air transport services (i.e. complaints about airlines arising under Regulation EC1107);
    • and
    • Any more general disputes arising where the consumer alleges that the business is not trading fairly. Here we are referring to situations where the consumer has been misled, for example into paying more for the flight or into buying something that they didn't actually want, where the consumer has been harmed by the use by the business of an unfair contract term, or where the consumer has been otherwise harmed by the breach by the business of general consumer protection law.
    WizzAir is a member of ADR and I started my compensation claim. It was very easy to do. You fill in a form with as much detail as possible. Attach any correspondence and out of pocket expenses and once submitted, it goes through an initial assessment.
    I submitted my claim on 08th June, and on 18th June was made an offer from the airline which I have accepted!
    Kind regards,
    Nigel.
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