Wizz Air passengers ‘insulted’ by €35 credit offer after nightmare flight saw them stranded 300km from home

Passengers who have been stranded in Doncaster on Monday after their Wizz Airflight was rerouted from Luton say they’ve solely been supplied €35 credit score as compensation.

A number of clients contacted The Unbiased this week following the nightmare flight – which concerned being delayed for 3 hours on the tarmac at Tel Aviv on Sunday evening, being instructed after boarding they’d be flying to Luton, not Gatwick, after which being instructed half-hour earlier than touchdown that they’d in actual fact be touching down greater than 200 miles away in Doncaster, Sheffield.

Following a clamouring 4am queue for taxis at Doncaster Airport – a lot of which refused to go to this point south – Luke Baker, his associate and youngsters spent £480 on a four-hour taxi dwelling, whereas Adar Cohen and his household of 4 spent £260 on a three-and-a-half hour taxi.

A number of passengers instructed The Unbiased that Wizz Air employees had promised there can be coaches on the bottom, however then disappeared as soon as on the airport, with Doncaster Airport employees left to tell them there can be no coach service and to assist them discover various transport.

Now, Mr Cohen and Mr Baker say the airline has solely supplied €35 in Wizz Air credit score per passenger, fairly than any money compensation or perhaps a strong apology.

A number of passengers instructed The Unbiased they’d not fly with the airline following the expertise – with two of them saying they’d had an equally disturbing time and greater than 20-hour delays on their flights out to Israel – rendering the airline credit score meaningless.

Wizz Air has instructed passengers they could ship the airline their various transport receipts – however nobody has but been compensated for this side of the disruption, and Mr Cohen’s declare has been marked as “resolved” on the Wizz Air web site.

Mr Cohen’s declare now marked as ‘resolved’

(Adar Cohen)

In its emails to clients, the airline says no compensation is due below EU Rules 261/2004, for the reason that occasion of being unable to land at both Gatwick or Luton fell below “extraordinary circumstances”.

Of the failure to get clients to the place they have been going – the dearth of coach service again to Gatwick – it says: “We contacted a number of transportation corporations within the space to make sure your switch from Doncaster to Gatwick, nonetheless, because of the Easter financial institution vacation within the UK, not one of the corporations contacted have been capable of present this service.

“We all the time attempt to handle you, our clients, in the absolute best method and that’s the reason we’re sorry to haven’t been capable of give you transportation to your unique airport vacation spot on this extraordinary scenario.”

Prospects say the dearth of communication and repair on the tarmac earlier than the flight, within the air when the vacation spot was modified and significantly on the bottom in Doncaster was unacceptable and must be apologised for.

“Even when it’s true that they couldn’t land in Gatwick or Luton, which I couldn’t discover proof for on-line, have been there different flights that couldn’t land?” asks Mr Cohen.

“There are three different London airports, there’s an airport in Essex and there’s an obligation of care that doesn’t embody the airline employees disappearing.”

In the meantime, Mr Baker obtained a distinct rationalization from Wizz Air’s customer support division.

“We apologize for any inconvenience brought on by offering all passengers an alternate carriage. This example was a results of unhealthy climate situations not permitting secure operation… in an effort to adjust to the contract and switch passengers to their unique vacation spot in the very best and quickest method we supplied bus switch for part of the journey, as an try and keep away from higher inconvenience by flight cancellation.

“Nonetheless because the transportation contract was fulfilled and also you have been carried to your closing vacation spot we can not grant the requested refund.”

The Wizz Air customer support reply Mr Baker obtained

(Luke Baker)

Mr Baker was mystified – “Neither of which was true and never what the captain mentioned” – and replied saying there should have been a mixture up as his household had not been supplied a bus service.

Finally he obtained the identical e mail providing €35 credit score as Mr Cohen, however believes Wizz Air owes the passengers extra for the misery and inconvenience.

“There’s reimbursement and there’s compensation. For the taxi fare, which I believe is an absolute given, and so they clearly know they owe some compensation for the disruption.

“There actually was no help – no provision of meals or water and no Wizz Air representatives,” he mentioned of touchdown at Doncaster shortly after 3am.

“I don’t assume I’ll ever fly them once more, and [offering credit] is a bit brass neck for an airline that did not ship on its promise to get individuals to their vacation spot.

“Airways get diverted on a regular basis, so long as you’re upfront about it usually that’s okay. However on this case, they took no accountability in any respect and deserted individuals, successfully. They actually didn’t appear to care. That’s simply abysmal,” he provides.

Simon Calder, journey correspondent of The Unbiased, mentioned: “Evidently Wizz Air can legitimately declare ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and keep away from paying out the compensation stipulated by air passengers’ rights guidelines.

“However given the intense dislocation triggered by the closure of Gatwick’s air-traffic management service, the service may have been extra beneficiant than simply providing a €35 (£30) voucher.

“After a current home flight within the US the place we have been ready on the gate at Orlando for an airbridge hook-up for 45 minutes, Frontier Airways despatched us all a $75 (£57) voucher virtually immediately.”

On Tuesday, Wizz Air mentioned in an announcement: “As a consequence of Air Site visitors Management employees shortages and absences at London Gatwick, it was sadly not doable for the flight to land on the airport as deliberate. As Doncaster Sheffield was the one airport which was capable of assist at such quick discover, the flight was redirected to the airport.

“We did all we may do to assist our clients get again to Gatwick nonetheless the UK Easter holidays – and lack of obtainable bus and prepare transfers – made this extraordinarily tough to handle.”

It says it has contacted all clients concerned and is accepting reimbursement claims for transport.

The Unbiased has contacted Wizz Air for additional remark.

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