Wizz Air complaints handling, compensation delays ‘unacceptable’: UK watchdog

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has expressed significant concerns to Wizz Air over high volumes of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) complaints and delays in paying passengers what they are owed.

The latest quarterly complaints data published by the Civil Aviation Authority shows that Wizz Air ranked as clearly the worst airline for complaints escalated to either ADR schemes or the regulator’s in-house complaints team in the third quarter of 2022, with 811 complaints per million passengers.

With the exception of Royal Brunei Airlines which has 555 complaints per million passengers, other airlines had less than half as many complaints, and many significantly less.

The British regulator also recently questioned the time Wizz Air was taking to process claims received directly from passengers, and the large number of County Court Judgements (CCJs) which have been found against Wizz Air and remain unpaid.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has been clear with Wizz Air that this is an unacceptable way to treat passengers and that it is imperative for the issues to be tackled urgently.

It said Wizz Air has acknowledged and expressed regret over these problems and has committed to the Civil Aviation Authority that it will clear the backlogs of claims and outstanding ADR payments by Christmas. Wizz Air is also working to identify and conclude all outstanding CCJs. The Civil Aviation Authority said it will continue to monitor progress.

Anna Bowles at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Passengers have every right to expect their complaints and claims to be resolved quickly and efficiently and to be treated fairly by airlines. The volume of complaints and claims received by ADR in respect of Wizz Air is far higher than those seen for other airlines. This, alongside the delays in processing and paying claims and the large number of County Court Judgements made against Wizz Air, has raised significant concerns for the CAA.

“We have made it clear to Wizz Air that its behaviour is unacceptable and that we expect overdue complaints and claims to be resolved in advance of Christmas. We understand the payment of County Court Judgements may continue into January, but we are encouraging Wizz Air to ensure that the payment of these is also prioritised. We will continue to monitor the situation. Where we have evidence that an airline is letting passengers down, we won’t hesitate to take further action where required.”

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