The Hungary-based low-cost airline would spend 250 million HUF (almost 800 thousand EUR) for compensating those passengers who used their Wizz Flex service, after they managed to finish negotiations with the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH).
According to hvg.hu, GVH received many complaints in connection with their Wizz Flex service, which enables passengers to modify their ticket without a flight change fee. However, the investigation of the Hungarian authority found some details in the regulation of the service that, in practice, reduced the number of free flight changes significantly.
- with regards to bookings concerning flight tickets for outbound and return journeys, it was not possible for customers to re-route their return journeys once their journeys had commenced; moreover, after embarking on their journeys, customers could only jointly change their outbound and return journeys;
- when accessing the Wizz Flex service feature on the internet, it was not possible to individually change the flight tickets of passengers that had been purchased under one booking, meaning that all passengers’ tickets had to be changed simultaneously;
- if the customer wanted to change his/her flight, the price offered to the customer was the same as the price that he/she had originally paid, even if the price of a ticket bought for the same journey without modification would actually be cheaper. Consequently, in the case of re-routing within the Wizz Flex system, the customer was unable to benefit from a favourable difference between the price of the original ticket and the new ticket;
- in the case of flight changes requested by customers between January and September 2016, passengers had to pay not only the difference between the flight tickets but also the dynamically changing differences relating to baggage fees.
According to the authorities, over the course of the competition supervision proceedings, Wizz Air offered a number of commitments. Pursuant to the commitments, Wizz Air undertook to credit a lump sum compensation to each customer who had used the Wizz Flex service since 2010, and
they will pay the difference between the flights
of those who had been unable to benefit from the lower cost of their chosen new flights.
The number of those receiving compensation is between 120 thousand and 220 thousand, and the average sum they will get is 8.3 EUR per person. Wizz Air shall credit the compensation to the Wizz accounts of the customers who will have five years to use this sum or to have this sum transferred to their bank accounts on the provision of their banking details. After this 5-year period has elapsed, any remaining compensation that has not been used will be transferred to the SOS Children’s Villages Foundation.
Furthermore, Wizz Air is going to amend its information practices relating to its Wizz Flex service in order to make the content of the service clear. Moreover, it will implement a number of
IT developments to make the service more comprehensible
and user-friendly. Finally, it will conduct a targeted educational campaign on the rights of customers and air passengers.
The airline serves many cities across Europe, as well as some destinations in North Africa and the Middle East. It has the largest fleet of any Hungarian airline, although it is not a flag carrier and currently serves 44 countries.
As we reported before, Wizz Air is the greenest airline in Europe, operating at the lowest CO2 emission per passenger amongst all competitor airlines. With 56.5g CO2 per passenger/km in May 2019, Wizz Air is the airline with the smallest environmental footprint per passenger.
If you want to read about how the Hungary-based airline beat the much larger Irish competitor airline Ryanair in the market of low-cost airlines, click HERE.
Finally, if you are interested in the new destinations of Wizz Air, you should read THIS article.
Source: hvg.hu, gvh.hu