A passenger had to leave the Budapest to Barcelona flight of Wizz Air on Thursday, reports Azonnali, whose colleague boarded the same plane that night.
The airline also called the police in order to make someone leave the plane, although
it was certainly them, who sold too many tickets.
The airline also called the fellow traveler of the colleague of Azonnali to the check-in desk for reconciliation and told him it will only turn out at the passport control, if he can board the flight; luckily, he could in the end. However, this was not the end of the story: the staff asked the passengers whether someone would voluntarily leave the plane for re-routing, in exchange for a 250 € compensation fee. A woman accepted the offer eventually and got off the plane amidst the other passengers’ applause.
Although it is a common phenomenon among airlines to sell more tickets than vacant seats on a plane, calculating with people canceling their flights, the case is still interesting, because
Wizz Air was fined by the government agency of Budapest due to this practice at the end of September.
Azonnali asked the airline to what ratio and to which flights they apply this method, and how they choose who has leave the plane if no one volunteers to do so and why is it necessary to call the police for all of this.
Wizz Air replied
“Our policy requires the local authorities presence if a passenger is not willing to get off the airplane besides being asked to leave”
But how do they choose who should depart?
Those who booked or checked in among the last? Or those who bought the cheapest tickets? “If no one volunteers to travel with the later flight, we choose those, who are travelling alone, so that we do not have to separate people travelling together.” – replied the airline.
Wizz Air have not told Azonnali the percentage of overbooking, referring to trade secrets. They only told, that airline is constantly monitoring the popularity of flights, and
thus the allowed ratio of overbooking of flights is changing depending on their destination and historical information.
Those, who cannot travel due to overbooking can either book a ticket to another flight or demand full repayment. Besides that, the airline has to pay a 250€, a 400€ or a 600€ reimburse in accordance with the relevant EU directive.
Life is never easy, even if you can finally travel with your ticket: the low-cost airline has just implemented tricky new baggage policy, in order to make passengers either to have their smaller packs registered or to pay extra fee for taking them aboard.