A PASSENGER sent in the bailiffs to an airport after Wizz Air didn’t refund him the money owed after his flights were cancelled at the last minute.
Russell Quirk said he had little option but find a way to recoup £4,500 from the airline after it cancelled his family’s flights to Portugal.
Having waited months for Wizz Air to refund the money, he went to court and ended up sending in the bailiffs.
Wizz Air paid up, issued an apology and said it “fell short of our own aspirations and our customers’ expectations”.
According to the consumer magazine Which? Wizz Air is just one of several budget airlines facing county court claims against them.
Mr Quirk, a property expert from Brentwood, Essex, told the BBC the way customers have been treated by Wizz Air has been “shocking, shambolic and shoddy”.
He had booked flights with the company in January last year to fly from Luton Airport to Faro in the May half-term for a family holiday with his wife and three daughters.
On the day of his flight, he woke early to find a message from Wizz Air saying it had been cancelled.
He said: “There was no explanation, no alternative offered and no apology.
“I had to wake my three daughters and tell them we weren’t going on holiday – they were very upset.”
Mr Quirk added because hotels, transfers and an airport lounge had already been paid for, he had no other option but to find another carrier, which the family took the following day.
He said that with those flights, along with the money lost on a night in a hotel and other expenses it had cost him a total of £4,500.
When he returned to the UK he tried to get recompense from Wizz Air, but he claimed it took almost two months for the cost of his original flights to be returned along with other legal compensation.
But, he said Wizz Air repeatedly ignored his claim for “consequential losses” – the £4,500 extra he had to fork out.
He then took his case to the country court but said Wizz Air “ignored” the judgement against it, so bailiffs were sent in to the Wizz Air desk at Luton Airport.
Mr Quirk said: “Their option was to hand over the money or the bailiffs would take it in goods – it might have been chairs, tables, computers or an aircraft.”
He jokingly added that he might have liked to have a plane at home, but Wizz Air did pay him the money.
Mr Quirk said: “Increasingly businesses are thinking they can treat customers like dirt and I’m determined to eradicate that.
“My message is, where big companies stonewall you, if you persevere you can get what is owed to you.”
A spokesperson for Wizz Air said: “In the summer of 2022, due to unprecedented levels of disruption across Europe and the UK which affected the entire industry, we fell short of our own aspirations and our customers’ expectations.
“When things went wrong, we did not react quickly enough to manage the high volume of customer claims that resulted from this disruption.
“We are sorry about this and we are working to ensure that our customers’ experience with Wizz is better this year.
“Since December, Wizz has paid all CCJs [county court judgements] where it received the judgment, and is continuing to work to settle all other outstanding claims as quickly as possible.”
The Sun Online has contacted Wizz Air for comment.