Flying with Wizz Air

We were missing Prague before we even left our apartment for the airport. As I always do, I checked both one of my favorite travel apps and online to make sure there were no delays for our Wizz Air flight to London. Everything looked good, and so we began our hour-long journey to the airport, one that would have us using 2 different buses and metro trains.

Wizz Air flights

As we arrived at the airport, I smiled at how fluid everything had gone. Once we found out where the check-in was located so we could drop off our bags, I smiled again. They were in the process of opening the window, and we were the very first ones in line. This was going to be a piece of cake!

We had recently done a cull of stuff from our suitcases, and the result was that my luggage was 5 kg lighter. I was quite happy about that! Until I heard the following words:

“I’m sorry, but there is a delay. Here are some food and drink vouchers.”

A delay? What happened in the last hour to make that happen? “How much of a delay?” I asked. Her response was to shrug her shoulders and say “2-3 hours.”

That was rather bizarre, I thought. Then I looked at the amount of the vouchers. We each were given about $6. A “special deal” consisting of a pretzel and a coffee is over $7. I just rolled my eyes.

We stopped and got something to eat. We checked the monitors, and they showed our flight was leaving on time. I went to the information desk and double checked. Yes, there was still a delay. “Why don’t the monitors show that? It’s confusing to see it’s leaving on time when it isn’t.” She just shrugged.

Wizz Air hadn’t advised anyone else of their change in schedule. The airport’s system, a flight status website, etc., all showed the flight was leaving as scheduled. They also had my mobile number for an SMS message. None was received.

We continued to wait for some update. Eventually we heard an announcement passengers should go to the information area to get vouchers. We already had ours, but I figured they would have an update.

And I was wrong. “Some time after 17:00.” I thought it was rather odd for an airline to not have any clue when their plane was going to depart. I explained that I had bus tickets from the airport and the delay would put me past the grace period meaning I would most likely lose my $20 ticket. “Can we get reimbursed if that happens?”

“You’ll have to ask in Great Britain. Next!”

Well [insert appropriate obscenities] to you, too!

We walked around and discovered the Rest and Fun Center. We decided to check it out and ended up paying 12 EUR (about $16 USD) to have our own private lounge for 2 hours. The lounge had to two comfortable couches which can fold down to act as a bed. We had a private en suite bathroom that even included a shower and towels. There was an Xbox and a flat screen TV for Tigger. There were plenty of outlets for plugging in devices, and they also offered free, fast WiFi. In the lobby was a machine for free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, and they had other beverages and food for sale.

I can’t tell you how nice it was to be able to kick off our shoes and just chill in our own comfy space for a couple of hours.

Dealing with a Wizz Air delay

Two hours later, the monitor changed and indicated the gate was now open. The departure still hadn’t been updated, however. We went to the gate hoping they would soon be boarding. “What time is departure?” I asked the ticket guy. He shrugged and said “17:00, 17:20, 17:30. . . “

So you’ve opened the gate but still have no clue when we’re leaving. Interesting.

I sat down and visited with some friendly Brits. I reviewed our boarding pass to find our seat numbers. There were none. One of the people I had chatted with was no veteran to flying with Wizz Air so I asked him, “There are no seat assignments?”

“No. It’s open seating. So you’ll want to move through the crowd quickly once you’re off the bus.”

Just freaking great!

Finally the bus arrived to take us to the plane. We were packed in like sardines, the doors were shut, and we were left locked in for at least 15 minutes. A couple of the claustrophobes in the bus were getting restless with one exclaiming, “I’m about to explode!”

We all cheered when the bus finally pulled away. Once we arrived next to the plane, everyone huddled at the doors. We were all ready to sprint and shove our way through to get a decent seat.

But the doors remained closed. For another 15+ minutes. Thank goodness it wasn’t summer, because it was getting steamy enough inside the bus as it was.

I had instructed Tigger to use his size and speed to our advantage, and when the doors opened he shot through and deftly moved around the obstacle course made from humans. We ended up in row 5 with an empty seat between us (and that was only because they had reserved the first 4 rows and wouldn’t let people sit there). Well done, lad!

The flight itself wasn’t bad. Prices for drinks and snacks were reasonable for an airline (2 EUR for a can of soda), and the crew were at least not icy.

Thankfully, UK Immigration was a breeze (which is not always the case), and since the waiting bus driver was bored with an empty van, he accepted our tickets even though we were past the grace period. I was so happy to not have to buy new, more expensive tickets!

Per my waiting area friend, Wizz Air isn’t usually this incompetent and chaotic, but I have to say after our experience I’m going to do my best to avoid flying with them again.

Wizz Air experience

Delays happen with travel, but in my experience they’re usually handled more efficiently and with better communication. And there was no excuse to leave people locked in a bus for those periods of time. That could’ve been handled much more efficiently as well.

Have you flown with Wizz Air? What was your experience?

Share This Post On


  1. I haven’t heard of them either. In fact I thought you were using a fake name in order to be polite when I first saw it, and because it’s such an odd name! That name kind of begs mockery, doesn’t it!

    Was there no priority boarding? One thing I’ve learned with Ryanair is that so long as you have priority boarding they are ok. I was their biggest critic a while back, after a dreadful experience in Sevilla with them which cost me around €100. Now I wonder if that was a combination of their tight fisted-ness and Spanish attitude. I’ve had no choice but to use them over the last year or so, and they have been great, including a memorable landing in Cork in zero visibility!

    Post a Reply
    • LOL! Funny how the name sure fit our experience. They did have priority boarding, but I rarely ever pay for that, especially on a 2- to 3-hour flight. Had I known/realized they did open seating, I might have been more willing to pay for premium seats.

      I’ve heard so many horror stories with Ryanair that I’m doing my best to avoid them. Perhaps they’re turning things around now.

      Post a Reply
  2. This often happens when you fly with cheap airlines. Ryanair is the worst though :(.

    Post a Reply
  3. Living in Targu Mures, and flying some 30-ish times with WizzAir I have acquired some experience with them. The flight delay happened only once when I was flying home from Budapest, and they gave us a voucher which covered exactly one sandwich. The delay was announced however on the monitor and that’s about it.
    One really good tip about flying Wizz Air – if it’s possible, board at the back of the plane – for some reason people keep going to the front, therefore you can easily score window seats. And while their seats aren’t the most comfortable leg size-wise (I am 6 2), I do fly with them often, in fact I’m heading to London in May.

    Post a Reply
  4. First of all – waytaGO, Tigger on scoring those seats! 😉

    That said, though I too have never heard of “Wizz Air” (though I HAVE flown “Scoot Air” in Asia), I must say, the name would seem a dead give away. I mean… so once you’ve bought your ticket, you can tell all your friends:

    “Um, yeah, I’m gonna take a Wizz…” 😉

    Post a Reply
  5. I’ve never flown with Wizz Air but I had similar experiences with other airlines, low cost ones. As you said delays can always happen, but when they aren’t handled very well and there isn’t a clear communication to the passengers like in your case, it gets very annoying and frustrating because you never know exactly what’s going on.

    Post a Reply
    • Yep! I understand delays. Stuff happens. Just communicate them. And if you’re going to give people vouchers, at least enable them to buy a sandwich and a can of soda. Sheesh

      Post a Reply
  6. Oh no sounds awful! I flew with Wizz Air a couple of time, Paris-Poznan and Bucharest-Milan if I’m not mistaken and thankfully I didn’t have any problem with them. Found them better than Ryan Air haha!

    Post a Reply
  7. I had actually never heard of Wizz Air before – but then again I am not sure if I am too keen to try them out now 🙂 I really love the private lounge at the airport though. What a great idea!

    Post a Reply
    • The private lounge thing was perfect. Such a more relaxing way to wait around. And if you’re traveling in a group or with kids, it’s even better!

      Post a Reply
  8. Perfect timing for helping to set our expectations. We are flying Wizz in a few weeks from Spain to Budapest. Fingers crossed it all goes well. As it stands we arrive after 11pm, so I am hoping for no delays.

    Post a Reply
  9. Remember when I got stuck over New Year’s in Romania? Yeah, that was Wizz Air. I complained enough to get a free flight after they gave me bad advice. They’re definitely not the worst, but far from the best, too!

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *