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Wizz Air Denied Boarding: Claiming Compensation When Flight Overbooked

Wizz Air Denied Boarding: Claiming Compensation When Flight Overbooked
Jeremiah Awogboro
Written By Jeremiah Awogboro
Last Updated: May 10, 2024

UK airports had a rocky year in 2023, with flight disruptions affecting 45 million passengers. Wizz Air was also caught up in industry regulations after being forced to pay £1.2 million to about 6,000 passengers after years of complaints against the carrier. Notwithstanding, it served 60.3 million passengers in 2023, a 32% increase from its 2022 performance.

While the airline surged forward with improved performance and a larger fleet in 2023, overbooking still popped up now and then. One passenger, LesleyW, reported being involuntarily denied boarding despite paying for priority boarding in April 2022.  The exact words were:

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paid for priority boarding but put on standby and not allowed on flight.

If you’re bumped from a flight because it’s been oversold, AirAdvisor’s experts are here to help defend your rights.

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What is Overbooking and Why Does It Happen

Some passengers do not turn up for their flights, resulting in empty seats on the plane that can cause losses for airlines. Carriers sell more tickets than the number of seats on the flight to avoid this scenario and maximise profits for each trip.

The practice of selling more tickets than available seats is called overbooking. Carriers often use advanced algorithms to determine how much overbooking they need for a particular flight. They analyse the no-show rate for that route and the travel season, among other factors.

Sometimes, airlines get away with overbooking by having the right number of passengers show up. Other times, they end up with more passengers than the seats available on the flight. This scenario will require a few passengers to give up their seats and take alternatives.

The carrier will call for volunteers, offering various incentives. They do this according to their in-house policies, and volunteers can negotiate the compensation. For example, EasyJet provides a bidding system where volunteers can bid on the amount if it boils down to denied boarding.

Some passengers may be involuntarily denied boarding if the carrier cannot get enough volunteers. Carriers use their boarding policies to determine who to deny boarding. Notwithstanding, they must provide compensation or alternative flights to the affected passengers.

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Did Wizz Air overbook your flight and deny you boarding without your consent?

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Regulations and Passenger Rights in Case of Wizz Air Overbooking

Passengers who are denied boarding have rights to compensation under UK laws. The UK Civil Authority has regulations to guide carriers in compensating affected passengers. These passenger rights protect those who volunteer as well as those who are involuntarily denied boarding.

One of your primary rights as a volunteer is the freedom to negotiate your compensation. Notwithstanding, Wizz Air will only offer reasonable compensation when you give up your seat willingly.

AirAdvisor’s experts are well acquainted with UK laws regarding overbooked flight compensation for volunteers and those who get bumped. We will share these with you, including company policies on overbooked flights.

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Involuntary Denied Boarding

Wizz Air offers three rights to passengers who are involuntarily denied boarding. These include the following:

  • Right to reimbursement or rerouting
  • Right to care
  • Right to compensation

You can choose between reimbursement or rerouting. The reimbursement right allows you to get a refund for parts of the journey already covered if the flight no longer serves the purpose of your original travel plan. In some instances, Wizz Air may offer a flight ticket back to the first departure point.

The right to care depends on the delay time incurred because of the bumped flight experience. For two- to four-hour delays on short and long-haul flights, the carrier will provide refreshments and meals. These will be reasonable amounts according to the delay time.

Two telephone calls, faxes, and emails are also included in your right to care. You can fend for yourself if Wizz Air doesn’t provide these benefits. Just keep the receipts, and the carrier will reimburse you.

Overnight delays come with hotel accommodation and transport to and from the accommodation. You can also return home if possible and the carrier will still provide transportation services.

These rights and other compensation packages will apply if you adhere to the carrier’s fair boarding practices. You must show up on time and check in to be eligible for overbooked flight compensation when denied boarding involuntarily.

Also, these services will be provided immediately to cushion the bumped flight experience. You can always submit claims if that doesn’t happen. Ensure you’ve spoken to an AirAdvisor expert before submitting your compensation claims.

Passengers boarding a Wizz Air flight

Voluntary Denied Boarding

Giving up your seat willingly if Wizz Air overbooking occurs comes with several benefits. Some are fixed and optional, while others are negotiable between you and Wizz Air. With that in mind, you can pick from the following options while negotiating extra benefits:

  • You have the right to re-route to a Wizz Air flight or another carrier under comparable transport conditions to your original destination. However, this right is subject to the availability of seats and may also be time-dependent on when you’ll get the next available flight.
  • You have the right to reimbursement for parts of the journey not made, and for parts you’ve already made. These rights hold if the flight no longer serves any purpose in your original travel plan. In addition, you can rebook a return Wizz Air flight or on another airline under comparable transport conditions to return to your first departure point.
  • You have the right to receive credit for the complete value of your payment in relevant sectors. This credit will be available for use on any Wizz Air flight.

Your Other Rights When Bumped

You can avoid getting bumped by skipping an overbooked flight. The sales agent is obliged to inform you if the flight is overbooked, but you must ask first.

Wizz Air will refund all the parts of your ticket that are still unused if you want. That is part of the denied boarding compensation, but it is your choice. You can choose an alternative flight or a refund.

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Wizz Air Denied Boarding Compensation – How Much You Can Get

The UK Civil Aviation Authority’s rates for compensation provide a guide. Airlines can offer higher amounts and other benefits, like vouchers.

The table below shows the compensation depending on the distance of the intended flight:

Distance

Compensation

1500 Km or less

£220 (€250)

Between 1501 Km and 3500 Km, including intra-community (EU-EEA) flights between the same distance

£350 (€400)

Over 3500 Km flights in the case of non-intra-community (EU-EEA) flights

£520 (€600)

Wizz Air may reduce the compensation by 50% if the new arrival time does not exceed the original arrival time by the following:

  • Two hours for all flights within 1500 Km
  • Three hours for all flights between 1500 Km and 3500 Km
  • Four hours for all flights exceeding 3500 Km
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We work on a No-Win, No-Fee basis

AirAdvisor is happy to help with your claim, so you can avoid the stress of dealing with airlines and complicated laws.

Our AirAdvisor experts have worked with over 250,000 passengers, ensuring they receive adequate compensation for involuntary denied boarding. We are more than happy to help you. Here’s what you should do when denied boarding on an overbooked flight:

  1. Produce copies of all your travel documents, including any written statements from Wizz Air. Your boarding pass, e-ticket, baggage tags, etc. are acceptable.
  2. Record additional expenses, like meals or refreshments, caused by delays. Collect receipts for them.
  3. Open the AirAdvisor homepage and speak with our compensation experts.
  4. Provide all relevant details and documentation.
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You can submit a reimbursement claim on Wizz Air’s official website. However, you must have an active account to log in and fill out the form.

Wizz Air flight

Exceptions: When You Are Not Entitled to a Compensation

The carrier is not obliged to provide compensation if the following happens:

  • You arrive late at the boarding gate.
  • You don’t have a confirmed reservation on the flight
  • You were downgraded to a lower seating class

Airline Policy

You will be ineligible for compensation if any of the following apply:

  • Inadequate space after switching to a smaller aircraft due to unavoidable/uncontrollable circumstances.
  • You pose a health risk to those on board. That is, if you have a communicable illness.
  • You pose a security risk because of unruly behaviour.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I assign my claim to a third party?

Wizz Air allows you to assign a third party to take over your claim. The third party will be entitled to receive your compensation. However, you must provide written notice of the assignment to the third party, including your reservation number, the basis for your claim, and the flight date or number.

How long will it take Wizz Air to respond to my compensation claim?

The carrier will respond to your compensation claim within 30 days.

How will I know if my Wizz Air flight is overbooked?

Ask the sales agent if your flight is overbooked as of when you booked. You will be informed of the number of seats available or if the flight is overbooked.

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