Luton-based budget airline Wizz Air slammed by regulator for 'unacceptable' behaviour

The low-cost carrier launched in the UK in 2018. Credit: PA

Wizz Air has been slammed by the aviation regulator for "unacceptable" behaviour as its passengers are far more likely to make escalated complaints than those of other airlines.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it has "significant concerns" about the low-cost carrier which is also delaying paying money owed to passengers.

The airline, which has its UK base at Luton Airport, started flying from the airport in 2018. But the CAA says 811 grievances per million Wizz Air passengers on UK flights were brought to independent bodies between July and September.

With the exception of Royal Brunei Airlines, which had 555 escalated complaints per million passengers, the rates for all other airlines were fewer than half of Wizz Air's.

The airline is based at Luton Airport

Escalated complaint rates per million passengers at other airlines included easyJet (245), Ryanair (235) and British Airways (166).

The figures relate to complaints taken to either Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes or the CAA by passengers unhappy with an airline's response to their initial report of a problem.

Many airlines and airports are members of ADR bodies, which are independent third parties that consider facts and make binding decisions.

CAA head of consumer policy and enforcement Anna Bowles said passengers had "every right" to expect their complaints and claims to be resolved "quickly and efficiently", and to be "treated fairly" by airlines.

Wizz Air's delays in processing and paying claims, combined with the "large number" of County Court Judgments made against it, "raised significant concerns for the CAA", she explained.

Ms Bowles said: "We have made it clear to Wizz Air that its behaviour is unacceptable and that we expect overdue complaints and claims to be resolved in advance of Christmas."

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