Worksop family's refund fight after Wizz Air cancels holiday hours after booking

A family say they are facing a battle to get a refund after their £1,400 plane tickets were cancelled just hours after they were booked.

Daniel Wilkinson and his family, from Worksop, were due to fly to Alicante from Doncaster Sheffield Airport with operator Wizz Air in August.

But, just six hours after handing over the money, they received an email to say the flights had been scrapped.

The family-of-five were offered a voucher by the company, but were told nothing about a refund.

Mr Wilkinson, who runs a salvage yard, said they are now going through a convoluted process to try to get the money back.

He said: "They're offering a service that they know they can't give but they're still taking the money. The least they could do is issue an instant refund so that you're able to book another flight.

"I just feel that they've completely ripped us off. The flight never had any intentions of going. They must have known that flight was never going to happen.

"We've never used Wizz Air before and we'll never use them again."

Wizz Air announced last week it was cancelling a large number of flights to and from Doncaster Sheffield Airport from 10 June. 

The low-cost airline said the airport was unable to guarantee the terms of its commercial agreement.

Wizz Air said affected passengers would be contacted by email and offered the opportunity to rebook or get a refund.

But some travellers who booked through external sites have had no communication with providers about their flights.

'It's been a really stressful time'

Steve Corkan, from Doncaster, booked his holiday through On the Beach. He flew out to Tenerife last week, only to be told mid-flight that the return journey had been cancelled.

He has had to book an alternative flight with another airline to Manchester Airport and onward travel back to Doncaster.

He said: "I boarded the plane, we set off and then the Wizz Air cabin crew announced the flight back had been cancelled. I've had to spend money on another flight, which has come out of my own pocket, back to Manchester a day before I was due to return home and then a train back to Doncaster.

"It's been a really stressful time and it has affected my holiday a lot. I'm just trying to enjoy it now."

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "When people purchase tickets they rightly expect to travel, and to be provided with a high level of customer service, including informing passengers of their rights when flights are cancelled or delayed.

"I’ve met with the sector to express my concerns about recent delays and cancellations and have made clear that this cannot be tolerated as we head into the first post-Covid summer holiday period. We have also recently run a consultation on a range of consumer rights issues, including additional powers for the Civil Aviation Authority to enforce consumer rights, and we will publish a response on this in due course."

But Labour is calling for better legislation to ensure passengers are compensated properly if their holidays are cancelled.

Shadow Transport Secretary, Louise Haigh, said: "Clearly we need to see legislation ahead of the summer for automatic compensation not least so that the airline industry knows if they're going to be cancelling flights they're going to have to pay properly for it. Passengers want to be able to book with confidence and know that if anything happens they're getting full compensation."

Wizz Air has yet to respond to requests for comment.

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