Wizz Air passengers 'refused compensation' after Cardiff flight lands in Bristol Airport
Passengers who were left "abandoned" at Bristol Airport when their flight to Cardiff was diverted claim they have been refused compensation, despite having to fork out hundreds of pounds to pay for a taxi home.
Holidaymakers travelling on the Wizz Air flight from Corfu to Cardiff last Sunday (July 3) were diverted to Bristol after an incident at Cardiff Airport meant they were unable to land there.
The incident, which saw a light aircraft go off the end of the runway, meant the airfield was closed for nearly an hour.
Those on the Wizz Air flight - which was due to arrive back in Cardiff just after 1pm - were then forced to wait on the plane on the Bristol Airport runway for several hours, before being told they would not be flying back to Cardiff at all and had to get off the plane.
Some of the passengers on the flight have claimed they were refused any food or water by Wizz Air staff on-board as they waited on the runway and were given limited information about the flight's status or whether they would be flying to Cardiff as planned.
Passengers were then faced with the challenge of getting back home, with many of them having left their cars at Cardiff Airport.
This meant that families were forced to pay hundreds of pounds for taxis to take them back to Wales, having waited in vain for alternative transport to be arranged.
Now, one couple who were on the flight have claimed that their application to get compensation has been rejected by Wizz Air.
Instead, they say the airline told them that the closure of the airfield in Cardiff fell under "extraordinary circumstances" and therefore no money was due to the passengers who were left on the plane for hours before having to make their own way home.
Ian Walters and his wife Kate travelled on the flight with their two young children and have described their experience as "shambolic".
Ian said: "Obviously there's nothing the airline could do about the circumstances in Cardiff. But following that, it was just an absolute shambles.
"They weren't allowed to serve us any food or anything when we landed in Bristol, so we had a starving three-year-old and a six-year-old climbing all over us, screaming and crying. It was a nightmare really.
"There was pretty much no information fed back to us and it was just one thing after another the whole time. We were on the plane, on the tarmac, for around two and a half hours in the end.
Ian and Kate ended up paying £166 for a taxi back to Cardiff Airport.
Ian said: "We just needed to get the kids back home. We asked if any other families wanted to share and another family of four agreed to it.
"When we arrived at Cardiff Airport, all of the staff and captain were just coming out of the terminal having just flown the plane back home. In the end we were back home at 10pm, when we would have expected to be back at 2pm."
Having been forced to fork out hundreds to get home, the couple hoped to get some money back from the airline, but claim they have had their application dismissed.
In a response to their claim, Wizz Air said: "We confirm that flight W9 5814 CFU-BRS on 03/07/2022 was delayed/ cancelled as a result of airport/ runway limitations.
"The above referenced circumstances, as per the European Regulations 261/2004 fall into the category of Extraordinary Circumstances, therefore we regret to inform you that no compensation is due." In response, Ian has described the airline's lack of action as "absolutely shocking".
A spokesperson for Bristol Airport said responsibility for arranging onward travel for any diverted flight in UK airports lies with the airline.
Wizz Air was contacted for comment.