Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Can Wizzair hide from their customers like this?
Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Monday 29 October 2012
Q. As a previous customer of Wizz Air I have been told that their cabin-baggage policy has been changed. A new charge is being introduced for "airline standard size bags", which previously would have been free. I am appalled to discover that the only way I can contact Wizz Air to protest is via a premium telephone line. They offer no email or post contact details. Can this company legitimately hide from their customers in this way?
A. Just to explain what Wizz Air is doing: the airline, which connects Eastern Europe with the West - and has a strong presence in Luton - has followed the lead of a US airline and reduced the size of the free carry-on bag that passengers are allowed. Only a bag small enough to fit under the seat in front of you is permitted. To take a bigger case on board, you must book it in advance for a fee of £9.
The airline says this is not a revenue-raising exercise, but instead aims to tackle the delays caused by excessive cabin baggage - and indeed should lead to lower fares by increasing efficiency.
I was intrigued to find that that there appears to be no easy way to make an online comment about this policy to Wizz Air; the website only allows complaints about a specific flight. I have, though, tracked down a postal address: Wizz Air Hungary Ltd, BUD International Airport Building 221, H-1185 Budapest Hungary.
Personally, though, I would save the 87p price of a stamp. The most effective way to protest at the move is to fly with a different airline that doesn't (yet) charge for a big cabin bag.
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