Airline that flies out of Cardiff airport slammed by regulator for ‘unacceptable’ behaviour
An airline that flies out of Cardiff airport 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 Wizz Air which is also delaying paying money owed to passengers.
Cardiff is one of only 10 UK airports used by the Hungarian airline, whose British departures were an average of 14 minutes and 24 seconds behind schedule in 2021.
Some 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.
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 have “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, has “raised significant concerns for the CAA”, she explained.
Ms Bowles went on: “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.
“We understand the payment of County Court Judgments may continue into January, but we are encouraging Wizz Air to ensure that the payment of these is also prioritised.
“We will continue to monitor the situation.”
She added the CAA “won’t hesitate to take further action” where it has evidence that an airline is “letting passengers down”.
Analysis published in August found that it was the worst airline for flight delays from UK airports last year.
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