Dad sends bailiffs to Luton Airport to force Wizz Air to pay him £4.5k
A passenger was forced to send bailiffs to Luton Airport to get his money back from Wizz Air after his family's flights were cancelled at the last minute. Russell Quirk, from Brentwood, Essex, had been booked in to fly to Portugal with his wife and three daughters in May 2022, but the cancellation on the morning of the flight forced him to find a last minute alternative route to Faro, which ended up costing GBP4,500. After months waiting for the airline to reimburse him, he took drastic action and went to court, eventually sending bailiffs to claim the money owed.
READ MORE: Travel expert reveals easy hack that helps you bag an entire row on a flightRussell was due to fly with his family to Faro, Portugal, in May half-term 2022 (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)
Wizz Air paid up following the visit and apologised to Mr Quirk saying the case "fell short of our own aspirations and our customers' expectations". The airline is one of many facing court cases over cancelled flights last year. Mr Quirk told the BBC he received a message on the morning of the flight telling him it was cancelled, adding: "There was no explanation, no alternative offered and no apology, I had to wake my three daughters and tell them we weren't going on holiday - they were very upset."
But having already booked hotels transfers and an airport lounge, his only option was to find another flight which he managed to book for the next day. He says the total cost of these flights combined with money lost by missing a day of his hotel booking added up to GBP4,500. On his return it took two months to get Wizz Air to refund the cost of the original flights along with legal compensation, but the airline would not acknowledge his GBP4,500 'consequential losses' figure.
After taking the case to County Court and winning Mr Quirk said Wizz Air were ignoring the judgement made against them, forcing him to send in the bailiffs to the airline's desk at Luton Airport. "Their option was to hand over the money or the bailiffs would take it in goods - it might have been chairs, tables, computers or an aircraft," said Mr Quirk.The bailiffs were sent to the Wizz Air stand at Luton Airport (Image: MyLondon)
Taking the case to court cost him a total of GBP180 with an extra GBP60 to send bailiffs in, but it was absolutely worth it for Mr Quirk. He said: "Increasingly businesses are thinking they can treat customers like dirt and I'm determined to eradicate that.
"My message is, where big companies stonewall you, if you persevere you can get what is owed to you." A spokesperson for Wizz Air said: "In the summer of 2022, due to unprecedented levels of disruption across Europe and the UK which affected the entire industry, we fell short of our own aspirations and our customers' expectations. "When things went wrong, we did not react quickly enough to manage the high volume of customer claims that resulted from this disruption.
We are sorry about this and we are working to ensure that our customers' experience with Wizz is better this year. "Since December, Wizz has paid all CCJs [county court judgements] where it received the judgment, and is continuing to work to settle all other outstanding claims as quickly as possible." Want more from MyLondon?
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