Man Called in Authorities to Airline for Refund After Family Flight's Last-Minute Cancellation
He refused to take a loss after his flight was cancelled.
Traveling can be an amazing experience but sometimes results in a nightmare. Nearly every traveler has experienced the wrath of a delayed or canceled flight, resulting in not making an important event, losing a reservation, or being forced to pay for a trip that you never get to go on. However, for many, there is little that can be done in terms of reparation. One man refused to let the airline get the best of him after a canceled flight forced him to buy another extremely expensive plane ticket to his destination, sending enforcement agents to the airline to recoup the money he spent.
The Family's Flight to Portugal Was Cancelled
Russell Quirk was traveling to Portugal when his Wizz Air flight was canceled. Wizzair is a European ultra-low-cost carrier that is known for its low fares and its "no-frills" service. "There was no explanation, no alternative offered and no apology," he said. "I had to wake my three daughters and tell them we weren't going on holiday – they were very upset."
He Was Forced to Buy Another Ticket and Ended Up Losing Over $5,000
Quirk had already paid for hotels, transfers, and an airport lounge. He was forced to find another flight. Altogether, the tickets with the money lost on the hotel room and other expenses added up to £4,500 ($5,500).
He Took the Airplien to Court
He waited months for the airline to reimburse him to no avail. Instead of taking it as a loss, he went to court. Wizz Air "ignored" the judgment, so the court sent bailiffs to recoup the money. "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," he said.
They Were Forced to Pay
Eventually, the airline paid up and even admitted to wrongdoing, confessing they "fell short of our own aspirations and our customers' expectations." Quirk maintains that how the airline has been treating customers is "shocking, shambolic and shoddy." He continued: "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."
The Airline Apologized
"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," a spokesperson for the airline responded. "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 judgments] where it received the judgment, and is continuing to work to settle all other outstanding claims as quickly as possible."