Surprisingly Easy: My Wizz Air Compensation Claim

On a recent Wizz Air flight to Italy I was hit with a delay which allowed me to claim compensation from Wizz Air.

Although the airline does not have the best reputation when it comes to fast pay-outs of claims, I was actually surprised how easy and quick the process was for me.

wizz air flight bucharest
A Wizz Air Airbus A320neo at Bucharest Otopeni Airport. ©Paliparan

EC/261 compensation delay

Even before leaving my home for Bucharest Airport to fly to Treviso, I received both a text message and an email from Wizz Air informing me that my flight had been delayed.

Instead of the scheduled departure time of 1.30 pm, the flight was now rescheduled to depart at 4.20 pm.

A quick look at Flightradar24 learned that a completely different plane than originally planned was scheduled to operate my flight to Treviso.

Instead of the originally assigned plane, our flight would be operated by another Airbus A321 after it had completed its morning run from Bucharest to Madrid and back again.

This strongly hinted at some kind of operational problems, as the plane originally scheduled to operate my flight had been parked the entire morning at Brussels Charleroi Airport, presumably due to some kind of technical issue.

As any avgeek knows, if your intra-European flight is delayed by a minimum of three hours and the airline is to blame for it (which it is in case of such operational problems), you have the right to EC/261 delay compensation.

eu brussels ec/261 passenger rights
In the European Union, a regulation called EC/261 outlines your rights as an airline passenger, including possible compensation for delays and cancellations. ©Paliparan

Bucharest Airport

Unfortunately, I couldn’t risk spending more time at home because I had to leave for the airport early in case Wizz Air still found another way to operate our flight a bit earlier than the delayed departure time.

Although the gate area in the basement of Bucharest Otopeni Airport was insanely crowded, Wizz Air handled the delay quite well.

According to EC/261 regulations, the airline has a duty of care to its passengers in case of a long delay and has to provide food and drinks or reimburse passengers for such costs.

The gate agents handed out sandwiches and bottled water to all passengers of the Wizz Air flight to Treviso, which is perfectly acceptable for a delay of around 3 hours.

duty of care snack water
The gate agents handed out sandwiches and water to the passengers of my delayed flight. ©Paliparan

Flight to Treviso

Boarding through the bus gate commenced precisely 2 hours and 35 minutes after the flight’s originally scheduled departure time.

Knowing that it would take quite some time to board a fully booked Airbus A321 with a total of 230 passengers, I realised that this flight would be a close call when it came down to claiming compensation or not.

Under EC/261 regulation, the crucial factor for determining delay compensation is the delay upon arrival at the final destination airport, not the delay at departure or an intermediate point on your itinerary.

Simply put, if the delay would be more than 3 hours I would be entitled to receive 250 euro compensation from Wizz Air.

If the delay was less than 3 hours, I would not be eligible for compensation.

wizz air claim compensation treviso
Boarding my Wizz Air flight to Treviso. ©Paliparan

Landing at Treviso Airport

Flying with a low-cost airline like Wizz Air is normally a rather uninteresting affair at best – but this flight was entirely different.

Once we crossed the Adriatic Sea and started our descent towards Treviso Airport, my eyes were constantly glued to the screen of my phone to check the time.

Our landing turned out to be a nail-biter similar to Max Verstappen’s final lap overtake over Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to clinch the Formula 1 Championship in what was one of the most dramatic ever sporting wins.

At times, it appeared that the pilots had successfully reduced our delay and that we would land within the 3-hour delay limit.

We eventually touched down on the runway of Treviso Airport at 5.48pm, being 3 hours and 3 minutes late.

I was certainly relieved to find out that I was eligible to claim the 250 euro EC/261 delay compensation by just 3 minutes!

venice treviso airport wizz air
Flying over the Gulf of Venice on approach to Venice Treviso Airport. ©Paliparan
landing treviso
On final approach to Treviso Airport. ©Paliparan
wizz air flight delay compensation claim
Touchdown! Exactly 3 hours and 3 minutes late.. ©Paliparan

Claiming compensation

The flight to Treviso was my 76th ever Wizz Air flight and the first one on which I had a significant delay.

I had therefore no experience claiming compensation from Wizz Air and I was certainly curious how long it would take.

I heard from some friends that the compensation process with Wizz Air can be lengthy, as it took them several months to receive a response and payment for their claims.

Indeed, in the UK Wizz Air has quite a bad reputation in this regard as the airline failed to pay out passengers in 401 cases even after a court had ruled against the airline.

Filing my delay compensation claim was however an easy affair.

Wizz Air has an online claim form that requires passengers to log in with their flight details or Wizz Air profile credentials to file a compensation request.

You have the option to choose between cash or a higher amount of money in Wizz Air credit when claiming compensation from the airline.

As the average price of all my Wizz Air flights is probably around the €15 mark, and I don’t usually fly with low-cost airlines if a flight is above 50 euro, I chose cash money over Wizz Air credit as it’s much more valuable to me.

After filling out the compensation claim form and attaching a Flightradar24 screenshot as proof of the delay, I submitted my claim and began the waiting process for a response from Wizz Air.

wizz air flight delay
It’s always good to have proof if you file a claim with an airline. ©Paliparan/Flightradar24

Bank transfer

I filed my compensation claim two days after my flight and almost instantly received an email that it would take Wizz Air up to 30 days to answer to it.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised to receive a second email 6 days later acknowledging my claim.

It read: “Please be informed that after reviewing your case, we would like to confirm that you are eligible to receive compensation in the amount of EUR 250 for your flight OTP – TSF 3161 on 27/04/2023 in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.”

The email also stated that the money would be deposited on my bank account within 10 business days.

In the end, the money was already on my account within 2 work days after receiving the email, which really was lightning fast.

Last year’s experiences with compensation claims filed with British Airways and LOT Polish Airlines took between 1 and 2 months before the money was finally transferred to my account, so Wizz Air’s response time was certainly a lot faster to my great surprise.

treviso dinner italian food
A nice Italian dinner to celebrate the €250 earned with my delayed flight. ©Paliparan


Despite the negative reputation that Wizz Air has when it comes to compensating passengers, I was pleasantly surprised by how fast and easy the compensation claim process was for me.

Not only was it extremely easy to file a claim for my delayed flight, the 250 euro in EC/261 compensation was paid out swiftly too.

I do hope my positive experience is not a one-off and that it indicates Wizz Air is committed to paying out compensation claims in a timely matter.

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Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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