A man sent bailiffs to Luton Airport to collect money that was owed to him after his family’s flights were cancelled at the last minute.
Russell Quirk, a property expert from Brentwood in Essex, revealed how he was forced to buy new flights for the following day after the cancellations.
On top of the money lost on a night in hotel rooms and other expenses, his total ‘consequential losses’ were £4,500.
After waiting months for Wizz Air to reimburse the money, Mr Quirk went to court and then ended up sending bailiffs.
Wizz Air apologised for the cancellation and paid Mr Quirk his money, saying the airline ‘fell short of our own aspirations and our customers’ expectations’.
Mr Quirk originally booked the flights from Luton Airport to Faro in January last year for a family holiday with his three daughters and wife in the May half-term.
On the morning of their flight he awoke to find a message from Wizz Air saying it was cancelled.
‘There was no explanation, no alternative offered and no apology’, he told the BBC.
‘I had to wake my three daughters and tell them we weren’t going on holiday – they were very upset.’
After returning to the UK from his holiday Mr Quirk said he tried to get compensation from Wizz Air but it took nearly two months for the cost of his original flights to be returned along with other legal compensation.
He said Wizz Air repeatedly ignored his claims for the extra £4,500 he had spent as ‘consequential losses’.
The budget airline company then ‘ignored’ the judgement made against them after Mr Quirk took the case to the county court, so bailiffs were then sent in to the Wizz Air desk at Luton Airport.
The airline could either hand over the money or the equivalent cost in goods, for example in the form of chairs, tables or computers. Wizz Air ended up paying Mr Quirk the money.
The property expert said it cost roughly £180 to take his case to court and £60 to send in the bailiffs.
He added: ‘Increasingly businesses are thinking they can treat customers like dirt and I’m determined to eradicate that.’
A spokesperson for Wizz Air said due to unprecedented levels of disruption across Europe and the UK in the summer of 2022 ‘we fell short of our own aspirations’.
They added: ‘When things went wrong, we did not react quickly enough to manage the high volume of customer claims that resulted from this disruption.’