When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.
That is unless you want to take a “Wizz” in the United Kingdom. For the second year running, the Hungarian carrier-led UK airlines by being an average of 46 minutes and 4 seconds behind schedule for departure in 2022. While they took the crown in 2021, this also represented the airline becoming three times worse than the year before.
Studying airlines flying over 2,500 complete runs in 2022, the winning airline provides short-haul flights from airports in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Gatwick, Luton, Liverpool, and Bristol. Between all airlines surveyed, 23 minutes of delay was average. On the flip side of the coin, Norwegian Air Shuttle came in best with only 13 minutes and 42 seconds of average delay.
Rory Boland, editor of the magazine “Which Travel” told the BBC “These figures are worrying, but will be no surprise to passengers who’ve had to endure shoddy treatment from airlines for years.” While their CAA (similar to the US’s own FAA) can take action against the airlines for their failures, the court cases can easily take years to reach conclusion and do little to help the traveler.
CAA consumer director Paul Smith took a special exemption with Wizz. “When things do go wrong, we expect airlines to proactively provide passengers with information about their rights when flights are disrupted, as well as offer timely support and assistance…We’ve already raised concerns about Wizz Air and are working closely with the airline to improve outcomes for consumers.”
In 2022, the airline cut service to Wales, listing operational costs and the current economic climate for their end of service. Given the outrage from pilot’s unions over their chief executive Jozsef Varadi telling staff to go “the extra mile” when exhausted and just keep flying. This risk to passengers and crew was unacceptable, and at this point, it’s a wonder anyone can Wizz in the UK.