Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wizz Air: A Low Cost Airline Company with a Terrible Site

Several days ago, I had to make flight reservations at for a couple of flights in Europe. While I haven't made myself sure yet that Wizz Air airline service is also a low quality one in addition to being low cost, I can definitely say that Wizz Air's website is terrible and very user unfriendly.

I have always wondered how it regularly happens that big companies with a considerable amount of constant expenses cannot manage to put aside some resources once in order to create a decent web site. It's even more shocking when talking about companies whose business is very closely related with the Internet. Apparently, Wizz Air's website offers one of those nasty web experiences and frankly speaking, in result of that "user friendliness", I'm quite concerned about the quality of their airline service too.

To start with, there is not a shopping cart at Wizz Air website (so you are not able to make more than one reservation at a time). If you want to buy tickets for several flights, you have to go through the whole process again and again. Of course, if some kind of error happens (and errors do happen often at you'll have to make even more iterations entering your details. It's not the world's end but it's really boring when you do the same thing several times in a row.

The next surprise coming from Wizz Air is that entering your address is mandatorily. But the surprise is even bigger because the address field is so short, you practically cannot enter even a middle-length address. Of course, this makes the requirement for entering your address redundant and mostly annoying because you have to enter something anyway though it is not your actual address.

Now, another weird event follows at You make a reservation for a flight and the prices are shown automatically in a particular currency (probably the one that is somehow considered to be best for you). Then you make a reservation for another flight and oddly enough the currency is automatically changed to another one. In both cases if you decide to choose another currency some unpleasant exchange rate is applied so you unwillingly prefer to keep the automatically proposed one in either case.

Certainly, the above has not been all the charm you can get from Wizz Air's website. Since Wizz Air is a low cost airline company you are charged separately for almost anything that may come to your mind. There are baggage fees, extra legroom seat fees, credit card booking fees, etc. One of the possible fees is for a check-in at the airport. But you have the option to make the check-in online for free at Why not, one could think? Well, if you have a big bag you should go to the check-in counter at the airport in order to deposit it so the web check-in is again a kind of redundant option in many of the cases but anyway...

Let's make an online check-in. You have to enter your Wizz Air flight confirmation code and some additional information and then a couple of forms appear which you must fill in. After doing so you hopefully press the confirmation button but (not so) surprisingly you receive a connection error with a message that probably the lines are overloaded. Naturally, all of your information is lost and you have to enter it again. Well, you make a second attempt and this time you get another error: pnrParseError. At least, one cannot complain of error diversity at Wizz Air's website.

Well, I understand that Wizz Air is a low cost company and they offer cheap services but I don't think it will cost them a fortune to implement a user friendly and working site. After all, if they rely on the size of their customer base, having a crappy website is not the best way to attract returning customers. And it is definitely not a good recommendation for a company in a risky business like airline carriers. How a passenger could expect safe flying after going through such a nasty online experience?

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Rick said...

I have flown more than 100 flights with Wizz Air over the past 4 years, and I think they are far superior to any other so-called "low-cost" airline. Much better than EasyJet, Ryanair or Jet2. The Wizz Air cabin crew are excellent, the planes new, and the variety of destinations offered is growing every year. Of course,the airline is not really designed for Western Europeans. It was conceived specifically for the growing middle markets of Central and Eastern Europe - mainly Hungary, Poland and Romania - but now also Bulgaria, Ukraine and Serbia. So the bases and route structures tend to satisfy these markets. The airline is on an upward dynamic and will become quite prominent over the next few years.

John Moscow said...

Hi Rick,

Everything you've written is probably true but it does not contradict in any way with the content of the article above. These are two separate aspects of the company. :)

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