Everything you need to know about flying Wizz Air
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Europe has a huge range of low-cost carriers that provide affordable, no-frills options to hundreds of destinations in dozens of countries.
Wizz Air has quickly grown from its humble beginnings in Eastern Europe to now be the seventh-largest airline in Europe by number of passengers carried, ahead of Easyjet.
Here is everything you need to know about flying Wizz Air.
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Where do Wizz Air fly from and fly to?
As a Hungarian-based airline, Wizz Air has historically connected Western Europe with Eastern Europe. They have a comprehensive route network from the United Kingdom to various primary and secondary airports in Eastern Europe, especially Hungary, Poland and Romania.
At the time of publication, Wizz Air operates from the following U.K. Airports:
- Aberdeen Airport
- Belfast International Airport
- Birmingham Airport
- Bristol Airport
- Cardiff Airport
- Doncaster Sheffield Airport
- Edinburgh Airport
- Liverpool John Lennon Airport
- London Gatwick Airport
- London Luton Airport
- London Southend Airport
- Teesside International Airport
They are the largest airline at London Luton Airport, their largest U.K. base. They are also greatly increasing operations from London Gatwick this summer.
In recent years, Wizz Air has also added numerous nonstop flights from the United Kingdom to destinations outside of Eastern Europe, including Spain, Italy, Greece, Israel, Portugal, Iceland and Morocco.
What aircraft do Wizz Air operate?
The airline exclusively operates aircraft from the Airbus A320 family. They currently have a fleet of more than 140 aircraft, made up of Airbus A320s and A321s. All aircraft are configured in a one-class all-economy configuration.
What can I expect from a Wizz Air flight?
Wizz is an ultra-low-cost carrier. In exchange for a headline fare costing as little as a few pounds, you will need to pay more for the following optional extras:
- A full-sized cabin bag;
- Checked baggage;
- Seat selection; and
- Airport check-in (online is free).
Wizz advertises 30 inches of seat pitch, though TPG’s measurements were only 29 inches. If you are tall you are likely to find the legroom very tight. The seats do not recline.
You can currently purchase three different fare types:
- Basic which only includes a small carry-on that must be placed under the seat in front of you
- Wizz Go which includes an additional full-sized cabin bag, 20kg checked bag, free seat selection (excluding upfront and extra legroom seats), priority boarding and check-in
- Wizz Plus & Flex which includes the ability to select premium seats, up to 32kgs of checked baggage, free airport check-in and the flexibility to change or refund your flight.
You can also choose to add options individually, such as if you only want a checked bag but don’t need a bundle including cabin baggage and priority boarding.
How do I check-in for a Wizz Air flight?
One of the unique things about the airline is that you can check-in online for your flight 30 days before departure rather than the 24/48 hours time offered by most other airlines. You can also check-in online up to three hours before the departure of your flight and choose to print your boarding pass.
Note you can only do online check-in this far in advance if you have paid for seat selection (either as a fare bundle that includes seat selection, or you have purchased separately). If you haven’t purchased seat selection you can only check-in online up to 48 hours before departure.
Most Wizz Air flights allow you to check-in using their mobile app.
Airport check-in opens two hours before departure and closes 40 minutes before departure. Some airports have slightly different check-in times, such as Tel Aviv (TLV) because of their additional security procedures.
Boarding is advertised as closing 30 minutes before departure.
How does Wizz Air compare to other airlines?
Wizz is similar to Ryanair and EasyJet in that all three are now ultra-low-cost airlines. You will need to pay extra for everything like luggage and food and drinks. The airline will get from point A to B, but doesn’t promise much more than that. The fast growth of Wizz as an airline is partially down to being able to offer this consistent product at a very low price.
Don’t expect British Airways or Virgin Atlantic levels of service though you may find the cabin crew a little cheerier than those working for Ryanair.
Does Wizz Air have a loyalty programme?
No. You can’t earn points and miles for your flight beyond those earned from the credit card you have paid with.
However, there’s a way you can make the cost of your Wizz Air fare even lower. Wizz Discount Club is a yearly membership service at the following costs:
- €29.99 per year for the member and one companion
- €59.99 per year for the member and up to five companions.
Members (and their included companions on the same booking) can enjoy the following benefits on every Wizz flight:
- At least €10 discount per flight (discount varies based on ticket price and route)
- At least €5 discount on each checked luggage purchase
- Access to exclusive sales and other offers.
It’s fairly easy to recoup the yearly membership fee on a single booking, especially if travelling with someone else and paying for checked luggage. If you are planning to book more than a few Wizz flights each year, it could be a great investment. You can join Wizz Discount Club here.
Wizz also has a much more expensive yearly membership scheme called Privilege Club, which for €199 per year provides free seat selection, priority boarding and a free full-sized cabin bag. You will need to fly Wizz very regularly to recoup this cost over the course of a year.
If you are looking for the cheapest flights across Europe, Wizz Air is likely to be your best bet. They are a true ultra-low-cost carrier, charging extra for absolutely everything.
If you know their rules and set your expectations accordingly you can enjoy low fares, an astonishingly comprehensive route network, especially to lesser-known airports in Eastern Europe and a cheap and cheerful, no-nonsense experience.
Featured image by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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