Dad receives £4,500 from airline after sending bailiffs to airport over cancelled flight

A relieved father who lost £4,500 on a last minute cancellation to his holiday finally got his money back after he sent bailiffs to Luton airport.
Russell Quirk, 55, his wife and three daughters, were supposed to be flying out from Luton airport to Faro, Portugal in May last year for a nice family holiday.

However, the property expert from Brentwood, Essex, was shocked to discover that, on the day of the flight, Wizz Air had cancelled the trip.
In a bid to not disappoint his family, the dad-of-four purchased a new, last-minute flight to Portugal - which was over four times his original £700 fee.

After coming back from holiday, the dad was forced to wait months for the airline to send him a refund.

During that time he went to court to get compensation from Wizz Air.

But because the airline 'ignored' his claim for 'consequential losses', Russell then sent bailiffs to the Wizz Air desk at Luton Airport.

Russell, who owns a property PR agency, said: “I had no alternative. I could either take the best available alternative or lose out on £6,000.

“I booked the flights in January 2022 for the flights on May 30, 2022.

''We choose an airline on the availability and the price. We locked in what we thought would be our flights.

"Then they cancelled it three hours before we left the house. We got up at 4am, to leave at 4.30am.

"I checked my emails and low and behold it was a very bland, standard email saying that our flights were cancelled.
“When I got back the saga started again.

“They have a statuary job under EU law to refund in seven days. We got it about a month later.

“Then there’s the question about EU compensation. If a flight cancels and it’s their fault, they have to compensate you.

"It took another five or six weeks. It was shoddily handled.

“I lost a day in Portugal, the hotel which was roughly £1,000, all the cabs to the airport and the lounges. It was £3,900 in total.

“At this point in July or August I've had the refund and the EU compensation I'm still out of a pocket."

Russell, of Shenfield, Essex, continued: "I thought the only alternative was to send the bailiffs. I filled out a form and paid the I gave them the address of Luton Airport and said off you go. They banged on the door and said to pay the £4,500.

"Their option was to hand over the money or the bailiffs would take it in goods, whether that be chairs, tables, computers or an aircraft.

“Wizz Air have paid the money, a fortune in the costs, it’s probably cost them a grand in extra costs."
A spokesperson for Wizz Air told LADbible that the airline 'did not react quickly enough to manage the high volume of customer claims that resulted from this disruption'.

They added: "Since December, Wizz has paid all CCJs where it received the judgment, and is continuing to work to settle all other outstanding claims as quickly as possible.

"This is a complex process and is therefore taking some time. Customers with outstanding CCJs can upload judgments directly to our website or our app for priority processing.

"We are taking this matter extremely seriously and doing all we can to fix these issues and settle all outstanding cases as quickly as possible.

"We are not there yet, but we will continue to improve and are committed to providing better customer service going forward."

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