Doncaster Sheffield Airport: Passenger chaos continues as Wizz Air blame game rumbles on

Holidaymakers are facing more flight chaos as the blame game between budget airline Wizz Air and Doncaster Sheffield Airport rumbles on after scores of flights were axed.

By Darren Burke
Monday, 6th June 2022, 1:58 pm

Passengers say they have been left in the dark and facing disruption to their holiday plans after Wizz unexpectedly announced it was pulling ‘a large number’ of flights out of Doncaster following a dispute with airport chiefs.

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But bosses at Doncaster-Sheffield Airport were blindsided by the announcement from Wizz, saying the first they knew of it was when the airline released details of its decision to the media last Friday afternoon amid the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Wizz Air's announcement has caused disruption for hundreds of passengers.

Wizz however says that DSA bosses were informed ahead of the announcement.

In a brief statement, Wizz said: “This decision is unfortunately a result of Doncaster Sheffield Airport indicating that it is unable to guarantee the terms of its commercial agreement with Wizz Air.”

Neither Wizz or DSA has clarified what the terms of the commercial agreement are or whether the airline has pulled out of the airport for good.

Passengers have reacted with fury at the news which has left many facing holiday disruption.

Bianca Richardson said: “Just got two emails from them, had flights booked for Faro in July and Malaga in August, both got cancelled.

“Earlier this year they cancelled our flight to Krakow, I just give up with this company, gonna have to try and find flights with a different company on the same dates so that our holiday won’t be completely ruined. What a joke of a company, never again.”

Cathie Mitchell wrote: “Just had a email our flight cancelled for Malaga in September,” while Shona Ross added: “Just got my email, flight to Larnaca cancelled September. Re- booked to go from Luton but cost more money!

Ray Officer added: “Cancelled my flight to Cyprus in September and flight back in October.”

Martyn Didcott added: “I have just had 3 emails from Wizz Air. All my flights to and from Majorca in July have been cancelled with no reason stated. Disgusting.”

Asked to further clarify its statement, a spokesman for Wizz said the firm had been dealing with “multiple enquiries” and added: “As a result there is not much more we can add to the statement already circulated beyond the following responses from Wizz Air.”

On Friday, the airline said it would be cancelling ‘a large number’ of flights from June 10 including to holiday hotspots such as Malaga, Alicante, Tenerife and Lanzarote.

In a statement, Wizz Air said: “It is with deep regret that we have had to take the difficult but responsible decision to cancel a large number of Wizz Air flights to/from Doncaster Sheffield Airport from 10 June 2022.

“Passengers with bookings affected by this will be contacted via email with advice on all their options, which include: rebooking, a full refund, or 120 per cent of the original fare in airline credit.

“This decision is unfortunately a result of Doncaster Sheffield Airport indicating that it is unable to guarantee the terms of its commercial agreement with Wizz Air.

“Our priority is to minimise the overall disruption to our UK customers and protect the employment of our crew.

“As such, Doncaster Sheffield Airport based pilots and cabin crew have today received notification of this news, and have been offered the opportunity to fly out of another base in the UK.

“Given the current challenging operational environment in the travel industry, in particular with staff shortages within air traffic control and at airports, this decision also stabilises our operations at other UK bases to help minimise disruption and delay as much as possible.

“Despite unprecedented difficulties in the travel industry over the past two years, Wizz Air remains committed to long-term growth in the UK, creating hundreds of direct jobs while also stimulating the tourism and hospitality industries. We sincerely apologise to our customers in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire for the inconvenience this has caused.”

A spokesperson for Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: ‘Regrettably, it appears that Wizz Air has taken the decision to cancel a large number of flights at Doncaster Sheffield Airport from 10 June 2022.

“Unfortunately, DSA only became aware of this decision through a statement to the media this afternoon. We are attempting to obtain further clarification from the airline on their decision and its impact on passengers.

“We understand that passengers with bookings affected by this may be contacted by Wizz Air via email today with advice on all their options, which include: rebooking, a full refund, or 120% of the original fare in airline credit.”

Affected flights will include flights to Lanzarote, Malaga, Alicante, Fuerteventura, Larnaca, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife, Dalaman, Faro, Kosice, Gran Canaria, Riga and Lublin, although some of these will be winter schedule flight only.

Unaffected flights include flights from Cluj, Gdansk, Krakow, Katowice, Otopeni, Poznan, Vilnius, Warsaw and Wroclaw to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.