Last week I had the opportunity to fly with Wizz Air while traveling from Frankfurt to Budapest. As I had never flown with the airline before, I decided to give it a go. Here’s how I found a flight on one of the airline’s Airbus A321neo aircraft.
I was booking flights for two people. As such, a simple ticket just guaranteeing me a spot on the plane would’ve come to €39.98 ($44) per person or a total of €79.96 ($89). However, doing some digging, I discovered that I could join Wizz’s discount club for just €39.99 ($44). This gives €10 ($11) off flight bookings for yourself and a companion. As such, I saved 1¢. However, should I travel with Wizz again, the savings will start building up.
The one thing that disappointed me about booking with Wizz was the number of extras the airline tried to sell you. I’m used to upselling as a frequent Ryanair passenger, however, Wizz took it to the next level offering everything from automatic check-in to insurance for if your flight is delayed longer than an hour.
In the end, I opted to buy priority boarding for one person in each direction at a cost of €27 ($30). This was so that I could take a standard-sized suitcase onto the aircraft, as opposed to being first on the aircraft.
At the airport, I proceeded straight through security and to the gate as I had no checked luggage. Upon arriving at the gate I was relieved to see that we were using a gate with a jetway, somewhat a miracle judging by my past experiences at Frankfurt’s Terminal 2.
My boarding pass was scanned, and I was directed to a holding area while we waited for the aircraft to arrive. After about 10 to 15 minutes, the staff directed priority passengers to start to “queue” to board the aircraft. After a further wait of 10 or more minutes, boarding was commenced.
However, despite the option to purchase priority boarding, there was no attempt made to segregate passengers when it came time to board the aircraft. Indeed, I noticed others who did not have priority boarding getting on to the aircraft at the same time unchallenged.
The cabin and seating
Onboard the Airbus A321neo, Wizz Air has a total of 239 seats for passengers. These are arranged in a 3-3 configuration with extra legroom seats being sold for a premium around the emergency exits. Not wanting to pay for reserved seats I was allocated 6B, while my partner ended up with 13D.
The cabin had a very light and bright feel when I boarded. Additionally, it had a fresh fragrance, which was noticeable, but not repulsive. The overhead bins contained plenty of space and comfortably accommodated my suitcase.
The seat itself was more than comfortable for the 1-hour 10-minute flight. While the legroom didn’t seem like much, it was fine for the short hop to Budapest. However, had I been on one of the airline’s longer flights such as Budapest to Dubai, I feel that the extra legroom seats would be a good investment.
All of the crew onboard the flight were incredibly pleasant, both in the cabin and on the flight deck. As a low-cost carrier Wizz Air offers a buy onboard menu. Now, admittedly I didn’t need food on such a short flight, however, for the sake of this review I opted to try the airline’s meal deal.
For €6.50 ($7) I got a premium sandwich, a snack, and a drink. I opted to go for the premium ham and cheese ciabatta, a KitKat, and a bottle of water. Now, I don’t see any value in reviewing the latter two, maybe I could mention that the chocolate seemed to melt easily.
However, I will talk about the ham and cheese sandwich. The sandwich, while quite bready was actually surprisingly nice to eat. My only criticism is the addition of olives which seemed totally out of place. These were quickly picked out resulting in buttery hands!
Budapest is the home of Wizz Air, and as such, I thought it was worth a mention of the arrival experience at the airport. We pulled up at a gate with no jet-bridge, and as such walked down steps to a newly opened satellite terminal. We then had a fairly long walk to the main terminal as, what I assume is the official walkway, is not yet open. Arriving from the Schengen zone, there was no passport control, meaning that we could walk straight out of the airport to a city-bound bus.
Overall, the experience was very pleasant. Should I have the choice going forward I believe that I would choose Wizz Air over competitors. However, from Frankfurt, direct flight choices are rather limited. In the future, I would likely book a checked back as opposed to priority boarding, as I saw no real benefit in terms of the boarding process.
Have you flown with Wizz Air? What was your opinion of the flight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!