Ukraine refugees' shock as Wizz Air charges for luggage on free flights away from conflict

8 April 2022, 14:28 | Updated: 8 April 2022, 17:10

Wizz Air is charging Ukrainian refugees to put bags in the hold as they flee from the conflict from neighbouring countries on free flights
Wizz Air is charging Ukrainian refugees to put bags in the hold as they flee from the conflict from neighbouring countries on free flights. Picture: Alamy

By Charlotte Sullivan

A woman hosting a Ukrainian refugee family at her home in Essex has told LBC they were “gobsmacked” to find Wizz Air charging for luggage, on free flights the airline’s providing to those fleeing Ukraine.

Back in March, WizzAir announced it would support Ukrainian refugees by offering them 100,000 free seats on all continental Europe flights departing from Ukraine’s border countries (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania).

However, one family of four who were trying to get from Krakow in Poland to London Luton earlier this week on one of the free flights, came across a stumbling block during the booking process - when they were asked to pay €130 for their two suitcases.

Agnese Edmonds, who the family are now staying with, said: “When they were booking tickets... the tickets were free but the luggage wasn’t. Although they didn’t have too much luggage... the adults had one suitcase each, so they had to pay for that.

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“So I’m not sure for those people who didn’t have any money, you know, how would they get through? Who would pay for them?”

Agnese said they were all shocked when the charge came up on the website.

"I couldn’t believe (it), the family couldn’t believe, I was gobsmacked because I thought – well if you’re offering the flight, they’re already on the flight, well surely they can take their luggage with them?”

“For some sponsors they could pay for the luggage but if you had no money and no sponsor, how do you get on the flight? It does seem unfair and just strange.”

In the small print on the WizzAir website it says: "The indicated number of tickets (100,000) at 0 EUR price applies until availability lasts for selected flights departing until 10 April 2022.

"One carry-on bag (max: 40x30x20cm) is included. Trolley bags, each piece of checked-in baggage and additional services are subject to additional fees.

"Valid Ukrainian passport required at booking and check-in, customers found not having a Ukrainian passport will be charged full fare at the airport."

According to the airline’s website, a 10kg bag on a WizzAir flight in low season can cost anything between €5 and €59, while a 20kg bag on a WizzAir flight in low season costs between €8 and €79.

WizzAir said in a statement: "Wizz Air is committed to helping Ukrainian refugees reach their final destinations, wherever that may be in the WIZZ network. To that end, Wizz Air continues to add larger planes and extra flights from Ukrainian border countries, as well as rescue fares from non-border countries, to help support the movement of refugees as necessary. However, our policy states that trolley bags and checked-in luggage are subject to additional fares."