You’ve swung the deal of the century on an open-jaw deal to Europe. Now you need the connecting flights that will get you from one cultural haven to the next. Zoe Macfarlane checks out Wizz Air on a hop from London to Reykjavik.
Low-cost carriers are de rigour for those short-haul Euro adventures, and Wizz Air is a major player.
Considered Hungary’s de facto national carrier, last year they whizzed (groan) 34 million passengers across 650 routes. Book early to nab a Wizz bargain for flights from Agadir to Zaragoza, and 144 other airports in-between.
Fly with me to uncover that low-cost doesn’t have to mean low standards, particularly when it comes to airline sustainability.
Check-in & Boarding
Check-in opens 48 hours before departure. Hop online to do this, or you’ll pay €10 for the pleasure of doing it at the airport.
There were two counters open at Keflavik Airport for a manual bag drop. This was short and well-paced – an improvement on other European low-cost airlines (*cough* Ryan Air).
Communication was the main let down of this trip, though I’m not sure if the fault is with Wizz Air or Keflavik Airport.
An hour before departure, the monitors showed the ‘boarding’ message, at which point I’m in line for my caffeine hit. It’s a prescribed 20-minute walk to the D gates from there, which I discovered you can do in a coffee-sloshing 10 if you need to hustle.
Why was I pacing like a long-distance walker? They announced the flight was closing when it wasn’t even close to doing so. My coffee was long cold after waiting on the bus and then the plane. Gah. It added unnecessary stress (and I’m salty because I lost my beloved pillow in the process).
The Cabin & Seat
You can always identify a low-cost carrier when you look at the seat headrests. Not the bright blue seats, missing power outlets, or threadbare carpet. Nope, it’s that lack of neck support that demonstrates the costs cut during the aircraft design and build.
Other than wanting a snooze to make up for my 5.00am start, the configurations were acceptable for a short-haul flight. The Airbus’s seat pitch is 28cm, and width 18cm and the should-you-recline-your-seat debate is moot here because you can’t physically do so.
The tray table is the highest I’ve ever seen – great for viewing your screen, awkward for typing.
This is a low-cost short-haul journey. It’s BYO every comfort you may need. Unless you leave said comfort at Joe and the Juice, that is.
Food & Drinks
Nothing is free with Wizz Air, but sandwiches, soups, snacks, and drinks are available. At only €4, the baguettes weren’t too overpriced.
Water was where they stung you at €2.50 for a small bottle, so fill up before you depart. The crew won’t care if you whip out your own treats, either.
Entertainment & Service
With no TV screens or entertainment app, the in-seat magazine and duty-free pages become your in-flight distraction. If you’re smart, you’ll charge the Kindle or add a couple of TV shows to your phone before departure.
The Wizz Air service standards were, well… standard. The crew were polite as they traded food and drink for Euros.
I would travel with Wizz Air again thanks to their competitive pricing, but also due to the surprise I discovered in their in-flight mag. A letter from the CEO revealed Wizz Air to be Europe’s greenest airline, due to their high load factor, modern fleet, and “unrivalled fuel economics”.
This means you’re travelling with the lowest CO² emissions per passenger/km in Europe. Sweet. Wizz is committed to improving this too, with a benchmark to reduce every passenger’s carbon footprint by a third by 2026.
Flight: W9 4498
Class: Economy, Seat 11C
Aircraft: Airbus A320-232
Timing: Three hours but we landed 30 minutes ahead of schedule, departing Keflavik at 8.55am
Loyalty: Wizz Discount Club
Click here to learn more about the airline.
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