Every airline has several fare classes that differ regarding price and included services and flexibility. Those concern questions like: Is check-in luggage included? If yes, how many pieces? On what conditions can I rebook or cancel the flight?
Additional fees for check-in
Some airlines request that passengers use the online check-in in advance. If you don't do it, they charge an extra fee at the airport. The online check-in is often only available until several hours before departure. Therefore, when you arrive at the airport, it is too late.
Ryanair has this condition since many years, but we never received many complaints about it in the past. Laudamotion and the Hungarian WizzAir also use a respective clause in their terms & conditions.
Unfortunately, complaints regarding WizzAir are starting to pile up on our desks. It appears that the information on the website of WizzAir regarding the additional fees for check-ins at the airport is not as clear compared to Ryanair. Furthermore, Ryanair reminds passengers of the obligatory online check-in with an extra e-mail a few days before departure.
Which services are included in which tariff is often only displayed with ticks or crosses. It is therefore important to take your time for the booking and pay attention to details. If the booking process is complex or unclear, it is recommended to open the website of the airline in another tab and search for detailed information regarding the different tariff classes. At WizzAir's website, you need to click on the tariffs, which will open a pop-up with the included services. Alternatively, you will find an overview on the start page. According to their tariff information, WizzAir only charges an additional fee for the check-in at the airport if you book the cheapest tariff ("Basic"). The check-in is included in both more expensive tariffs.
How clearly online travel agencies would display this information is questionable. We always advise against booking via an intermediary like an online travel agency for various reasons.
Technical problems at WizzAir
It is especially annoying that the online check-in on WizzAir's website often doesn't work.
Every week we receive complaints from consumers who report the following:
- They wanted to check-in for their WizzAir flight online in order to avoid the additional fees of approximately 35 Euro at the airport.
- Instead of a boarding pass, they received an error message.
- At the airport, the staff of WizzAir didn't believe them that the online check-in didn't work. They had to pay the additional fee anyways.
In our experience, it is currently not possible to get a refund for the additional fee from WizzAir without a screenshot of the error message.
Tips from your ECC
- Pay attention to all details when you book a flight online. Compare the different tariff classes. Which services are included in the ticket price? Maybe it pays to pay a little more for more flexibility or an additional piece of luggage?
- Is there any information about possible extra costs, like for the check-in at the airport or in case your hand luggage is too big or too heavy?
- Always make screenshots of every step of the booking process. That doesn't only apply to flight bookings but to all kinds of orders on the internet (online shopping etc.). In case of problems, you will always have evidence to support your complaints.
- Document error messages with screenshots!
- Arrive early at the airport - there may be delays at the check-in, baggage counter or security checks.
Read more about your rights as an air passenger in our article Problems during air travel.