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Wizz Airlines -vs- Ryanair

Please may I ask:

1) In terms of reliability, and overall less hassle, would you recommend Wizz or Ryan?
2) Are either of these a more of a challenging experience than American budget airlines (such as Spirit or Frontier)?

Thanks in advance. One big concern is being able to take my carry-on luggage and personal item on board.

(Usually they make fees clear, but I'm somehow afraid of this process -- that I will be intimidated about size, even if I do pay extra).

Posted by
8205 posts

I doubt there's much difference between Wizz Air or Ryanair. Budget airlines are somewhat generic. I usually try to fly on EasyJet or Norwegian Air Shuttle in Europe out of habit.

As far as luggage goes, you'll have to read their terms and conditions to see how they handle bags. With a 21" rolling bag, most European airlines could get you for being 1" oversize. They have a rack. But many are sticky on the weight, and they often make you weigh the bags upon check in.

Posted by
18522 posts

I have flown Ryan twice in 15 years or so, and Wizz maybe 8 times.
I prefer Wizz, but in reality there isn't much difference.
Choose on cost and schedule.
But yes, everything but the oxygen in the cabin costs extra (or did i pay for that? dont remember -- maybe i blacked out?).
The $20 flight will cost you $100 before its all said and done; unless you want to fly with no luggage and butt naked in the forward head.
Despite that, they are upfront about it, and I like them.

Posted by
195 posts

WizzAir's web site is very clear on luggage limitations/fees so make your decisions accordingly.

Just be sure to be at the airport and the gate ON TIME.

Are you using Budapest as your base? You could always consider storing your luggage and taking only what you need for your flight.

With nearly every connection being close, you'll only have to be crammed into the plane for, at most, 2 hours. :)

Posted by
6537 posts

For less hassle, I'd recommend none of them. They are low cost airlines and you will pay extra for more or less everything. And in the end, the cost of the ticket might not be cheaper than what the flag carriers charge. Where are you planning to travel?

Wizzair has an all Airbus fleet while on Ryanair you can end up on a 737 Max, that might be a factor for some.

Posted by
90 posts

Thanks David, Mister E, Christy, and Badger

Flight would be from Budapest to Barcelona. Trains would take over 2 days. I'm not particularly happy about taking flight in middle of trip, but the bonus is that I can fly direct from Barcelona to home. Last trip, transfer at Heathrow was a debacle.

Is anyone else strongly attached to their carry-on luggage, remaining carry-on? Wizz and Ryan both list 40 cm as max dimension, which is only 15.75 inches. This doesn't seem like fair cricket! I have "International" luggage 19 cm.

Direct flight options are:
--Wizz or Ryan from Budapest to Barcelona. No clear indication on websites which will be nicer about luggage. Prices about same.
--Vueling from Vienna to Barcelona (extra 2.5 hr train ride before flight)
--Iberia from Budapest to Madrid (extra 2.5 train ride after flight)

Vueling appears to be nicer about luggage dimensions than other budget carriers, but has some bad press for cancellations and delay. Right now, leaning toward direct flight on Iberia to Madrid. And extra train schlep to Barcelona.

Also, please @Christy -- curious, am I understanding 737 Max better than Airbus? I am clueless about these things, and quick Google did not lend much clarity.

Posted by
18522 posts

I don’t know why people think that the discount airlines are trying to pull a fast one as you always get exactly what you choose to buy.

As for what sort of plane, I would suspect they would not be in the air if they were not safe (after what happened) and Alaska, United, American and Southwest fly them.

Pricing is pretty clear to me (March 6, 2023)

Option 1 78,942 HUF ($190)
32kg checked bag
Free premium seat Free
Carry on: One each: 40 x 30 x 20 and 55 x 40 x 23
Free flight change

Option 2 62,367 HUF($150.00)
20kg checked bag Free
standard seat Free
Carry on: One each: 40 x 30 x 20 and 55 x 40 x 23

Option 3 41,990 HUF ($100.00)
Free Carry on 40 x 30 x 20

Ryanair has similar options for about the same price so choose on schedule that works best for you.

Only Ryanair and Wizzair have non-stop flights.

Checking the major airlines, you can get there for $107 with a carryon but I didn’t go deep enough into the site to see the seat charges; I am going to guess you would spend more time traveling, have to change planes and still pay about the same if not more.

Posted by
6537 posts

Yikes, thank you. I knew a little about crashes, but didn't remember
plane model. Is seems strange that some countries are still using 737
Max then

Boeing has updated the planes and they have been recertified in most countries.

Checking the major airlines, you can get there for $107 with a carryon
but I didn’t go deep enough into the site to see the seat charges; I
am going to guess you would spend more time traveling, have to change
planes and still pay about the same if not more.

Or Swiss, 46,100.00 HUF, including seat selection, checked in luggage and carry on luggage. So actually cheaper than the so called low cost airlines.

Posted by
4290 posts

Well, I agree you should look at all options when deciding - and cost is only one of them. I just compared pricing for a random April Friday - and the three best for me would have been Ryan Air, Wizz, and well, all the others weren’t good.

I look at date; price; flight times (I usually detest arriving late night); flight length; layovers (length and where); what is included; reliability; cancellation options; and comfort.

For my random April Friday, starting with Google Flights, only Ryan and Wizz had nonstops to Barcelona. Both were acceptable flight times (for ME) - and when I clicked through to the airline website, I could easily see my three levels of choice for inclusions.

I tried out an Iberia flight and could not reach an option to add a cabin or checked bag until after completing my personal details. So much for hidden pricing. Swiss Air initial price on this particular hypothetical day was twice the price of the most expensive of the other two, as was Lufthansa, and neither include a checked bag or prior-to-check-in seat choice in their initial cost.

Another day (weekday?) would undoubtedly be different pricing.

In this hypothetical search, I would absolutely choose Ryan Air or Wizz - the generality of cheaper (by quite a bit) held up. However I recently did a Budapest to Birmingham flight, where I had no flex on dates or times - and I paid more for Lufthansa because, regardless of layovers and price, it fit my needs. So yes, don’t JUST look at prices - but at what you really need and your priorities. But also don’t be afraid of hidden costs on the budget airlines. They may be additional, but I can’t see that they are hidden.

One thing to be checked, though, no matter what choice someone reading this might make, the admonition remains to check on the allowed size of cabin bags (not just weight). That didn’t immediately appear upfront on any of the sites, so would take some further research I didn’t do. And it IS a good reminder that carryon sizes vary between the U.S. major carriers and some of Europe’s domestic carriers.

blackcat unfortunate, since we have actually met, I know you are careful enough to see the details. Once those are acceptable or doable - and if you are able to follow their rules regarding carryon size and weight, you don’t need to worry they will take your carryon away from you for those reasons.

And ALL airlines retain the right to make people gate check if the flight is full. No getting around that. But when this happens, you can be assured your suitcase is on the plane.

Posted by
90 posts

I'm so grateful for the guidance and detailed responses from seasoned travelers here.

Also @Badger thank you for pointing out about Swiss Air, but I'm afraid it's a stopover and transfer situation.

So presently I am thinking the Iberia flight from Budapest to Madrid, with extra train ride to Barcelona. As Texas travel mom wisely pointed out, there are no guarantees for carry-on luggage. However it looks like Iberia website and ticket purchase is indicating 56 centimeters or 22 inches ... That's huge, especially next to Ryan and Wizz!!

I was almost considering two day train trip😂