I plan on flying from Rome to Budapest on Wizz Air. I have never flown on a Non-American Airline before. What should I expect? I also noticed that their weight restrictions for carry-ons is much lower than ours. This means we will have to check our bags. Should I have any concerns? Do I need a Travel-Lock?
Skytrax gives star ratings for world airlines at www.airlinequality.com. Here you can also read passenger comments.
Premium European airlines, like Lufthansa, British Air, Air France, and Swiss Air have **** ratings.
Lesser European airlines and most American Airlines are rated ***.
Most less-than-three-star airlines are from third world countries. Wizz Air is one amongst them, along with Smart Wings (Czech), Sky Express (Russian), RyanAir, and BMIBaby.
Sounds like a budget airline. Budget airlines, by definition, have much lower baggage allowances and charge fees to check bags. You are also very seldom, if at all, allowed an additional "personal item", so stash it in your main bag if you want to carry everything on.
If you know your bag will be too large or heavy to carry on, pay to check it when you purchase your tickets. Paying in advance often halves the cost of checking a bag vs. paying at the gate.
Wizz Air is Hungarian. Don't know what to think about Ireland (Ryanair) being described as third world country lol. BMI is part of Lufthansa and also part of the Star Alliance.
You will find that a number of major airlines have set up budget/low cost offshoots.
OK, Linda, maybe I should clarify that. Within Europe, Wizz Air, Ryanair, BMIBaby, Smart Wings, and Sky Express are "less-than-three-star" airlines. Most other "less-than-three-star" airlines are from third world counties. Ryanair, of course, is not from a third world country, but, according to Skytrax, their level of service is in the same class (**) as third world airlines.
BMIBaby was created by BMI (a three star airline) as a low cost "offshoot", and Lufthansa did take over BMI last July (less than a year ago), and BMIBaby came along with the package, but to say that BMI is a part of Lufthansa verges on slander.
German Wings is another low cost airline owned by Lufthansa. It has a three-star rating.
My experience with Wizzair was very positive. The fact that I was able to fly round trip from Katowice to Rome Ciampino plus round trip shuttle from Krakow to Katowice for about $100 was a major factor for my satisfaction:)(This was waaay off season though) But I also found the staff/crew to be very professional and friendly. I think they use the main airport in Budapest-they are based in Hungary-but they use two different airports in Rome, niether of which is the "main" Da Vinci airport. However, when I booked, they provided very detailed instuctions on how to get from the Ciampino airport into Rome proper using either a shuttle or public transport.
Thank you for the clarification on Ireland, Lee. I was beginning to wonder if I should send 30 Euro every month to help provide vaccinations to underprivleged children in Galway or feed a Dublin family of 4 black pudding every day for a week. But knowing my relatives, they would just spend that 30 Euro on pints of Guiness and go right back to starving. It's all about priorities.
Cheri, first of all, not a single country mentioned by Lee is a "third world country". And despite his "clarification", many other budget airlines that operate in Europe are not from, or operate like airlines from, third world countries either.
Budget airlines are exploding (not literally thank goodness, but in a business sense) in Europe. Wizz-Air is one of the more successful, as is RyanAir. New ones are entering the business with amazing frequency. And don't worry - American pilots are not the only people who know how to fly aircraft, so you don't need to worry about flying with a non-American airline.
Steve is correct when he suggests that you think of Wizz-Air (and other similar airlines) in terms of Southwest here in the US. Frills are nonexistent, carry-on allowance is very restricted, prices can be very low. They basically operate with a "bus in the sky" mentality.
You do not need a travel-lock any more or any less than with any other airline. Personally, I never use a luggage lock because if someone really wants into your luggage they will find a way to do it. Locks are easily broken, bags can be cut with knives, etc. Best packing advice is to never never never pack valuables or medications into your checked luggage (regardless of airline, regardless of country). Always transport those items in your carryon.
Relax and have a great trip. You'll be fine.
"Wizz is up there with Delta and United".
Not according to Skytrax. Wizz has a ** rating. Other airlines with ** ratings include airlines from Thailand, Shanghai, and Zimbabwe.
Delta and United have *** ratings.
I'm sure the three star rating on the index is a typo. The official page for Wizz shows a two star rating.
These ratings are based on a lot of things other than frills, such as Handling of Delays and Cancellations. I don't know if customer reviews are part of the ratings, but their customer reviews are abysmal.
And, Canada and the US are not considered third world countries.