BMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 57 Posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 17752 times:
Last weekend, I flew to Prague, on the Hungarian Low cost airline Wizz Air which itself had recently celebrated its 5th Birthday. Now carying more than 18 million passengers a year, the airline has gone from strength to strength, and recently opened a new (2 aircraft) base in Prague, Czech Republic - to serve Liverpool and Oslo (Torp).
I decided to book a trip from Liverpool, to Prague, and see what I could make of this airline. Indeed, I booked the trip 2 weeks prior to departure, and paid £29 for the rtn ticket, including all taxes and charges. What follows, is my story from this trip.....
July 16th 2009 - Outbound.
My day started at 06:50, when I suddenly woke up. Why? Well the answer was simple - I had set my alarm for 05:00, but when it sounded, I switched it off and went back to sleep, oops!! Now the reason for me getting up at 05:00 in the first instance, was so that I could catch the 06:00 train from Hull to Liverpool. So, as you can now guess, I had missed that train by 50 mins, plus the 06:35 departure too, so the next service I could catch now was due to leave at 07:33 - to Manchester - so I had to rush around in order to hopefully catch that train.
Thankfully I was successful in my quest, and off to Manchester I went, arriving at 09:35. After a mad dash to platform 14 at Manchester Piccadilly, I made my way to a connecting train for Oxford Road, and from there I boarded a train to Liverpool South Parkway.
Arriving at South Parkway, I boarded a bus to Liverpool airport, which took about 12 minutes to complete the trip. I eventually arrived at the airport just before 11:30, and my flight was scheduled to depart at 12:50. The flight was scheduled as LPL dep 12:50, PRG arr 15:55 (all times local).
Check in was a breeze! A very cute woman from "Servisair" did the honours, asking me the usual "did you pack this yourself" etc, before tagging my bag with a PRG label, then sending it away on the baggage belt. I paid £8 for the privilege of taking 1 hold bag with me, which I guess wasn't too bad to be honest.
Huge crowd for the Easyjet check in area.
I then went upstairs to find a huge line for security, in fact one of the longest lines I have ever seen. Because I had only 30 mins until boarding, I decided I was not going to wait around, and made my way to the "Fast Lane", where I purchased a £3 ticket which basically got me to the front of the line, and almost straight past security. This was my first trip thru LPL and to be honest I didn't really know what to expect, but one thing I can for sure write is that it needs more security staff, and soon. If it hadn't been for the fast lane, there is no doubt that I would have missed my flight!
Arriving at the gate, I saw my aircraft arrive and took a picture - it was an Airbus A320 (HA-LPL) - apparently a brand new A320 to the Wizz fleet. At exactly 12:10, we commenced boarding. Basically, we went down the stairs to the tarmac, and simply boarded at either the front or rear door of the Aircraft, whatever door you chose.
There is no assigned seating on Wizz Air, so it is first come first seated, so to speak. The F/As on this flight were absolutely gorgeous! I thought VS had some nice ones, but hey these girls were all Czech (recruited for the base at PRG) so all was good so far
Upon boarding, I chose seat 8F, which was a window just ahead of the wing. The aircraft was indeed "new", and has the new Airbus A320 interior as well. I managed to get settled in, and make myself comfortable in my seat.
View from 8F
Just before the doors closed, a flight attendant approached me (I was sat alone) and asked "Sir, do you speak English?". I replied with a positive "Yes" and the F/A asked if I wouldn't mind moving (for free) to an over-wing exit row seat, as it needed to be occupied for Take-off and landing. I immediately moved (to 12F) and welcomed the huge amount of extra legroom that this gave me. I was given a quick briefing on the emergency exit procedure, then left alone to get settled in, again!
View from 12F
New Interior (Walls, PCU's, etc)
The load on this aircraft was 160 people, which made it nearly full in fact. Also, with this being only the 3rd flight on the route (it started a few days before), I thought to myself that this was indeed a very good load for a new service. We pushed from the gate on time at 12:48, and after a very quick taxi to runway 27, during which we received the safety briefing/demo, we took off at 12:55. Our flight time was announced as being 1hr 40 mins, versus the block time of 2hrs 5 mins, so we would land in PRG early, all being well. Service commenced about 15 mins after take-off, and consisted of a buy on board menu, which nearly everyone purhased food or drink from.
I purchased a Ham Sandwich, Cappuccino, Twix and Pringles - all for a total of 10 Euros. In fact, not too bad for "BoB" prices.
The rest of the flight was pretty much normal, and I enjoyed listening to my ipod.
We commenced our decent into PRG at about 14:15 UK time (15:15 local), and landed at 14:40, then took a bus to the terminal. It took me 30 minutes to leave the aircraft, enter the terminal, clear passport control, baggage claim and customs. Not bad at all in fact, compared to some airports I had flown to in the past. Indeed this was my first trip by air to PRG - I had been 2 times before, but by Train.
BMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 57
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 17737 times:
July 21st 2009 - Inbound.
Upon arrival at PRG airport, just before 08:40, myself and my friend decided to find the check in desks for our respective flights. My friend Katerina (A Czech Girl who I was visiting, hence my trip to PRG) was flying to ATL on Delta, and was due to depart at the same time as my flight to LPL, hence why we both checked in at the same time. As I was checking in on one side of the T1 check in area, she was on the oposite side at the DL check in desks.
Check in for me was strange, as all the woman on the desk did was check my passport, smile, say hello, then tag my bag. That was it! There were no questions about my baggage at all, like "did you pack it yourself" etc, nothing. To be honest, I thought this was quite odd, but she didn't ask anyone else who was checking in for Wizzair either, so at least it wasn't "just me" that she didn't really talk to. My friend Katerina on the other hand, was receiving what looked like a thorough "interrogation" from the 'check in security' staff, for the DL flight. She had no problems however, as she is a very regular traveller tho the USA - her parents live there!!
After passing thru immigration / passport control, I made my way to the gate where the DL flight was leaving from, to find that Katerinas aircraft was a shiny 767 (N191DN) with winglets installed, so naturally I just had to take some pictures. What a beauty
Shortly afterwards, we said goodbye, and I walked downstairs, to my deparure gate, where I waited for the bus to my aircraft. PRG terminal 1 requires passengers to go thru security at the gates (like SIN), whereas T2 has a proper security area, prior to the departure area.
More shots of PRG airport
At 10:20, my flight was called for boarding onto a bus. Priority boarding pax were loaded onto the bus first, then strangely, so were the rest of us. I assumed that as the priority pax had paid to board "first", that the bus would have gone with them, and returned for the rest of us, but no. Sadly, we arrived at the aircraft (HA-LPJ) and waited 20 minutes on the bus while the ground personnell tried to work out how to load a wheelchair bound passenger via the airstairs. Eventually it took 4 of them to carry the poor guy up the stairs on a guerny. It was crazy to watch really, and I felt sorry for him. Why did they not have any other way of loading him on??
Shortly afterwards, at departure time (10:55) the rest of us were allowed to board. Not a good start really. This flight was scheduled as PRG dep 10:55, LPL arr 12:20 (local times). I took seat 16F upon boarding, and after the safety brief, the engines were started up ready for departure.
View from 16F
At 11:15, we departed from the gate, and took off at 11:20, shortly after the DL flight to ATL. The flight time was announced as 1Hr 40 minutes by the captain, giving us an arrival time into LPL of 12:00.
I once again purchased items from the buy on board - this time paying in British pounds. I got the usual Ham and Cheeses sandwich, A Cappuccino and a twix - for £7 (no pringles this time).
The flight landed at 12:15 local, and by 12:35 I was on the bus at the front of the terminal waiting to depart for South Parkway station again. It had taken me exactly 20 mins to deplane, clear immigration, baggage reclaim and customs!
Wizz Air performed flawlessly, providing me with excellent cutomer service, a pleasant cabin environment, and cheap buy on board products. I recommend that those of you who are able to, do try them. They have flights to Europe available from LPL, LTN, DSA and PIK.
That my friends is it, for this little adventure! I hope you enjoyed the report
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 17587 times:
That's a nice report on W6. Wizz is quite an okay airline for a LCC - I just hate their policy of charging extra for the exit row and bulkhead seats even though you scored one for free, congrats on that. Definitely a notch above FR and I'd rate them on par with Ezy.
Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter): Check in for me was strange, as all the woman on the desk did was check my passport, smile, say hello, then tag my bag. That was it! There were no questions about my baggage at all, like "did you pack it yourself" etc, nothing. To be honest, I thought this was quite odd, but she didn't ask anyone else who was checking in for Wizzair either, so at least it wasn't "just me" that she didn't really talk to.
That's because these absurd questions are only required by the British aviation authorities - thus all British airlines and all flights originating from Britain must ask them. Most (all?) other European (or actually anywhere) countries don't have these stupid rules so there's no need to ask them. If you ask me this rule is just plane (pun intended) pointless.
Sebjacques92 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2007, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 17551 times:
Brilliant Trip Report!
I flew Wizz air last month and coincidently on HA-LPL from PRG-STN I think their service is excellent, they were bang on time and the aircraft with spotlessly clean. The crews were friendly and helpful. Hope you enjoyed your stay in Prague, my ex-home city!!
I flew Wizz air last month and coincidently on HA-LPL from PRG-STN
I didn't know Wizz flew to STN?
It's nice to see a W6 trip report. I thoroughly enjoy the sight of 6 or 7 back-to-back Wizz A320 departures out of LTN between 08:00 and 08:30 during my drive to work every day. Already working on a bit of a daytrip for the new year!
FCA767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 1786 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 12722 times:
Quoting ThegreatRDU (Reply 13):
That is the largest mess I've ever see....sakycaps? on-line check in?
Definitly not always that long a queue.
I went in the middle of the week and hang around for 1 hour in the checkin area wating for my friend...and there were only ever about 4 people hanging around at 10am
EL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1391 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 12676 times:
Exellent TR, the first of Wizzair if I am not mistaken. They seem to be nice airline comper to other LCC. Very detailed report, the pics are very nice also.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 2): Most (all?) other European (or actually anywhere) countries don't have these stupid rules so there's no need to ask them. If you ask me this rule is just plane (pun intended) pointless.
The Idea is that if someone has something to hide, he will be nurvese during the questioning. I find it way more stupit that the security personall check every passenger, and not only those who look suspisus during the questioning. The questioning system was 'invented' in Israel by the way.
"In Israel, on order to be a realist, one's must believe in miracles" - David Ben Gurion.