Sunday, 3 November 2013

High In Wizz

We've almost exhausted Ryanair's destination list so have decided to brave WizzAir. Our first Wizz flight takes us to Bucharest and we're curious to see how the experience will compare to its rival. Our flight leaves an hour late without any announcements admitting this is the case until we're actually finally on board and about to leave. As a mini hurricane is forecast, I'm happy to excuse the lateness but less impressed by the lack of information and Wizz sharing Ryanair's ludicrous policy of no allocated seats without additional cost.

We're part of an ever-changing queue as latecomers saunter up, hovering around the boarding desk, only to blatantly queue-jump in the final moment. An elderly lady, dressed as I'd image Oscar Wilde's Lady Bracknell, feigns ignorance acting as if she has no understanding of how to queue, as if her age somehow excuses her behaviour. She sits away from the queue until there's movement then she holds her head high, putting on airs, pretending not to notice those of us who've been standing for almost an hour. Strolling to the front, she stands beside two others, avoiding all eye contact to look towards her goal – the check-in desk. No-one challenges her and as she boards well ahead of us, I wish I'd been further forward to say something.

Finally on the plane and it feels even more cramped than Ryanair. It's near on impossible to sleep, the seats are so uncomfortable and flight crew are elusive when needed. The only way to survive is by reading the flight away. Over the past few weeks I've been so busy, I've to had work during my morning commute so have a back-log of newspapers to get through. Perusing several of these, provides the necessary entertainment to wile away the time. I read about a blind man stopped for speeding in Sheffield who swapped seats when finally stopped and had the audacity to claim, “It wasn't me driving. I'm blind.” There's the well-wisher in Thailand who was arrested after donating methadone to flood victims in Sattahip, hoping they'd be able to raise funds by selling on the drugs. And Frederik Colting, a Swedish inventor, who has come up with an idea for, The Tikker, a watch that counts down to death, taking account of individual stats.

Five newspapers later, I make it to Bucharest unscathed and so does my bag. The service provided makes Wizz comparable to Ryanair and it's hard to say if either budget airline is superior. There's much less of a hard sell during our Wizz flight with tannoy announcements kept to the minimum but Ryanair's seats felt marginally more comfortable. The return journey back from Bucharest runs more smoothly with a slightly more roomy plane, suggesting Wizz may well be the victors but with only one Wizz journey to go on, perhaps more testing if needed.

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