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Smart Wings Warning

Prague, Czech...
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Smart Wings Warning

I have been hearing one story after another about bad experiences with the budget airline, Smart Wings, based in Prague.

With my mother last year -- she booked a cheap flight well in advance. Later she received in e-mail saying that flight was cancelled and was told to rebook the flight, same day, later time. When she did the price was much higher. And she never received a refund. Since she was in the United States, I had to call Smart Wings to enquire about a refund. They charge a high. per minute fee for this call. The operator told me they would put the refund through. They never did.

This year, my mother took Sky Europe from Amsterdam to Prague. She had a much better experience, but talked to a woman on the plane who said her Smart Wings flight had been cancelled at the last minute and she was forced to pay the top rate on Sky Europe at the last minute in order to travel.

My wife had two colleagues who told her their flights were cancelled on short notice (the theory is that if they don't have enough bookings, they cancel it -- or that their schedule is so tight, if something gets delayed, they can't squeeze them all in).

Last night, my wife was flying from Prague to Brussels direct on Smart Wings. At the last minute, they announced that they flight would go via Paris. Big delay. My wife said there was chaos -- long lines of Smart Wings passengers and no Smart Wings officials to talk to anywhere.

My wife said her friends have decided that Smart Wings may be cheaper, but the potential for problems that come with the ticket are not worth it.

I'd be interested to know if there are similar stories out there.

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1. Re: Smart Wings Warning

I have heard similar stories as well and wouldn't ever consider flying Smartwings. But people shouldn't let themselves bear the cost - the compensation costs are clearly defined under the EU Air Passenger Rights Directive . And if Smartwings don't pay up, the Commission themselves are apparently very good at taking up the case

jersey city
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2. Re: Smart Wings Warning

Oh man, I am flying from Prague to Paris via smartwings? Should I be concerned?

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3. Re: Smart Wings Warning

Prague to Paris is one of Smartwings less cancellable flights, but like any low cost airline, they rely on very tight turnarounds at airports, so if the plane is delyaed somewhere during the day, it can cause severe delays later in the day

Prague, Czech...
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4. Re: Smart Wings Warning

What can I say? You experience may vary, but:

-The more I ask around, the more stories I hear about flights cancelled or changed on short notice

-My colleague just pointed this out -- SkyEurope, the budget airline competitor in Prague has put out a press release on their Web site (only on the Czech version for some reason), saying that they will give seats on their planes to people bumped off Smart Wings for one Czech crown in certain circumstances. This is the headline of the release:

"SkyEurope is once again assisting travelers on canceled SmartWings flights." (Translated from Czech)

So, if SkyEurope is using Smart Wings reputation for unreliability as a marketing tool... well, think about it.

Florida
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5. Re: Smart Wings Warning

My fiance and I flew Smart Wings from Prague to Rome at the beginning of April (Sunday night). The flight was about 100 US dollars cheaper (200 for the pair) then any other flight I could find. Cant tell you much more then my experience though. Flight was full, space was tight however plane was on time for depature and landing. No problems otherwise. Best of luck in your travels.

Prague, Czech...
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6. Re: Smart Wings Warning

A little update --

My wfie was flying back to Prague from Brussels last night. The flight was supposed to leave around midnight. It didn't. It was delayed for hours. She got back at 5:30am, hating Smart Wings more than ever. She said more people told her about cancelled flights with no warning. She said never again.

jersey city
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7. Re: Smart Wings Warning

oh man, i am really worried now .. and i am on a time crunch when i fly into paris.

but is the prague -> paris route a little bit better? my flight is early, 7 am and arrive at 830 am?

anyone know anything about airberlin? .. im taking that to go to vienna and then a train from vienna to prague... n smartwings to paris.

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8. Re: Smart Wings Warning

when you say you are on a time crunch when you come to Paris, does this mean that you are connecting planes there. As Smartwings is a low cost airline and not a point to point scheduled airline, you will need to collect your luggage at Paris and go an check in at another check in. In my view, Paris is even worse than Heathrow to change planes at. Because the airport is so big, it takes at least 20 minutes from when the aircraft lands to get to the stand (most of the time you don't get one, so you need to wait for everyone to get off the plane and board a bus) and then 30 to 40 minutes for the airport to come up with the luggage. Therefore don't expect to be ready with your luggage to check in for your onward flight until about an hour after you have landed (then you need to observe normal check in times and the check in for transatlantic flights will be at a different terminal to the terminal you land at. If you depaart for the states at terminal 1, good luck is all I can say, as this terminal is miles away at the other side of the airport).

If this means that you are not going to connect, then all I can advise is to buy a through ticket from Prague to the US, and then at least if you don't connect the airline books you on the next flight at your cost. If you fly low cost and you are late for the second flight, the fact that you missed the plane is entirely down to you (no different from if you get stuck in traffic on the way to the ariport). The additional cost will surely be higher than the cost of flying from Prague to Paris by a proper airline

Air Berlin is an efficient German low cost airline

jersey city
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9. Re: Smart Wings Warning

When I say I am in a time cruch, I am not referring to a connection to another flight. I am staying in Paris for a few days when I land. I have friends who are flying from the US to Paris and we are meeting up, and this is their first time to France and they don't speak french, so they're going to be really lost with out me. I land at 8:30 and they land at 10:30 .. we're either meeting at the hotel or at the aiport itself.

I'm just more or less concerned about getting into Paris because that city is huge and there's a lot of places I want to see because I'm there for only a short stay.

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10. Re: Smart Wings Warning

you'll probbaly land at the same time then. But check on which terminals you both land. Terminal 1 is literally the other side of the airfield to terminal 2