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.