A woman who is hosting a family of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war said she was shocked to have been asked to pay for luggage by an airline offering free flights to those fleeing.
Agnese Edmonds, who is now hosting the family of four, said they were asked to pay €130 (£108.49) for two suitcases when booking their tickets from Krakow, Poland to London Luton more early this week via Wizz Air.
The flight itself was free, but the family was asked to pay for their luggage.
Earlier in March, Wizz Air announced it would provide 100,000 free seats from neighboring countries to support Ukrainian refugees (file photo used)
Ms Edmonds, who is from Essex, is “flabbergasted” and finds the charge “feels unfair and strange”.
Talk to AMLshe said: ‘Although they didn’t have too much luggage…the adults had one suitcase each, so they had to pay for it.’
“So I’m not sure for those people who didn’t have the money, you know, how would they get through? Who would pay them?
‘I couldn’t believe it, the family couldn’t believe it, I was dumbfounded because I thought – well, if you offer the flight, they’re already on the flight, well, surely they can take their luggage with them ?’
“For some sponsors they could pay for the luggage but if you have no money and no sponsor, how do you get on the flight?” It seems unfair and just plain weird.
MailOnline has contacted Wizz Air for a comment.
Earlier in March, the airline announced it would provide 100,000 free seats from neighboring countries to support Ukrainian refugees.
A statement on its website reads: “Wizz Air … will support Ukrainian refugees by providing 100,000 free seats* on all continental European flights departing from countries bordering Ukraine (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania).
“Wizz Air is committed to helping refugees reach their final destination, wherever that may be.”
On its website, Wizz Air states, however, that Ukrainian refugee flights may still be subject to additional baggage fees.
He adds: “One piece of hand luggage (40 x 30 x 20 cm) per passenger is included free of charge.
‘All other baggage and additional services can be purchased during or after booking. Standard rates apply.’
Agnese Edmonds, who is now hosting the family of four, said they were asked to pay €130 (£108.49) for two suitcases when booking their tickets from Krakow, Poland to London Luton more early this week. Used stock photo
The airline can charge €5 to €59 per flight, passenger and piece of luggage in low season, or €6 to €71.50 for the same weight in high season, according to its website.
It comes as it was reported today that Ukrainians arriving under the Homes for Ukraine program are already being forced into homelessness and a number of refugee women have faced ‘sexual advances’ from of their British hosts, counsel said.
Families who have arrived under the new visa regime say they are still struggling to access cash while waiting for benefits and have to be accommodated in hotels.
Dozens of matches under the separate Homes for Ukraine program have reportedly failed as local authorities have to place families in emergency accommodation while they wait to find a new sponsor.
Around 12,000 people had arrived in the UK under Ukrainian visa schemes as of Tuesday, according to Home Office figures.
The chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), Councilor James Jamieson, said councils needed to be told in advance who was coming under the family scheme and given funding so they could support them.
He said: ‘Councils are already seeing a worrying increase in presentations of homelessness from arrivals to Ukraine – including those who have arrived through the family program and where the families’ accommodation is not suitable or the relationship has broken down. is broken soon after arrival – and single children arriving in the UK needing help.