Oct202018

Roaming Romania on $27 Wizz Air London-Cluj ticket

Budget airline Wizz Air is the leading airline for travel around Central and Eastern Europe with over 600 routes. Wizz operates nonstop flights between London Luton LTN and 10 cities in Romania. When I grabbed an Icelandair San Francisco to London LHR round trip ticket for $270 last May for travel in October, I figured I would likely end up flying Wizz Airlines to some city in Romania.

Over summer 2018 Kelley and I flew Wizz Air from Vilnius, Lithuania to Gdansk, Poland in June and from Rome FCO to Vienna in July.

I paid €29.99 for Wizz Discount Club membership in April 2018 while booking our June flight from Vilnius to Gdansk and saved €25.00 on the regular ticket price for our two tickets with €10.00 off each base ticket price and €5.00 off one checked bag.

Then in May 2018 there was a 30% off Wizz birthday sale and I booked Rome to Vienna tickets during that offer and combined with my Wizz Discount Club membership, the ticket price dropped from €34.99 to €19.89 per ticket + €7.00 per seat + €28.00 for one checked bag. Our total ticket price was $48.18 each.

My main point is you will save money with Wizz Discount Club if you are buying at least 3 one way tickets during the membership year. I have purchased six Wizz Airlines one way tickets since April 2018.

Wizz Airlines London Luton LTN – Cluj-Napoca, Romania CLJ $66 round trip

On August 20, I searched for a flight from London Luton to Romania and found Cluj-Napoca offered the best schedule and price at $90.07 round trip. This ticket price included Wizz Priority with the added benefit of a guarantee to bring one 10kg/22lb carry-on bag on board in addition to a free underseat personal bag. But I did not buy my ticket in that initial search.

A few days later I received an email for another Wizz Airlines 30% off sale and purchased the same ticket itinerary for London LTN – Cluj-Napoca CLJ for $66.20 round trip including Wizz Priority Boarding.

My total airline tickets price for San Francisco to Cluj-Napoca, Romania came to $336 round trip for this October trip with a couple nights in London and 27 hours in Iceland on the return trip.

National Express bus London Victoria Coach Station to London Luton £13.00

London Luton Airport Airport is about 35 miles north of central London. National Express bus service from London Victoria Coach Station runs a couple times an hour with a 90 minute scheduled time. I could have purchased a ticket for £6.00 on the day I booked my Wizz Airlines flight, but I planned to stay in North London and take the train.

Then I decided to stay at Hotel Indigo Leicester Square in central London and forgot to book the National Express bus until the day I left San Francisco for Iceland. The ticket price increased to £13.00 one way.

London Luton Airport

The bus ride from Victoria Coach Station to London Luton took 75 minutes.

Victoria Coach Station London

National Express bus at Luton Airport

The bus had wifi and USB ports in the seatback, so I was able to use the web and charge my phone during the trip.

With 2.5 hours until my flight, I ended up drinking a Czech beer from M&S Market while waiting around the airport terminal lobby prior to heading through security in Luton – just because I find it so economically friendly that London airports have supermarkets selling cold beer in their airports. The policemen standing nearby didn’t object.

M&S Simply Food (and beer) – London Luton Airport

M&S Czech lager

Two Carry-On Bags for Wizz Airlines

After heading through security and to the gate for the Wizz flight, I saw an empty gate area on the way with a Wizz baggage sizer. Decided I should see if my bags were actually legal in a place where I was out of sight of the gate agents working the Romania flight.

Wizz Air bag sizer

I regularly travel with my backpack as a free under the seat personal bag. I have never been questioned about its size or weight on flights with low cost carriers Allegiant, FlyBe, Frontier, Norwegian, Ryanair, Vueling and WOW.

My larger roll aboard bag is the one I have not traveled with as much in the past two years and it was of more concern to me. I have a smaller roll aboard bag I tend to travel with around Europe, but I wanted a larger bag this trip since I figured there would be some good gift buying opportunities in Romania.

No problem with my two bags.

Wizz Priority Boarding cost £5.50 each way.

Priority Boarding is more important to me than seat selection. A self-selected seat was £12 or £16 one way. I don’t mind sitting in the middle seat for a 3-hour flight, so I gambled on seat roulette.

And won again with aisle seat 27D free at flight online check-in the day before my flight. When I checked 5 days earlier the price for aisle seat 26C was £12.

Wizz Airlines Luton Airport

The flight was packed except for one empty seat in the last row 30 of the 3-3 seat aircraft.

My Eddie Bauer 30L backpack under the seat on Wizz Air.

We were off and I spent the time reading Wizz Magazine and picking up travel tips. Wizz Air flight magazine is one of my favorite reads since there are so many pieces of information about Eastern European destinations.

Iasi, Romania in northeastern Romania and former capital of Moldova – the destination I almost chose instead of Cluj-Napoca – has the “Tram of Communism” tour on a vintage-style tram tour for €4.50 offering insight to life in the city before 1989.

The magazine featured a paragraph on Hotel Galery69, a Design Hotel in the lake district of Poland. This is a hotel I had my eye on for cheap hotel rates over the past year as a potential destination for cheap SPG elite credit. It was an SPG category 4 reward that dropped to category 3 in March 2018, however, I now see it no longer has any affiliation with Marriott Rewards.

Athens, Greece offers free entry to many museums and archaeological sights on the first Sunday of the month from November to March.

Gdansk, Poland has Bunkier Klubogaleria, a pub and nightclub spread across five floors in a converted anti-aircraft shelter. I remember walking by it one morning last year on my way to the train station and snapping a photo.

Sofia, Bulgaria has JoyOptics.bg, where you can have made-to-order eyeglasses in 30 minutes. That is a service I could benefit from this week as I am finding it harder to focus with my current glasses. Lack of sleep and cheap beer in abundance in Cluj are not helping with my eyesight.

Wizz Air has expanded flight service to Ukraine with Lviv LWO to Vilnius VNO and Bratislava BTS or Kharkiv HRK to Gdansk GDN and Wroclaw WRO.

I still have a desire to travel to Ukraine. Vilnius, Bratislava, Gdansk and Wroclaw are all places I have stayed in over the past two years.

And Wizz Air is expanding services from London Luton Airport.

Before I knew it the pilot announced we were landing in Cluj-Napoca.

I finally made it to Romania.

Cluj-Napoca Airport, Romania

 

 

 

 

 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. You have to buy Priority Boarding on Wizz to be allowed to bring two bags on board. And sometimes, like this Luton trip, I walked right through boarding gate rather than standing behind 100 other passengers in line. There was a shuttle bus so I did not get on the plane first, but I didn’t have to wait in line.

    Two bags is main reason.

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