Court bailiffs were sent to Luton Aiport after Wizz Air failed to stump up the cash for a customer refund.
The budget airline cancelled Russell Quirk’s flight from Portugal last year three hours before it was supposed to take off and suggested he book a new flight which would be refunded.
The last-minute flight for him and his family cost £2,500.
Despite the commitment, Wizz Air did not refund him until he had successfully lodged a court claim and bailiffs attended Luton Airport to recover the money.
He was eventually paid £4,500 in December, seven months after the original flight.
The remarkable case has been raised after it emerged flyers have racked up £4.5 million worth of court claims against airlines for delays and unpaid refunds.
Nearly half of these claims were made against Wizz Air, despite the airline carrying fewer passengers than its rivals.
Which? research shows some 1,600 customer claims worth £2.2 million were taken out against the company.
EasyJet had the second highest number of claims against it, with 884 complaints worth £611,400 escalated to the courts.
Ryanair customers submitted 840 court claims worth more than half a million pounds.
A spokesman Wizz Air said it has settled more than 400 county court judgments since December and said the “unprecedented level of disruption due to the pandemic” meant that it had fallen short of expectations for some customers.
“Regrettably there are outstanding cases that we are working to resolve as quickly as possible,” she said, adding the process of receiving information from courts was complicated and time consuming.
“We are taking this matter extremely seriously. Customers can contact us directly using our website or app to provide information about an outstanding judgement.”