My Huge Travel Mistake Involved Booking Own Transfer Flight

Insider’s Mikhaila Friel was left stranded on the airport after reserving a self-transfer flight that wasn’t protected by the airline.
Mikhaila Friel/Insider, Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto by way of Getty Pictures

  • Earlier this yr, I traveled from my residence in Scotland to Sicily for a piece journey. 
  • When reserving my journey again residence, I noticed there have been no direct flights.
  • I purchased an inexpensive self-transfer ticket, however the journey ended badly when my first flight received delayed.

I can not stand lengthy waits in airports, however generally direct flights aren’t an choice. 

This was the case once I was reserving my journey residence from a piece journey in Catania in Sicily, Italy, to Edinburgh in Scotland again in April. 

My predominant goal was to discover a connecting flight that may get me residence rapidly and that was reasonably priced. After looking Skyscanner, I noticed my most suitable choice was to guide two separate flights with the finances European airline Ryanair. 

The primary flight from Catania, Sicily, to London, UK, on April 19 price £89.77, or round $113, and the second flight from London to Edinburgh price £14.76, or round $18.80.

The one drawback? Ryanair solely gives non-protected, self-transfer flights. In contrast to connecting flights, which fall below the identical reserving reference, non-protected transfers need to be booked individually and are not protected by the airline if there are any delays or cancellations throughout your journey, in keeping with Skyscanner.

I had by no means booked a self-transfer flight earlier than, so I used to be a bit of hesitant. 

However there was an hour and 40 minutes between the 2 flights, which I believed can be greater than sufficient time to get by airport safety and to my subsequent gate. To not point out, it was far cheaper and had a a lot shorter connection time in comparison with choices provided by different airways. 

Keep away from reserving self-transfer flights in case your layover is lower than 2.5 hours

My first flight from Catania to London ended up getting delayed by round an hour, which meant I missed the following flight to Edinburgh. 

Given what I might examine self-transfer flights, I wasn’t certain what my choices have been when it got here to getting booked on one other flight.

I spoke to Ryanair’s customer support desk in London, and a member of employees instructed me I wasn’t eligible to get placed on one other flight without cost as a result of there have been lower than two-and-a-half hours between the meant arrival and departure instances of the 2 flights I booked.

“In accordance with Ryanair’s T&Cs, which this passenger agreed to on the time of reserving, Ryanair is a ‘level to level’ airline and we don’t switch passengers to different flights whether or not or not they’re operated by us,” a spokesperson for Ryanair stated in an announcement in response to this story.

Subsequent time, I am going to splurge on a dearer ticket

I ended up having to pay a further £100, or round $126, for a flight residence utilizing a distinct airline. 

That flight finally received delayed, and I used to be left stranded on the airport for a number of hours.

The expertise was tiring and nerve-racking. I used to be principally aggravated with myself, not Ryanair, as a result of I knew this complete state of affairs may have been prevented if I had booked a dearer ticket from a distinct airline within the first place.

I extremely doubt I am going to guide a self-transfer ticket once more sooner or later, until there may be a minimum of a day between the 2 flights. That approach, I will not have to fret about short-term delays and I can keep at a lodge fairly than going through lengthy, uncomfortable wait instances on the airport.

The state of affairs taught me that cheaper shortcuts aren’t value it in terms of airline journey. A ticket that seems extra reasonably priced may find yourself costing you extra money in the long term if issues go incorrect. And simply because one mode of transport seems extra handy, it doesn’t suggest it’s.

Subsequent time, I am going to splurge on the extra pricey choice for a stress-free journey.

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