Flyers warned over connecting flight pitfallsYou could be left stranded and out of pocket

11 February 2008

A plane in the sky

Air passengers have been warned they could be left out of pocket if they try to book their own connecting flights.

The warning from the Air Transport Users Council comes after it received a number of complaints from passengers who had created their own itineraries.

The passengers had bought two or more tickets under separate reservations - and therefore had separate contracts with different airlines.

Separate reservations

AUC Chairman Tina Tietjen said: ‘Our advice to passengers who do this is simple: don't risk it.

‘Missing such a connecting flight usually means having to buy a new ticket, often at a more expensive, last minute fare, and paying for any meals and accommodation.’

The AUC cited the case of a group of 18 booked by a tour operator to fly from Edinburgh to Gatwick with British Airways and from Gatwick to Vilnius in Lithuania with Air Baltic.

A delay on the first flight cost each of them £124 for a new flight and a night in a hotel, while all lost a day of their break.

Hotel bills

The AUC also said that not all airlines will commit to looking after their customers should they miss a connection – leaving passengers to pay for meals or hotel accommodation whilst waiting for the available flight.

Tina Tietjen added: ‘We think airlines should commit to looking after their customers throughout their journey. But if they do not, they should at least make it clear what their passengers should expect should they cause them to miss a connection.’

Which? travel expert Bob Tolliday said: ‘You have far more rights as a consumer if you book connecting flights under the same reservation.

‘Unfortunately companies like EasyJet do not accept through bookings for two of their own flights.’