When you are are looking for flights you want to be careful. There are many discount flight websites that give you great deals. But they may not be the best option for cutting out some of the stresses of travel. Some could add to your stress and are more likely to have issues throughout the booking and flight process. Here are five things you should know when booking flights on discount websites like Kiwi.
Don’t assume that your layover is at the same airport. For example, you may inadvertently book a trip with an 8-hour layover in London (because the price was right). I booked a trip through Kiwi in late 2018 and it had me land at Gatwick and depart out of Stansted (almost an hour away by car). In my case, I booked a hotel for 4 hours near Stansted so I could sleep a little. When I arrived at the hotel at midnight and mentioned I just need the room for a few hours, he might have thought I had a hot date except for my tired, blank face.
Kiwi didn’t allow me to purchase meals for my international flights. I flew Norwegian Air from New York to London both ways and had to watch (and smell) as all the other passengers enjoyed hot meals of meat, gravy, green beans, mashed potatoes with complimentary drinks. Meanwhile, I ordered their “snacks” of a hummus wrap (mostly wrap with about a tablespoon of hummus) and salad. I also ate protein bars and pistachios I had brought along. Not cool. If you are going to travel using discount websites, make sure you pack food that will fill you up.
Don’t assume you’ll be able to use the layovers to be productive. Personally, I have a hard time focusing in a busy place like an airport, but others may like to use this time to catch up on work or browse the internet. Also, the internet may not work. We are constantly advised to distrust public WiFi. And your wireless carrier may not have good service at the airport. HINT: T-Mobile is awesome. They don’t charge extra for data or texting when abroad.
Don’t assume a 2-hour layover actually means that. The first flight may be delayed (as recently happened to me). Since you’re traveling on different airlines (with a discount airline service), the connecting flight airline won’t automatically book you on a different flight. You could either end up missing your flight completely or having to run through the airport to reach your terminal. HINT: Kiwi will supposedly rebook you if you miss a flight. However, I’ve never actually tested this.
Don’t just dress for where you’re going. You may be going to Naples, Italy (like I did recently), but you may have to spend time outside in London where it’s cold and rainy. Bring clothes for all weather when traveling. It may mean more packing, but in the end, it could save you from braving through the cold. It could even be as simple as packing an extra sweater in your carry-on.