cancelled.ch repeatedly receives exceptional cases of missed connecting flights, all of which were booked via the kiwi.com booking platform.
At first glance, kiwi.com’s business model seems no different from that of ebookers.ch or expedia.ch. But there is a big difference at one point:
To our knowledge, kiwi.com is the only site that offers “unofficial” flight combinations. For the sake of simplicity, we will illustrate this below with an example:
On kiwi.com you can book a flight from Basel to Casablanca. The first flight is operated by the airline easyJet, the second by Royal Air Maroc. These two airlines do not cooperate with each other and are each members of a different airline alliance. This means that de facto two single flights are booked. This can often be recognized by two different booking references. This results in the following disadvantages:
- Any checked baggage often cannot be “checked through” and must therefore be picked up at the transfer airport and re-checked immediately (marked yellow in the image section). As a general rule, the security check must be passed through again. Of course, this aspect alone can lead to a missed connecting flight.
- If the first flight arrives late or is even cancelled, this airline usually only offers a replacement flight to the transfer airport (here Madrid), but not to the final destination.
- com would like to counter these disadvantages with the so-called Kiwi.com Guarantee. If there is a flight irregularity, kiwi.com provides an alternative. As a passenger you have to contact kiwi.com and not the operating airline. Many passengers are probably not aware of this fact. kiwi.com also strictly defines the conditions under which an alternative is offered.
- Furthermore, passengers are not entitled to compensation under the EU Passenger Rights Regulation if the feeder flight was less than three hours late. A missed connection therefore often does not mean that claims can be asserted against the airline – regardless of how late you are at your final destination. In such cases cancelled.ch cannot claim any compensation, as these are not owed by law.
Of course, there are also advantages to the “kiwi.com model”:
- The offer on the site is much larger, as flights of all airlines can be combined with each other. This often leads to good prices with an incredibly large offer. At least if all flights are regular, this can bring big advantages.
Conclusion: All those who book with kiwi.com should be aware of the above facts. In this way you can avoid unpleasant surprises and benefit from the advantages of this site.