Expensive Hassle with Air Europa

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Apr 2, 2019
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#1
My husband, my 6 year old daughter, and myself recently flew to Barcelona on Norwegian. We had an hour and forty minute layover before our connecting flight on Air Europa to Palma, Mallorca. The Norwegian flight was a little bit late, then we had to pick up my suitcase (Norwegian made us check it because it was over 10kg) and then take the airport bus to another terminal that was quite far away. The Air Europa flight did not permit online check in, so we had to go to the desk to check in before going directly to the gate. Upon entering the terminal, we got stuck behind a large tour group at the main Air Europa desk. I finally just cut up to the business class desk to try to expedite our check in, knowing that we were running quite late. The woman at the desk told me that the gate was closed and we would not be able to make the flight. That was at 3pm and our flight departure was listed as 3:10pm. She directed me to the other Air Europa desk to see about getting on a later flight. The woman there told me that our tickets were not transferable and we would be required to purchase the new flight tickets. Because we were so anxious and stressed about missing the flight, we just slapped down our credit card and paid the 450 Euros to get on the next flight 3 hours later (It occurred to me, as we sat waiting for the next flight, to search alternate airlines for flights to Palma and found some that were much cheaper around the same time). We then proceeded to the check in desk again, and the woman who helped us (different from the first one) seemed surprised to hear that we had been shut out of our original flight, and frustrated that we had been made to pay for the other tickets. Do you think I have a case to dispute this and request a reimbursement?
 

Carrie Livingston

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Jan 6, 2015
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#2
Unfortunately since the tickets don't appear to have been connected you missed check in time for your flight to Palma. Airlines have to close the manifest a certain time before departure. Once that time has passed, no changes can be made.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#3
For future travels, 1.75 hours is a short layover for an international connection with a different airline, especially one that has no online check-in. As you saw for yourself, even a small delay can cause a missed connection.

I recommend at least 3 hours between these types of connections, and more if customs or immigration are involved. Another good step when booking is to ensure one (1) flight after yours leaves in time to make the connection This provides you with a good backup plan . . .
 

Neil Maley

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#4
You didn’t leave nearly enough time in between flights. If you had two separate one way tickets you should have left at least three hours in between flights to disembark, get your bags and check in to your next flight which needed to be done an hour before the flight was scheduled to leave - the computers lock down and you cannot check in.

If your tickets would have been on one PNR
then the airline would be responsible for the new tickets. Because they are apparently separate- you are responsible.

Booking your own air is not as easy as it seems- these are things you need to know to make sure things like this don’t happen.
 
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weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#5
Your return tickets on Air Europa may also now be invalidated since you did not fly on the original Air Europa itinerary and purchased an unconnected ticket on another flight. You need to check with Air Europa ASAP to make sure you actually have return tickets back to Barcelona or wherever you were planning to fly from Mallorca. If they canceled your return flight, you may be able to fix this since you did fly Air Europa on another itinerary.
 
Mar 15, 2018
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#6
I'm curious why the two flights were not connected? Did you book this yourself? Did you book them as two completely different trips?

Others are saying minimum 3-hours in between unconnected tickets, but personally I don't think even that's enough. We see flights delayed more than 3 hours all the time. And when you've got to deal with luggage, customs & immigration in between the flights, that can take hours. If the flights aren't connected, any delay caused by the first flight will not be covered by the airline...you're on your own for the second flight, you will simply be viewed as a no-show.

Or were they actually connected? Where was your flight from? Who booked them?

So many questions here!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#7
I am so sorry this happened to you. I understand that hanging around an airport for a later connection is not very palatable with a young child, but your situation is precisely why we always advise long connection times. I hope you still have flights home or can resurrect them ...I'm very glad you contacted us so we could warn you about the "automatic return cancellation" when you miss your outbound flight. When you purchased the second tix, did the agent give you credit for the original tix, minus the cancellation fee? Or were they 'use it or lose it' tix?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
Norwegian does not interline bags with other carriers and only offer connecting flights on their own flights. They claim this is one way to keep prices low. They also say at least 120 minutes to transfer to another flight.


Norwegian is very strict with carry on weight and make people check if over.

The second agent at Air Europa was being nice. No one is surprised when a passenger is denied check in 10 minutes before departure. By then the ticket was marked as no show.

Air Europa is likely not going to refund the tickets.

This was a risky itinerary
 
Dec 19, 2014
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#9
As @Christina H already pointed out, Norwegian Airline does not have interline agreements with any airlines. To anyone who doesn't know what this means, it means that if Norwegian is on your initial flight segments, you have to pick up your bags, clear customs (if applicable), go to the check-in counter of the next carrier, check in. This can be a time consuming process and what is worse is if the Norwegian flight is cancelled or delayed, NEITHER party will accept liability for the no show.

The check-in cutoff times are often mandated by government agencies, so being 10 seconds late is the same as 10 minutes or 10 hours. The agent does NOT have the ability to override the lockout. Sadly, I have experienced this once before where I was literally 1 minute late (my fault).

The answer to your question is, no you don't have a case. Correspondence with Air Europa will get you an apology and possibly a gesture of goodwill in the form of a nominal voucher, but a refund is highly unlikely.

As @weihlac said, your return tickets are likely canceled, and now is the time to investigate, not when you are ready to check in to your return flight.

Did you book your tickets through an OTA? ie Expedia, etc?
 
Mar 15, 2018
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#10
Ahh...thanks for explaining. Having never flown Norwegian, I was not aware that they do not have interline agreements with other airlines. That does explain it.

Still curious where they were flying FROM! That would be helpful, to know if they had other, better options for reaching their destination of Mallorca that could have been linked flights.

To the OP: I will echo the others in here that this was a risky, if not outright unworkable, itinerary, and a refund is unlikely. Sorry to have to say that. This is one of those things you learn with lots of travel experience, and like so many travel lessons, it was an expensive one to learn.

I have a rule: if I HAVE to be somewhere (cruise, unconnected flight, wedding, business meeting), I ALWAYS fly in at least one day early. Just reading through the stories in here will show you that delays of 7 hours or more are not uncommon. If you have a layover on a linked ticket and miss your connection, your airline is obligated to get you to your final destination because you bought a ticket from point A to point B, with B being your final destination, not your connection city. But with separate tickets, each airline is only obligated to meet the contract of their ticket, and what the other does is irrelevant.

I'm glad you made it to Mallorca, anyway!
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#11
LeeAnnC generally low cost carriers do not interline or connect with any airline other than their own and this includes Norwegian, Ryanair, Easyjet, Spirit, Southwest—
Frontier may have one — Volaris in Mexico.

So no true protected connections and baggage transfers.

Always something to consider when choosing the airline.
 
Likes: VoR61

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#12
If you have no experience with booking air outside the US, it’s not for the inexperienced. This is a typical mistake. Using a discount carrier, not knowing about leaving ample time for connections and not understanding how booking separate tickets impacts your trip and connecting times.

This is why travel advisors are still in business and many people are going back to using advisors after getting caught in situations like this.

As I’ve said before just because you can book your own tickets doesn’t mean you should.