Dear readers, with an intriguing end of my Spring trip to Balkans, I will finally give you some update. You must have heard of the famous Murphy rule: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” It was not my case. After this experience I can call my expert in planning connecting flights.
Nevertheless to Ryanair´s recent delays, we landed 10 min early in Brussels CRL, so we were left with 10 extra min to catch the second flight to Zagreb. Lucky! Anyway, we rushed out of the plane first and with a brisk walk left and re-entered the terminal (there are no connecting flight area in this airport). We had our Fast Track tickets in hand (which I previously purchased online from airports webpage), we reached the gates, found the lane and passed everyone!!! It was awesome, a huge time saver, why people don’t buy it more often? It is just 4 eur anyway. 45 min left – we could relax and head to the gate. However, since Croatia is one of non-Schengen area members, we still had to go through the passport control.
- 10 min extra for connection. (60 min total)
- 35 min to do the transfer (with Fast track and Border control)
- Left with: 25 min
Tips when booking connecting flights
1. Anything besides Ryanair
You simply cannot trust this one. They are the only airline that doesn´t offer connecting flights. I wander why? Because they don´t want to pay compensations for the delays. As simple as that. So if I miss had missed my flight to Zadar, even if it was the airline´s fault – they would not issue a refund, nor reschedule your flight. IT IS ALL YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
2. Check the airports minimum connecting flight time
Every airport seem to have one. In Brussels CRL it is 50 min, which means that. This one depends how busy, big/small is the airport.
Book your flight in Skyscanner!
3. Make sure if the airport has a transfer desk
This one would be a time saver. It allows you to access your next gate without leaving the terminal and going through security check again. In my case in Brussels you CRL I had to exit and re-enter again, because they have no connection area.
4. Check-in baggage
If you have a check-in baggage you need to reserve some extra time for this.
5. Reserve your seats
Choose your seats closer to the aircraft´s doors and corridors. Nothing can be more time consuming and annoying than waiting on others when you are short in time.
6. Fast track and priority line
I suppose those who buy flights from low-cost airlines will avoid any additional costs, however, the fast track allows you skip the long security lines and go to a separate one instead. This one you should always verify in airport´s webpage. For example Brussles CRL states this:
The Fast Track is an option enabling holders to pass through security control quickly and calmly via a skip-the-line access.
The Fast Track is different from the “Priority Boarding” products offered by airlines which give priority in aircraft boarding.
Still want to take your chances with Ryanair? Make sure you do these things:
- Purchase corridor seats, as close to the exit as possible – extra 4 eur
- Only one none-checked in bag – which for Ryanair is Priority ticket – extra 4 eur
- Fast track – 4 eur (different prices, recommended to buy from the airport either web or once you land)
- Run, Forest, run!
Considering all the risks – the money you might lose by missing a flight and the money spent for all the extras – is it really worth it?
Book a flight or hotel through flight search engines like Kiwi, Skyscanner or Jetradar and make sure you reach your destination!
Kiwi.com and Jetradar both offer connecting flights and have you covered! They also have a very good search engine with many filters and options that allows you to plan alternative travel options. Yes you pay more, but at least you can relax and enjoy your flight.