Connecting Flights

My friends had a further problem as a result of a delayed departure of the flight from Sal, which resulted in a missed transfer at Lisbon for Milan. They were offered a flight in 3 days time, as all flights were fully booked till the Monday. Or they could have paid £900 to fly Business Class with another airline, which they turned down!

The only other option was to try and get on the next flight via Air Italia to Milan, which would enable them to get their connecting flight back to B’ham later that evening. They managed to get the last two available flights which cost them £450 for two tickets one way. Although the luggage didn’t arrive with them, they filled out a lost luggage form at Birmingham Airport and British Airways delivered it to their door 3 days later.

I had a similar problem with a delayed departure the following week, I also missed my transfer at Lisbon to Milan. They offered me a later flight but this would have meant that I would not have been able to get a flight back to the UK that evening (although I hadn’t booked one at that time). I didn’t fancy another overnight stay in Lisbon or Milan. I checked whether other airlines could get me to Milan any sooner but there wasn’t anything available. I was told to try the Groundforce Desk run by TAP. I found their desk, waited patiently and tried listening to everyone else’s problems with flights. I explained my situation about not being able to get back to the UK that night because of the delay. I was asked if I had already booked my flight from Milan to the UK, I hadn’t. I said I would be willing to get any flight to a UK airport if they could find one for me. They checked availability. There were two, one to Gatwick in an hour and a half and one around 2.45p.m. to Heathrow. I chose Gatwick as it was easier. They agreed to put me on that flight as long as I didn’t expect any other assistance the other end, I was happy with that. I was able to get this flight without paying any extra, I would have though if it meant getting back to the UK the same day.

If you are booking a flight through a travel agency, get confirmation that you don’t have to change planes at one of the stops (if not a direct flight). The flight agency I booked through didn’t know, and I didn’t bother checking, if I had I may have realised that 1hr 55mins to change flights in Lisbon, may not be a sufficient amount of time, especially if the plane was going to be a late departure.

Milan : If using this service and flying from the UK you may arrive at terminal 1, if so you may then need to catch the free shuttle to terminal 2. If you arrive in terminal 1 on the Tue evening from the UK, its best to stay there for as long as you can as there is nothing open at terminal 2 for refreshments other than a few vending machines and there was hardly anyone there at 10.00p.m. Make your own checks on terminals. Check how long it takes to get from one terminal to another to ensure you have enough time.

Verona : The Arrival Terminal is in a separate building to the Departure Terminal, but they are only next door to each other, 2mins.