Transfers are set to be the new normal for post-COVID travelers
10 August 2020 – With many airline routes being unserved due to airlines grounding their fleet or capping their costs during the pandemic, Kiwi.com is seeing more virtually interlined (self connect) bookings compared with direct flights as travelers look for new and more creative options to get to their destinations.
Transfers can be considered a worrying and stressful experience by some as they navigate an unknown airport and worry about missing their connection or seen as a frustrating time-stealer by others who just want to get to their destinations as quickly as possible.
To address these concerns Kiwi.com is partnering with airports to make “transfer-anxiety” a thing of the past through the introduction of Smart Pass which will help a passenger with a self connecting flight get safely through the airport and in some cases provide the use of a dedicated transfer desk where they can find assistance from airport staff.
For those passengers who are looking for speed, the Smart Pass enables a wider choice of connecting flights as the minimum connection time between landing and departing can be shortened. Airport staff at the transfer desk support passengers in reaching their gate in case of very short layover time by escorting them through security and passport control and even calling the gate if needed.
The latest IATA Passengers Global Survey showed a seamless journey and better management of travel disruptions as priorities for customers. The previous survey showed one of the top priorities for travelers was to have face to face human interaction. The transfer desk also addresses “transfer anxiety” by providing personal support from airport staff if a connection is missed or delayed and the desk is equipped with Kiwi.com phones that passengers can use to call Kiwi.com customer support.
Patrick Zeuner, Head of Airport Partnerships at Kiwi.com, said: “Minimum Connecting Time (MCT) is a little known term for travelers but is a very important factor in the industry. By Kiwi.com working with airports to reduce the time needed for a connection can make a big difference to passengers’ journey time and widen the choice of locations to connect through to get to their end destination. Smart Pass and its associated benefits then brings the speed and the reassurances to a journey no-matter what type of traveler you are.”
Budapest Airport has been one of the first airports to introduce dedicated transfer desks for self-connecting travelers – bud:connects, powered by Kiwi.com – has seen more than 250 passengers using the transfer desk since travel restrictions were lifted on 1st July 2020.
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Note to editors
Lars 32 y/o was traveling with his business partner from Gothenburg to Milan Bergamo via Budapest. The flight from Gothenburg to Budapest was delayed for one and a half hours, and the two travelers were left with only 15 minutes for a layover. They were happily surprised to be met by airport personnel who approached them upon their arrival, made a short call to their gate, and guided them there, making it possible for them to catch their flight.
By landing in Budapest, Sarah 38 y/o already knew that she missed her flight to Stansted. She reached out to the bud:connects desk, explained what had happened, and was really pleased when the agent knew exactly the situation and how to help her. After calling Kiwi.com and getting a new flight within minutes, for the same evening. Sarah was also given credits from Kiwi.com for refreshments.
Kiwi.com was founded in 2012 by Oliver Dlouhý and Jozef Képesi. The travel tech company was created for travelers by travelers. Its proprietary algorithm – Virtual Interlining – allows users to combine flights and ground transportation from more than 800 carriers, including many that do not normally cooperate. Kiwi.com powers more than 100 million searches every day and employs 2,000 people worldwide.
Carol Barnes, Head of Global Communications