A friend of mine forwarded me an email from AirAsia that didn’t make much sense because it was advertising flights on Qatar Airways from select destinations in Asia to Europe and Africa.
I decided to dig deeper, and it appears that there is a white label version of Kiwi’s website available on AirAsia’s at flybeyond.airasia.com.
You can access AirAsia here.
Kiwi is very creative putting itineraries together. It often mixes and matches full-service and low-cost carriers, issues multiple tickets for a one-way journey, and there could be airport changes thrown in too.
Also, when you are buying a one-way, they may actually sell you a return or one-way ticket to another destination with a stopover at your “destination.”
There are many issues with this approach if things go south:
1. Each of the ticketed carriers is only required to transport you per their itinerary.
2. If there are delays, you may end up needing to buy new tickets because the “connection” is not protected in case of delays if on separate tickets
3. The airline may reroute you to the ticketed destination forgoing your intended destination
4. You won’t get into trouble throwing away returns once or twice, but it may cause issues to your frequent flyer account if this is continuing behavior.
Here’s Kuala Lumpur to Helsinki-sample
AirAsia via Kiwi sells you two tickets; one with Qatar Airways to Zurich and a separate one on KLM to Helsinki via Amsterdam.
You must be eligible to enter Switzerland if you are collecting and rechecking your bag(s). Usually, this would not be an issue because Switzerland, Netherlands, and Finland are all part of Schengen, but there are internal travel restrictions, especially for third-country nationals, in place at the moment.
I did once purchase a one-way Finnair ticket from Kayak that Kiwi issued. It was actually a return one with the return sector (greyed out) on the confirmation.
There is no issue with me sticking it to the airlines. Still, you need to be aware of possible consequences if things go south, especially now when airlines may see you entering a county and collecting your luggage when it is not your intended destination, and you may be barred from entering.
I would be very hesitant to purchase tickets through AirAsia or Kiwi that are separate and require “self” transfers, as they call them. If your flight is delayed and you miss your connecting one on a separate ticket, be ready to swipe your credit card and buy a new ticket on the spot.
AirAsia is desperate for any revenue they can generate now, and Kiwi here is obviously paying them something for tickets issued through their website.
I am surprised that airlines continue to allow Kiwi to “create” some of the more creative itineraries with throw-away segments. You would think that there would be debit memos going their way?