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I bought 3 interconnected flights via Kiwi.com, but have been reading so many negative reviews and experiences with this online broker. Many of the problems look to be connected to the booking not forwarded to the airlines, or details (e.g. regarding additional luggages) not transmitted (leading to pay again when checking in at the airports).

I wonder what I can do to prevent issues when I will travel to such flights?

  • Is there a way to have a confirmation of the booking (with my name and passport number) from the airlines, so that I can be sure that my flights have been requested and paid?
  • Checking the state of flights on some flight-tracking website, so to be aware of eventual variations/cancellations/delay.
  • I've also paid for the Premium Insurance but I'm not sure if that would help.
  • Would it be better to try to get a refund and buy with via another company?

EDIT

From the confirmation email I have:

  • a PNR (same for all 3 flights)
  • 3 E-Ticket numbers 1 single E-Ticket number

PNR is in the format accepted by the first airline, but is not recognised by the system on the website.

The second & third flights airline (Etihad Airlines) website says

No special characters or numbers allowed

regardless of what I digit. I tried their Check-in form, that doesn't give the error but says my booking doesn't exist...

Additionally CheckMyTrip reports a different PNR for the 2 Etihad flights (but still not recognised on their website), not appearing at all in the ticket sent me by Kiwi.com...

What can I do?

EDIT 2

I called all the different airlines to confirm the booking of the flights, the inclusion of the luggage and the eventuality of automatic pass-through for the luggage at the changing airports.

Also, Kiwi.com specifies for each flight that the passenger will have to check-out and check-in again (having to pass again all the security controls, and actually eventually having a visas to just step-in & step-out of the country). Calling the single airlines confirmed in which cases the pass-through is automatic (for example with Etihad I won't need to do anything, regardless of what the default text from the Kiwi.com confirmation says).

To note that the for almost all airlines customer services I got the chance to call in my country to speak in my mother language and confirm all the flights. Also the PNR given by Kiwi.com was not valid for any of the airlines, but they gave me the right PNR after providing the ticket number.

I can only suggest to spend the time (and hopefully not the money) to call and verify each step of your flight with your airlines. Usually their customer services are a lot better than the customer services from online brokers (e.g. calling eDreams they gave me 2 other different numbers to call to get minimal info about the flight: 1 for free, fake; 1 highly expensive, working).

EDIT 3 - All right!

I finally got my flights. Everything went smooth. I confirmed before leaving (twice, in two different airports) that the passage of luggage is automatic when there is a single ticket number. What Kiwi.com writes in its email is just misleading; probably an automatic text just to disclaim any responsibility in case something goes wrong.

Not really professional.....

I'd suggest to use Kiwi.com just to find routes, not to book. Or to book with them just when having already some experience and confidence with international/intercontinental travelling (to not get confused by a fuzzy booking agent).

  • If you don’t have access to them directly online or haven’t received them via email, request the airline PNRs. Many (but not all) airlines will allow you to check the details of your booking with that. You can also use tools like checkmytrip, though IIRC this will depend on the GDS used. – jcaron Jan 26 '18 at 1:09
  • 1
    "What can I do?" - actually call the airlines. Websites often have issues with records created outside the airlines booking systems, but call centre workers will have access to the full records - if you have been issued with E-Ticket numbers for each flight, then the call centre worker should be able to track it down for you much easier, especially if there is an issue. – Moo Jan 28 '18 at 23:55
  • Sorry, I was writing in the night and reported it wrong 😓 Actually also the E-ticket is a single one (question updated). But Kiwi.com claims to book separate flights (they say I have to check-out/check-in at each stopover). Can be the E-Ticket number be the same for all the different flights and companies? – Kamafeather Jan 29 '18 at 13:08
  • Did you try travelport? It is the online interface to Galileo which is where the other PNR may be booked. – Burhan Khalid Jan 30 '18 at 4:38
  • @BurhanKhalid thanks for the link. Even there it tells me that the "Itinerary is not found". Are there other portals to check? Or have I been scammed? – Kamafeather Jan 30 '18 at 12:41
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Once kiwi gives you the airline booking references (likely by email) use them to check your bookings on the airline websites. This also is your chance to reserve specific seats or special diet meals.

  • I have a PNR (same for all 3 flights) and 3 E-Ticket numbers. PNR is in the format accepted by Air NewZealand, even though it's not recognised as usable by the system on their website (what could be the reason?..). The other airline website (Etihad Airlines: the second and third flight) complains of the PNR containing numbers 😐, regardless of what I digit; trying the check-in form says my booking doesn't exist... Additionally CheckMyTrip reports me a different PNR for the 2 Etihad flights, that doesn't appear at all in the ticket sent to me by Kiwi.com ... any other suggestion? – Kamafeather Jan 28 '18 at 22:53
  • Every Kiwi answer gets this comment: check travel.stackexchange.com/q/134484/4188 before using their guarantee. – chx Mar 30 at 15:27
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It's too late to book via another company and Premium insurance is quite useless.

However, you should receive from Kiwi by mail, within 24 hours, your digital tickets, which should contain respective ticket numbers and reservation code to verify each reservation on the respective airline sites.

  • I have a PNR (same for all 3 flights) and 3 E-Ticket numbers. PNR is in the format accepted by Air NewZealand, but it's not recognised as usable by the system on the website (what could be the reason?..). The other airline website (Etihad Airlines: the second and third flight) complains of No special characters or numbers allowed, regardless of what I digit; trying the check-in form says my booking doesn't exist... Additionally CheckMyTrip reports another PNR for the 2 Etihad flights (still not recognised), not appearing at all in the ticket sent me by Kiwi.com... what can I do? – Kamafeather Jan 28 '18 at 22:59
1

Just checked my confirmation from Kiwi and that's what I have:

enter image description here

Kiwi number is 6-digit length and it is the same for all legs of your route. It doesn't checkable on airline sites, only on Kiwi site.

PNR numbers (alphanumeric) are unique for each leg of your transfer and are perfectly checkable on air carriers sites. At least mine are. So you can have 5 different PNRs with one Kiwi booking number.

If your PNRs are not checkable against the air carriers' systems, then something is wrong with them, and you should definitely contact Kiwi so they give you the correct reservation numbers.

You says that you have same PNR for all three flights which is obviously wrong.

Checking via CheckMyTrip works for me as well, and should do for you too.

  • Thank you for your experience. Yes my PNRs were wrong and different by airline, even if the ticket is unique (as results on the Etihad portal). I contacted directly the airlines, skipping directly the fallacy point, since I don't expect a great customer service from a n entity that can't provide the correct referring numbers in the first place. But sure, calling them would have been the natural first step. – Kamafeather Feb 6 '18 at 7:18
  • "PNR numbers (alphanumeric) are unique for each leg of your transfer and are perfectly checkable on air carriers sites" Not true. Tickets booked through agents often have multiple PNRs, codeshares often have multiple PNRs etc, etc. Ticket from travel agent with two PNRs: i.imgur.com/eM1zGRZ.png – Wandering Chemist Mar 20 '18 at 22:58
  • @WanderingChemist that's what I meant. Unique for leg = multiple if trip has many legs. I don't see the controversy here. – Suncatcher Mar 21 '18 at 8:39
  • I think you misunderstood me. A single-leg can have multiple PNRs (and multiple legs can be on a single PNR). On the linked itinerary, there were two PNRs - one was created by the agent and the other by the airline. Similarly, codeshare bookings can have different PNRs from the operating and marketing airlines for the same flight. The consequence of this is that the PNR/record locator shown on, say, your boarding pass (or used to manage the booking with the airline) might be different from the one provided by the travel agent. I only use travel agents for business travel, but have always 1/2 – Wandering Chemist Mar 21 '18 at 14:15
  • been provided with the marketing airline's PNR as well as the agent's, when available. (Cheap online operations may not offer the same service as business agents, so perhaps don't provide both.) In some cases, e.g. BA, they don't create the PNR immediately for such bookings, so you get the agent's PNR and the eticket number + a placeholder (NOSYNC, in BA's case) indicating that there is no airline PNR at that time. Multiple flights on a single itinerary could very well have the same agent PNR; whether they have the same airline PNR would, I guess, depend on how the flights were ticketed. 2/2 – Wandering Chemist Mar 21 '18 at 14:18

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