We bought connected flight from Berlin to Palma via London from Ryanair (third party, my trip). We checked on UK.gov website and it said with EU residence permit (Iranian citizen living in Germany) we don't require visa for transit. But now at the airport they are refusing to let us fly and say we need a visa. Is the information on the UK website inaccurate?

  • 3
    Is this a single reservation number or two separate ones? Ryan Air does sell connecting flights, but it's rare.
    – Hilmar
    Oct 12, 2021 at 20:32
  • 9
    You didn't buy a connected flight. Ryanair does not sell those. Ryanair also extremely dislikes people booking via third parties. Oct 13, 2021 at 6:34
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    @Krist van Besien: I dislike Ryanair too.
    – Gigili
    Oct 13, 2021 at 7:33
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    @Gigili I never fly Ryanair. And I also never (and neither should you) buy plane tickets from anybody but the airline itself. Oct 13, 2021 at 7:38
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    @KristvanBesien This advice is a bit too general. There is nothing wrong with a reputable travel agent. Also, airline websites are often limited regarding which fares or routings their IT systems are able to sell, so using a travel agency (offline or online) can be needed in some cases.
    – DCTLib
    Oct 13, 2021 at 8:00

2 Answers 2


You have bought two separate tickets, Ryanair doesn't sell this connection. To be able to check in for the first flight you need to be allowed to enter the UK since that is you destination on the first ticket. From Ryanair's viewpoint your tickets aren't connected and your visit in the UK isn't transit.

The uk.gov site is correct, if the airline would let you fly to the UK the border agents would have let you through with an onward ticket.

  • 14
    @Gigili It is possible but Ryanair doesn't allow you to. For example, your second flight might be cancelled and then Ryanair is stuck with a passenger in London that can't enter the country. It is a responsibility they don't want to take.
    – Anders
    Oct 12, 2021 at 19:41
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    @Gigili Because you have two tickets with a stay in the UK between them. Ryanair doesn't care if this stay is two hours or two weeks, you must be able to enter the UK even if that isn't your plan. Again, what would happen if your second flight is cancelled?
    – Anders
    Oct 12, 2021 at 20:21
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    Ryanair is a point to point airline. It doesn’t do connected flights, and its London hub is Stansted which has no airside transit stanstedairport.com/help/passenger-guides/connecting-flights Your booking is actually 2 completely separate flights: Berlin>London, clear UK Immigration, then exit UK for the London>Palma flight.
    – Traveller
    Oct 12, 2021 at 20:31
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    The UK Government Online Q&A page returns a finding that a citizen of Iran needs a visa to enter the UK. Because your first flight lands in Stanstead, you must pass UK Immigration - as noted, there is no sterile airside transit at Stanstead. Ryanair is unfortunately correct here: your flight drops you into the UK, and you are not eligible to enter the UK without a visa. The UK is no longer part of the EU. What website said you could enter the UK with an EU residence permit? Oct 12, 2021 at 21:38
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    @Gigili In practice, they can. Gov.uk doesn't spell it out exactly but that rule is designed to help airlines (and especially BA) offer transit through the main London airports, no more and no less. Ryanair doesn't.
    – Relaxed
    Oct 12, 2021 at 22:03

The Berlin flight to Stansted airport enters the Common Travel Area, where others on the same flight could continue on to Ireland (or remain in the UK) or, as in your case, travel on to the Schengen Area (together with any domestic UK travelers starting their journey in Stansted).

Passengers from all incoming flights from outside of the Common Travel Area have to go through immigration together, after which the passengers continues on to their respective destinations.

The person I was traveling with (Canadian, with a German permanent residence permit) received a leave to enter for Ireland (which was checked again on arrival at Shannon airport).

For this (returning to the Schengen Area) you would have needed a UK transit visa.

Visa to pass through the UK in transit - GOV.UK
Apply for a Visitor in Transit visa if you’ll be going through UK border control but leaving the UK within 48 hours.

It is the sole responsibility of the passenger to ensure that they have the required documentation needed. The airlines are required to enforce any immigration regulations. Failing to do so would entail, for them, a heavy fine, which they may attempt to pass on to the passenger.

  • 7
    @Traveller Price? Ryanair sometimes offers extremely cheap tickets for people who don't care how long it takes, how far out of town the airport is or what time they have to get up at. I don't recall Lufthansa being famous for cheap flights... Oct 13, 2021 at 6:31
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    @Anders No, it is about going through Border Control or not. In Heathrow (that has an airside transit area) a transit visa may not be required. But airports, such as Stansted, that don't have an airside transit area, you must go through immigration. You should apply for a Visitor in Transit visa if you arrive on a flight and will pass through immigration control before you leave the UK. Oct 13, 2021 at 7:38
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    @OscarBravo But don't forget to add the cost (and time) for the visa: Visitor in Transit visa - £64 (and the price for a passport, if you don't have one) Oct 13, 2021 at 8:02
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    @Oscar Bravo Cheaper than being denied boarding, and less risky than a self-transfer.. Plus UK border officials consider whether the individual is genuinely in transit to another country, meaning the purpose of their visit is to transit the UK and that the applicant is taking a reasonable transit route gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/… Ryanair holds all the cards here, in effect the OP has no recourse
    – Traveller
    Oct 13, 2021 at 8:35
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    @Gigili If that airport has an airside transit area (such as Heathrow), then yes with a Schengen residence permit no transit visa is required. Oct 13, 2021 at 9:47

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