I want to go from one country outside the Schengen area to another country outside the Schengen area with a connection of two airlines in Budapest airport, so the first one arrives at T2B and the other one departs independently from T2B. Can I transfer within T2B upon arrival without going through the passport control? I do not have a Schengen visa.

Has anyone had this experience? Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    What is your citizenship? Are these two separate tickets or two flights on a single PNR? If it is Wizz Air, then it will definitely be two separate tickets even if you booked them in a single transaction. These are critical questions. It is not just about what you can do at the Budapest airport but whether you can even reach Budapest airport. It is about rules, and not "anyone's experience". Different rules apply for different citizenships and different scenarios. Oct 20, 2022 at 11:56
  • These will be two separate, unrelated bookings from two airlines (I haven't booked anything yet). My citizenship does not allow me to enter Hungary (or any of the Schengen country for that matter).
    – Roman
    Oct 20, 2022 at 12:11
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    For two separate bookings, you need to have a valid Schengen visa else you will be denied boarding for your flight to Budapest. Even if you have single a booking, your citizenship still matters as certain citizenships require airport transit visas. For example, a citizen of Niger can make an airside transit through Hungary without a visa but a citizen of Nigeria can't, while both can't enter Hungary without a visa.. So just saying your citizenship doesn't allow you to enter Hungary is not enough. The specific citizenship matters. In your case, it doesn't as you have two separate tickets. Oct 20, 2022 at 12:20
  • The airline is telling me that I do not have to have a visa and the border control in Hungary is telling me that I will not need to go through the passport control. It seems that "anyone's experience" does matter here. The transit visa is a quirky thing, I haven't know about it. In this regard, I am a Russian citizen with a UK visa. What do you think?
    – Roman
    Oct 20, 2022 at 13:18
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    Russian citizen don't need an airport transit visa (ATV) for Hungary. But ATVs are only relevant in single tickets with connecting flights. Normally, airlines only look at the destination of the particular ticket, which is Hungary for your first ticket. If the airline is saying they will allow you to board without a visa, then take that in writing. And if it's a low cost carrier like Wizz Air, I wouldn't count on it. Oct 20, 2022 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


With two separate tickets:

  • If you have checked luggage, there's no doubt about it, you need to go through passport control to reclaim your luggage and reclaim it. In which case you need whatever document is required for you to enter the country, even if it's only for a few minutes. In your case that means you need a visa.

  • If there's any other reason why you would need to go to a check-in desk (no mobile/online check-in, document verification...), the same applies. Sometimes you can use airside transit desks for this purpose, but this depends a lot on the airline, the airport, and the exact circumstances.

  • If you don't have any checked luggage, can check-in online or via mobile, and the airport allows it (I would suppose this would be the case in BUD, but I haven't checked, many airports do not allow it), technically once you arrive in BUD you could do an "airside transit" and not go through immigration, and in your case not need a visa. That's why border control tells you you don't need a visa and can stay airside: from their point of view, it's possible.

    But as others have pointed out, the issue is you probably won't get to BUD in the first place: the first airline most likely considers that your final destination is BUD, and they will want to see documentation which allows you to enter Hungary before they let you board. There is a good reason for this: what happens if your first flight is late and you miss your next flight? What happens if the next flight is cancelled or they don't let you board? They don't want to deal with that (they have to if they sold you the connection, but not with separate tickets), so they just say no.

    Some airlines/agents can be convinced to take into account your next flight, and thus apply the rules for transit through BUD rather than for entry into Hungary, even if the next flight is ticketed separately/on a different airline. But unless they commit to it in writing before your flight (and even then), you definitely can't count on it.

    In comments you say the airline told you you don't need a visa. Double check with them that they have correctly understood that the next flight is with a different airline, ticketed separately. If they still confirm you don't need a visa, get them to tell you so in writing. But have a backup plan, arrive early at the airport, and be prepared to have a sudden change of mind of the airline (or, quite likely, the agents doing the work for them).

Also note that self-connections (with separate tickets) carry an inherent risk: if you don't show up in time for check-in or boarding for the second flight, you will be considered a no-show, your ticket will most likely be cancelled (possibly with further flights on the same ticket, like a return flight), and you will have to rebook and pay for a new flight, at last minute fares (usually a lot more expensive). Have a lot of buffer between the flights to account for any delays or cancellations, and have good travel insurance (and read the terms of the insurance policy!).

If the second flight is a cheap flight (even at the last minute), on a route with many alternatives, you can probably take the risk. If the second flight is an expensive flight with only a single flight a day on that route (or less), then the risk is much higher.

The other risk is if the second flight gets cancelled or you somehow get denied boarding. This can quickly turn ugly.

Self-connections are risky. Self-connections with a transit via a country you don't have the right to enter is very very very risky (if at all possible).

  • @chx As far as I know, the fines are only a few thousands euros. To take a specific example for which I can easily provide a source, in France it's €10k. Of course, it adds up and there is little upside for the airline so I can imagine they would train staff to err on the side of caution but that's not a gigantic fine.
    – Relaxed
    Oct 21, 2022 at 19:30
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    The airline will want to see proof of the flight out of BUD, and will take details of this flight. This meets their documentation check requirements, and they would not be fined in such a case. (Note that I'm not necessarily saying the airline would choose to allow the passenger to fly, just that they would not be fined in a case like this)
    – Doc
    Oct 21, 2022 at 19:34

If it is two separate tickets, you will be likely denied boarding. As, if you miss the 'connection', it is incoming airline's responsibility to bring you back to origin (may be with some huge fines on bringing a person without a visa), or your home country. They won't take the risk, even if you don't have to go to passport control.

If it is on same ticket, you can connect, based on your nationality. Some nationalities will require a Airport Transit Visa.


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