To check or to not check, that is my question.
June 18, 2009 11:27 AM   Subscribe

American flying from Prague into London Stansted airport on Easyjet. I then have 2.5 hours to catch a flight on Ryanair to Glasgow. Will I have enough time to check my luggage, or will I have to do carry-on?

I can do carry-on if needed, but I would much prefer to check my luggage if I can (no worries about weight/liquids/dimensions). Is 2.5 hours cutting it too close? I have never flown into London Stansted, nor have I needed to connect to a different carrier. So I've no idea about the time needed to gather my baggage, and then make it back through check-in and security to my gate. Anyone have any sense if this is totally doable, or totally risky? Thank you!
posted by Windigo to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
I usually allow 30mins for bag collection at Stansted. Queues for security can be long though they do have lots of lines now. I've never waited more than 40mins in those queues (and I fly thru Stansted fairly often).

Ryanair have gone to online check-in only now, I think, even for passengers with hold baggage. That should save some time at least though I don't know what the queues at the Bag Drop desk will be like.

I reckon you can do it if your Easyjet flight comes in on time.
posted by Tapioca at 12:02 PM on June 18, 2009

Best answer: Stanstead is pretty small and 2.5 hours minus 30 for baggage claim minus another 30 (being at the gate at the last minute) still leaves you 90 minutes to be delayed and go back and forth through security. And if it looks like you'd only squeak through, you can check your bag for the first leg and carry it for the second.

The kicker is that getting a last minute flight on Ryanair would be £83-184 (based on one person flying to Glasgow tomorrow, would be more on a weekend/Monday--the £184 flight is the last one of the day), and they have a £40 surcharge for checking in at the airport that they might sting you with as well. I've seen budget airline agents be extremely generous to people having unexpected troubles (putting them on the next flight at no charge), and seen them slap on every single service charge they can without blinking. Easyjet's last minute flight to Glasgow would also be over £100.

It looks like Ryanair's travel insurance would cost you £6.50 for a single trip and cover you for most of that if easyJet make you late. I don't see anything to suggest they wouldn't cover you if a delay with easyJet causes you to miss your Ryanair flight. If you have time, you might want to look into that. Unfortunately, they make it difficult to contact them by phone and ask "will I be covered if X happens?".
posted by K.P. at 1:41 PM on June 18, 2009

Way too wordy, sorry. Yes, barring something quite unusual, it's doable. But the high cost of something going wrong and the cheapness of single-trip cover for one day would suggest insurance is a wise purchase.
posted by K.P. at 1:47 PM on June 18, 2009

Best answer: 2.5 hours is definitely enough time. Ryanair want your stuff in their custody one hour before scheduled departure.

If your plane to Stansted is late, however...
posted by genghis at 4:07 PM on June 18, 2009

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