Would you pay $42 if it meant you didn't have to worry about missing a connecting flight?
Gatwick, London's second-busiest airport (out of the city's six), has launched a new product that does exactly that. For £27.50 per flight, passengers can buy this option as part of "GatwickConnects," which promises that if they miss a connecting flight there because of delay or cancellation, the airport will automatically re-book them on the next available flight to their destination without charge. And if that means putting them up for the night or feeding them a meal, it will do that, too.
The airport is popular among low-cost airlines, which are dramatically cheap but also punish travelers with draconian rules with nearly no accommodation for missed flights. Right now, to obtain the perk, passengers must book via two specific online search engines (Skyscanner or Dohop), on flights aboard one of three airlines (easyJet, Norwegian, and WOW Air; all of them low-cost airlines). But Gatwick authorities are pressing to expand that to more vendors and to the major carriers—and that could change the game.
It's an innovative move that, should it expand, would give Gatwick an edge over its main competitor, Heathrow, when it comes to connecting journeys—if this idea catches on, both Gatwick and its low-cost denizens stand to gain passenger loyalty.
Gatwick also calculates that the program will save travelers cash. According to the Telegraph in the UK, it "said that up until now the cheapest Jersey to Fort Lauderdale flight with guarantees against delays and cancellations would cost £1,116 per person, whereas using a low-cost carrier protected by GatwickConnects, the journey could be done for £240, a saving of £876."
In light of those figures, I'll ask it again: Would you pay $42 if it meant you didn't have to worry about missing a connecting flight?