How Virtual Interlining saved my winter holidays
Being from Spain and living in Canada always makes the winter holidays season extra special since that is when I normally fly to Europe and spend much-needed time with my family. I’ve been living in Canada for almost 10 years and the only year when I couldn’t fly to Spain was in December of 2020. The reason? I’m sure you guessed it; Covid.
The first half of 2021 was a continuation of 2020, with more bad news regarding the pandemic, so I continued with the video calls over WhatsApp and FaceTime. I started getting excited when things began to improve over the course of the summer, but just when everything was looking up and the number of Covid cases was coming down we were hit with a new variant; Omikron. Given the uncertainty, I decided not to book any flights over the summer anticipating that the situation would improve in the fall.
Things did finally improve, but when I started looking for flights in October I realized that the prices between North America and Europe had skyrocketed and there were very few options as most airlines had reduced their flight schedules. After a few searches on Kayak and Skyscanner, I realized that the only viable option, without spending three times the normal price, was to fly using Virtual Interlining. In fact, the VI itinerary I purchased was ~$500 cheaper than the normal non-VI alternative.
You can learn more about Virtual Interlining (VI) in these blogs.
What is Virtual Interlining - link
Why is Virtual Interlining great for travel retailers - link
Advanced Virtual Interlining Part 1 - link
Some people may not know much about Virtual Interlining, given it is a relatively new concept for on-line consumers, but I have experience with such itineraries so I started planning. The main thing that you need to know about Virtual Interlining is that a “self-transfer” connection is needed in order to reach your final destination. In my case, I was flying from Toronto (YYZ) to Lisbon (LIS) with TAP Portugal and then from Lisbon (LIS) to Malaga (AGP), Spain, with Ryanair. My self-transfer time in Lisbon (or the time I had to get off the first plane and get on the second one) was 2 hours. It may not sound like a lot, but anything above 2 hours tends to be just fine. In my case, I was only flying with carry-on luggage, which meant that I did not have to worry about re-checking my luggage. In any case, I wasn’t really concerned about missing the connection since I booked my VI itinerary with Gotogate.com and was protected by their self-transfer guarantee. I knew that they would handle everything free of charge if I missed my second flight.
So, was booking a Virtual Interlining itinerary a good idea? You bet! Everything worked just fine, it saved me a nice amount of money, and more importantly, I was able to spend the winter holidays with my family. You can see a few pictures that I took to document my trip below.