This is my first time booking flights using points. I am trying to book from Melbourne to Rome for late June 2024. The best I’ve been able to find so far is flying Jetstar to Singapore and then Finnair from Singapore to Helsinki, to get us into Europe and then we’ll work our way to Rome.
Because these flights are with different airlines, will I have to clear customs in Singapore and then re-check in with Finnair. If this is the case, how much time do I need to allow for this process? If our first flight is delayed and we miss the connecting flight, what happens?
Welcome to Point Hacks!
If you’ll have carry-on luggage only, you will not need to clear customs in Singapore (but see my comments below for why you might want to, anyway!). You’ll just be changing terminals to catch the Finnair flight. If, however, you’ll be checking in your luggage, then yes, you’ll need to grab your luggage, clear immigration and then re-check in your luggage for the Finnair flight.
How much time do you need? I would never allow anything less than four hours between flights on non-partner airlines. But your first flight is on Jetstar, and you should be aware that if you miss the connecting flight, your points/money will be forfeited and you’ll be effectively stuck in Singapore. To be safe, consider staying in Singapore overnight and catching the Finnair flight the next day.
To add to @sixtyeight 's response, which I agree on. If/when your flights are booked under the same itinerary (one PNR/booking reference), you are generally covered if your first flight gets delayed/cancelled and causing you to miss your following flight(s). Obviously, it will still be a mess organising replacement flight(s), etc. So if you want to stress less and have time/accommodation money to spare, it doesn’t hurt to have some additional time up your sleeves for the transit/transfer.
@w.hiew is correct, as always, when he says that you should be covered if there is a problem with the first flight. But I’m worried by the fact that (a) this is a booking between a Oneworld and a non-Oneworld airline, (b) one of the airlines is Jetstar, and (c) the booking is with Qantas points.
See this post from a couple of weeks ago as an example of what could go wrong.
According to this webpage, Jetstar will transfer your bags to Finnair.
Baggage transfers and flight connections | Jetstar
I think it’s a risky itinerary though. For example, if you flew this yesterday, the Jetstar flight was delayed almost three hours giving you less than an hour to connect to the Finnair flight.