Compensation for missed connection

Did you miss your connecting flight because your previous flight was delayed? It is not your fault, claim for a flight compensation set for such cases by law.

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What are the passengers’ rights in case of missed connections?

A missed connection is a situation where a passenger misses one or more flights in the course of a journey as a result of the delay or cancellation of one or more previous services. There can be lots of reasons for delay or cancellation, but if it's through no fault of the passenger, then he or she is entitled to compensation for the missed connection.

Missing a connection flight can seriously disrupt your travel plans. This situation can rightfully cause anxiety and frustration, but luckily, your passenger rights are protected by several regulations, allowing you to claim a missed connection compensation. Also, keep in mind that there are things you can do to improve your chances of not losing your connection. Make sure that you have enough time between flights, especially if you'll need to go through customs and immigration. If it's cheaper to book two separate flights on different airlines than buy a single ticket, make sure to leave extra time for the connection.

Missed connection flight compensation

What can cause a missed connection?

Most of the times, flights are cancelled or delayed due to extraordinary circumstances, otherwise said, things that are beyond the airline's control, such as lightning strikes, medical emergencies, airport employee strikes or air traffic control strikes, adverse weather conditions, air traffic control restrictions, sudden malfunctioning of the airport radar, acts of sabotage, political unrest, acts of terrorism etc.

Mechanical problems are used more and more often by airlines as justification for refusing to pay compensation because the clauses about extraordinary circumstances in the Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 are pretty vague and ambiguous. But luckily, minor technical problems are no longer considered valid reasons for not paying compensation, especially in recent years.

You can also miss a connecting flight because of reasons within your control, in which case the airline cannot offer you compensation. The airline will rebook you on another plane, but you may have to pay a change fee plus any applicable fare difference. An important thing to remember is that airlines generally won't assume responsibility for missed connections on two separate tickets. If you've booked two separate flights on different airlines and one of them was cancelled or delayed, the other airline will not take responsibility.

What can you do if you miss your connecting flight?

First of all, ask the staff or crew what is the reason for the delay and mark it down. Make sure you keep all of your travel documents, including your boarding pass and electronic ticket. Also, keep the documentation that proves you've had additional losses and costs, such as pre-paid reservations, accommodation, and transportation.

The first thing you should do is asking your airline to rebook you. You should get rebooked for free if you missed your connection due to the fault of the airline; otherwise, you might have to pay. If there is a long queue, just skip it and call the airline instead. If they are unable to find you a substitute flight, book one yourself and keep the receipt. The airline is obligated to offer you a refund for this. If the airline fails to provide an alternative flight or if an alternate flight is offered but does not satisfy the passenger's needs, passengers are entitled to compensation. The airline is obligated to get your substitute flight for free.

What makes you eligible for compensation in case of a missed connection?

The bottom line is that to be eligible for compensation according to EU law; the missed connection must be the fault of the airline. Therefore, you might qualify for compensation if:

  • Your initial flight was delayed because of a minor technical problem with the aircraft
  • Your overall arrival delay at the final destination airport is 3 hours or more (through no fault of your own)
  • Your initial flight was delayed due to reasons not provided by the airline: if they do not tell you the reason for the delay, it is likely that the delay is their responsibility

You are not eligible for compensation if:

  • Your first flight was delayed due to air traffic restrictions, resulting in you missing your connecting flight
  • Your first flight was delayed because of heavy rainstorms reducing the visibility for the pilots
  • You did not have the mandatory documentation to embark on your connecting flight.
  • You did not present yourself at the gates on time.

An important thing to note is that to be eligible to compensation under EU law; your tickets must be on the same reservation. So, if your ticket includes both legs of the journey, it is considered a single ticket. If two or more flights are booked as a single unit, they are considered a whole for the right to compensation for passengers.

The types of travellers or ticket types eligible to missed connection compensation are:

  • Package holiday deals
  • Children on paid tickets
  • Business travellers
  • Low-cost airlines

You are entitled to compensation for a missed connecting flight even when you lost a connection or were delayed at any part of the journey for less than 3 hours leading to your overall arrival delay at the final destination airport for 3 hours or more.

To be covered by the EU rules, your journey must either:

  • depart from an EU airport and operated by any airline
  • arrive at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline
  • be delayed at your final destination is over three hours
  • (Under this law, EU airports also include those in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.)

missed flight EU compensation

Claiming compensation for a missed connection in the EU

Under Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004., the sum of the compensation depends on flight distance and delay time. There are three types of flights:

  • Short-haul flights (the distance of the missed connection flight less than 1,500km)
  • Medium-haul flights (the distance of the missed connection flight 1,500 – 3,500km)
  • Long-haul flights (the distance of the missed connection flight over 3,500km)

Therefore, when your flight is delayed for over 3 hours at the airport or arrival or the airport of final destination (in case of indirect flights), you are entitled to the compensation under the Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004.

less than 1500 km

more than 3 hours

EUR 250

1,500 – 3,500km

more than 3 hours

EUR 400

over 3,500km within the EU

more than 3 hours

EUR 400

over 3,500km outside the EU

3-4 hours

EUR 300

over 3,500km outside the EU

more than 4 hours

EUR 600


In addition to flight compensation, passengers are entitled to additional services such as: 

  • free of charge meals and refreshments and two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or emails; and
  • free of charge hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and place of shelter - when airline reasonably expects a time of actual departure is at least the day from the original time of scheduled departure; and
  • reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket or a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity, - when the delay is at least 5 hours.

For trips with several legs, the focus is not the destination at the point of origin, but the delayed arrival at the very final destination of the whole itinerary booked under the same booking reference. In case of cancellation (or delay fewer than 4 hours for long-distance flights 3500 km), your compensation amount may be halved, depending on the overall amount of time you would be delayed in arriving at your final destination on an alternate flight (compared to your originally booked flight).

US compensation for missed connection

Claiming compensation for a missed connection in the US

Unlike the EU, the U.S. does not have set rules regarding passenger protection in case of flight issues. Since there are no federal laws requiring airlines to provide passengers with money or other compensation when their flights are delayed, if you miss your connecting flight due to delay or cancellation, it is up to the airline whether it offers you compensation or not. According to the US Department for Transportation, if your flight is experiencing a long delay, ask airline staff if they will pay for meals or a hotel room, but keep in mind that they might refuse to offer you these amenities. Some airlines choose to provide travel vouchers, mileage flights and upgrades in loyalty programs to passengers in order to make up for delayed flights, but most of the time, they will just offer you an alternative flight and not always for free. However, if your trip has a stop in an EU country, you can claim compensation under EU Regulation No. 261/2004.

Claiming compensation for a missed connection in Israel

If your flight to Israel or from Israel was delayed, you have a right to care and even compensation according to Israel's Legislation of flight compensation.

In the case of a delayed flight over two (2) hours, you have the right to:

  • receive meals and beverages proportionally to the length of the delay
  • make two phone calls, access to fax or email and reimbursement of the cost if necessary
  • get free of charge accommodation and a taxi to go and come back to the airport in case of longer delays

In the case of a delayed flight of more than five (5) hours but less than eight (8) hours, in addition to the benefits mentioned above, you are entitled to:

  • Reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket within 21 days for the part of the trip that has not been made but also for the parts already made but no longer relevant to the original plan of the journey. Also, if applicable, you will be offered a return flight to the first point of departure with the nearest airline flight; or
  • an alternative flight that will be operated under similar conditions to the flight you've booked initially, which means that it has to get you to the destination as soon as possible. If you are offered a flight to an airport other than the one originally planned, the airline will pay the transfer cost to the decided initially point.

In case of a delayed flight over eight (8) hours, you are entitled to:

  • A delayed flight compensation, by the legal amount set by the Israeli Ministry of Transport, paid within 45 days of the date when the request for reimbursement was made. The amount of compensation depends on the distance of the flight. Compensation can vary between 1250 NIS ($ 356) and 3000 NIS ($ 853).

Missed connection know your passenger rights

Claiming compensation for a missed connection in Turkey

If you've missed a connecting flight to or from Turkey, you have the right to claim compensation. For delayed domestic flights, the passengers can claim 100 euros from the airline.

For international flights, the passenger can receive delayed flight compensation in the following sum:

  • an equivalent of 250 Euros in Turkish Lira for all the flights of 1500 kilometers or shorter,
  • an equivalent of 400 Euros in Turkish Lira for all the flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometers,
  • an equivalent of 600 Euros in Turkish Lira for all the flights longer than 3500 kilometers.

 How to submit a complaint about a missed connection flight?

How to claim flight compensation for missed connection

The first thing you need to do before submitting a complaint about a missed connection is to find out the reason for the delay. Knowing the reason for the delay might help when claiming compensation. If you think you will need to claim expenses from your airline, get a full receipt for everything. Then submit your claim on our platform, and we will take care of the rest.

We are here to help you get compensation of up to €600 and also save a lot of precious time. Claiming compensation means navigating the complex and highly bureaucratic legal system, and you have fewer chances of success if you do it on your own. Airlines may deny your initial claim or ignore your claim request entirely, but our team is prepared to tackle all the bureaucratic hurdles to get you the money you deserve.

We'll help you get compensation for last 3 years, if your flight was delayed, cancelled or if you were denied boarding.

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