Missing a connecting flight is a setback experience for any traveller on a long journey. But if you were travelling to or from Europe or had a flight connection at any airport in Europe, you might be protected by EU regulation EC 261. It provides the right to claim up to €600 ($700) compensation for any missed flight that caused delay upon your final arrival.
Learn more information about EU air passenger rights you have and how to claim compensation for missed connection.
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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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
You are not eligible for compensation if:
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:
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:
Under Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004., the sum of the compensation depends on flight distance and delay time. There are three types of flights:
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
1,500 – 3,500km
more than 3 hours
over 3,500km within the EU
more than 3 hours
over 3,500km outside the EU
over 3,500km outside the EU
more than 4 hours
In addition to flight compensation, passengers are entitled to additional services such as:
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).
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.
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:
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:
In case of a delayed flight over eight (8) hours, you are entitled to:
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:
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.