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Missed Connecting Flight Compensation

Missed Connecting Flight Compensation

Anton Radchenko
Reviewed by a licensed lawyer.
Last Updated: June 07, 2024

Claim up to £520 (€600) for a missed connecting flight & late arrival!

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You’re on a trip with a few stopovers, and your first flight is delayed. Because of this, you miss your connecting flight despite racing across the airport to try to make it in time. Have you experienced this?

It’s exasperating to say the least, right? But the good news is that, depending on where you’re travelling, you could be compensated for this kind of nightmare. This is what we're going to explain in this article. Keep reading to find out how and when you could get airline compensation for missed connections.

You can also jump right to the compensation amount you could receive. Just enter your flight info below to find out.

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What is a Missed Connecting Flight

A missed connection is a situation where you have one or more flights in the course of a journey as a result of a delay or cancellation on one or more previous flights. There can be lots of reasons behind the delay or cancellation, but if it's something the airline could have prevented, then you are entitled to compensation.

What Are My Passenger Rights

Missing a connecting flight can seriously disrupt your travel plans and cause a lot of unnecessary frustration. Luckily, your passenger rights are protected in the EU, UK, and Canada. This means that you can claim compensation for these missed connections as well as for flight delays, cancelled flights, and denied boarding.

Missed connection flight compensation

What Causes Missed Connections

Most of the time, a flight delay or a flight cancellation can happen due to extraordinary circumstances. These are events beyond the airline's control, meaning that the airline can't be responsible. Extraordinary circumstances can include:

  • 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.

Other situations like airline strikes, can't be counted as an extraordinary circumstance, meaning that the airline is responsible. So, if your missed connection can be attributed to something WITHIN the airline’s control, then you are eligible for compensation. 

Some situations that are within the airline’s control are mechanical problems, an excuse 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 fortunately for passengers, minor technical problems are no longer considered valid reasons for not paying compensation.

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You can also miss a connecting flight because of reasons within your own control, in which case the airline isn’t liable to compensate you. In most cases, the airline will rebook you on another flight, 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. So, 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.

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Curious about whether you could get airline compensation? Check your flight details below.

What To Do if You Miss Your Connecting Flight

First, ask the staff or crew the reason for the delay and take note of their response. Make sure you keep all of your travel documents, including your boarding pass and electronic ticket. Also, keep any documents that prove you've had additional losses and costs, such as prepaid reservations, accommodation, and transportation.

Then, ask the same airline to rebook you. You should get rebooked for free if you missed your connecting flight if it was the airline’s fault; otherwise, you might have to pay fees.

If there is a long queue of passengers, try calling the airline instead. Try their international numbers if you can’t get through, or try other options like their chat or social media pages. If the airline cannot find you a substitute flight, book one yourself and keep the receipt. The airline is obligated to offer you a refund for this.

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If the airline fails to provide an alternative flight or if an alternate flight is offered but does not satisfy your needs, then you are entitled to compensation in addition to a refund if you choose not to fly.

missed flight EU compensation

Eligibility Requirements for Missed Connection Compensation in the EU

In order to be eligible for compensation according to EU law, the missed connection must be the airline's fault. 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 your final destination airport is at least three hours long 
  • Your initial flight was delayed because of reasons not provided by the airline: if they do not tell you the reason for the flight delay, it is likely that the delay is their responsibility.

You are not eligible for compensation if you don’t have the proper boarding documents or you simply didn’t get to the gate on time, and it wasn’t caused by previous delays or cancellations. Basically, if you spend too much time shopping, then the airline isn’t responsible. Also, if your delayed or cancelled flight was caused by dangerous weather or air traffic restrictions, you won’t be eligible for compensation because these reasons fall into the extraordinary circumstances category.

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An important thing to note is that, to be eligible for compensation under EU law, your tickets must be on the same reservation or booking. So, if your ticket includes both legs of the journey, it is considered a single ticket.

Travellers & ticket types eligible for missed connection compensation

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

To be protected by EU regulations, your journey must meet the one of the following conditions:

  • You departed from an EU airport or
  • You travelled on an EU airline
  • You were delayed more than 3 hours at your final destination
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PRO TIP: EU law includes the airports in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

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If your flight was delayed, cancelled, or overbooked within the last 3 years, you could be eligible for up to £520 (€600) in compensation.

Claiming Missed Connection Compensation 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 is less than 1,500km)
  • Medium-haul flights (the distance of the missed connection flight is 1,500 – 3,500km)
  • Long-haul flights (the distance of the missed connection flight is over 3,500km)
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Basically, if your flight is delayed for over three hours at the airport or at your final destination (in case of indirect flights), you are entitled to missed connection compensation under Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004.

Flight Distance

Time delayed

Compensation

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 compensation including:

  • Free meals and refreshments as well as two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or emails; and
  • Free hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and hotel if your rebooked flight won’t leave until the next day and
  • Reimbursement of the full ticket cost or a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity (when the delay is at least 5 hours).

If your flight is cancelled (or delayed less than 4 hours for long-distance flights 3500 km), your compensation amount may be halved. This would depend on the overall amount of time you were delayed at your final destination (compared to your originally booked flight).

Missed Connecting Flight Compensation in the UK

Missed Connecting Flight Compensation in the UK

Before Brexit, the EU rules for missed connection compensation applied in the UK as well. After the UK left the EU, the British Government implemented a similar law called the Air Passenger Rights (Amendment) Regulations. This law, commonly known as UK 261, gives you the same rights and compensation for missed connecting flights as the EU regulation:

  • £220 for short flights (under 1,500 km)
  • £350 for medium flights (between 1,500 and 3,500 km)
  • £520 for long flights (over 3,500 km)

Additionally, UK 261 applies in case of flight delays, cancellations, or denied boarding.

Compensation for a Missed Connection in Canada

Compensation for a Missed Connection in Canada

The air passenger rights regulations in Canada for flight delays, cancellations, and missed connections, are similar to the regulations in the EU and UK.

More specifically, if you missed your connection because of a delay or cancellation that was within the airline’s control, the airline will try to book you on another flight. If you refuse this rebooking, and you don’t want to continue your journey, then you can get a refund for that part of your journey. Otherwise, if you do accept the rebooking and your flight arrives at your final destination more than 3 hours past your originally scheduled arrival time, then you can be eligible for compensation.

Compensation amounts in Canada are based on the flight distance, the size of the airline operating your flight, and how long you were delayed.

Flight Delay 

Small Airline ($CAD)

Large Airline ($CAD)

3-6 hours

$125

$400

6-9 hours

$250

$700

9 or more hours

$500

$1,000

Passengers who choose to take a ticket refund instead of alternate flight arrangements must still receive compensation for inconvenience if the disruption was within the airline’s control. Large airlines must pay them a minimum of $400 and small airlines, $125.

US compensation for missed connection

Compensation for a Missed Connection in the US

Unlike the EU, the US does not have set rules regarding passenger protection for flight disruptions. Since there are no federal laws requiring airlines to compensate passengers with cash or other compensation for flight delays, cancellations, or missed connections, the airlines decide if and how much to give passengers.

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 in order to make up for delayed flights, but most of the time, they will just offer you an alternative flight - but be careful because it might not be free of charge.

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On the other hand, if your trip has a stop in an EU country, you can claim compensation under EU Regulation No. 261/2004.

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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 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 claim flight compensation for missed connection

Filing a Missed Connection Compensation Claim

At AirAdvisor, we’re committed to helping all travellers who experience missed flights due to late connections. We know what to do when you miss a flight.

Most affected air passengers are unaware that they can get compensation for flight delays or cancellations. But even if they know and are trying to get paid, airlines are reluctant to respond. This is where we come in to help!

Our team of legal professionals can help you get compensation for a delayed flight due to a missed connection. Just fill in your flight information and ... relax. We’ll handle the entire process - from verifying your eligibility to participate in a dispute with the airline to defending your case in court. It’s that easy. Better still, we only get paid when you do.

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People Also Ask

Can you claim compensation if you miss your connecting flight?

Yes, you can claim compensation as long as it is the airline's fault. If you've missed your flight because of an extraordinary circumstance or because you were late at the gate you cannot claim compensation.

What happens if an airline makes you miss your connection?

If the airline causes you to miss your connection, you are entitled to compensation and also care and assistance. This will depend on the location of your flight disruption.

How do you claim a missed connecting flight?

To make the process fast and easy, you can reach out to our team of legal experts. We've handled over 250,000 cases involving flight disruptions.

What happens if your first flight is delayed and you miss your connecting flight?

If the delay of the first flight was caused by the airline, you are entitled to compensation.

Is EU 261 compensation for missed connections?

Yes, a missed flight connection is covered by EU 261 as long as the disruption was the airline's fault.

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