Missed Connecting Flight Compensation

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Missing a connecting flight may be an unpleasant event that disrupts your trip plans. Yet, there are several scenarios in which you could be qualified for compensation from the airline. But what are the policies and guidelines regarding reimbursement?

For instance, if you missed connecting flight due to delay, cancellation, or denied boarding on the initial flight, you may be entitled to a refund of up to €600 (about $650). However, there is one essential requirement: your initial and connecting flights must be part of the same booking or reservation.

This means that even if your flights were meant to be connections, you might not be eligible for compensation if you bought them separately. Airlines are only required to provide compensation when a missed connection happens inside the same reservation, as they see it as a single trip.

Passenger Rights in Case of Missed Flight Connection?

It’s important to know your rights as a passenger regarding missing flight connections. Airlines are obligated by law to make sure that your travel goes as smoothly as possible. And if there are any problems, you could be eligible for a refund or missed connection compensation.

If you miss your connection due to circumstances beyond your control, such as a flight delay or cancellation, the airline is responsible for arranging alternate transportation to your final destination. Additionally, depending on the duration of the delay, you may be entitled to compensation under the applicable legislation.

However, if it were you who were the cause of the missed connection, the airline is not obligated to provide compensation or alternative transportation.

To ensure your rights are protected, it’s essential to:

  • Keep all relevant documentation, such as boarding passes, flight itineraries, and communication from the airline regarding delays or cancellations.
  • Familiarize yourself with the airline’s policies and regulations regarding passenger rights in your region or the region you’re traveling to.
  • Turn to our service to get a qualified partner on your team. Getting compensation is rather a daunting process, so our experience will serve you right.

Remember that airlines are responsible for ensuring that your journey runs smoothly. Every passenger is entitled to the same services. So, if interruptions occur at their fault, you have the right to seek compensation for missed connection or alternative arrangements. Being informed and taking initiative might make it easier for you to handle such circumstances.

When Are You Entitled to Missed Connecting Flight Compensation?

The following requirements must be satisfied to qualify for compensation for missed connection:

  • You missed your connecting flight because your original flight was delayed, canceled, or denied boarding (due to overbooking).
  • In the event of a flight delay, the missed connection caused you to arrive at your final destination more than 3 hours later than expected.
  • Your booking or reservation included your connecting flights. This indicates that the airline booked both flights together and treated them as a single trip.
  • You missed your connection because of an issue that was the airline’s responsibility. This might be due to operational problems, technological difficulties, or other factors under the airline’s control.

If all of these requirements are met, you could be qualified for missed connecting flight compensation under the European Union Air Passenger Rights Regulation.

Missed Connecting Flight Compensation

When it comes to missed connecting flights, several scenarios determine your eligibility for compensation. Let’s explore three common situations:

Missed Connection Due to Flight Delay

One of the most typical and irritating situations is missing your connecting flight due to an initial flight delay. If you arrive at your ultimate destination at least 3 hours late due to a delay on your initial flight, you may receive missed flight connection compensation. The amount of it is determined by the length of the delay and the route:

Flight Distance and ItineraryCompensation Amount
All flights 1,500km or less250€
Internal EU flights over 1,500 km400€
Non-internal EU flights between 1,500-3,500km400€
Non-internal EU flights over 3,500km600€

Yet, note that the flight delay caused missed connection must be significant enough to cause you to arrive at your final destination at least 3 hours late. If the delay is minor and you still make it to your connecting flight, you won’t be qualified for compensation.

Missed Connection Due to Flight Cancellation

As for flight cancellation cases, there are certain circumstances that can make you eligible for flight compensation, for instance:

  • If the airline did not provide you with an alternative flight, you can request a full missed flight refund for both connecting flights.
  • If the airline did offer you an alternative ticket, but you declined, you might get a full refund for the connecting flights.
  • If the airline’s alternative flight causes you to arrive at your final destination more than three hours later than planned, you may be eligible for flight compensation as well.
  • Finally, you can also apply for flight compensation if your original flight was canceled less than 14 days before the scheduled departure.

The amount of airline missed connection compensation here severely depends on the route and the flight distance:

DistanceUnder 2 hours2-3 hours3-4 hours4+ hoursNever arrived
All flights 1,500km or less125€250€250€250€250€
Internal EU flights over 1,500km200€200€400€400€400€
Non-internal EU flights 1,500-3,500km200€200€400€400€400€
Non-internal EU flights over 3,500km300€

Missed Connection Due to Denied Boarding

 If you were denied boarding because of overbooking and missed your connection, you may be entitled to compensation. The amount you have the right to receive depends on the length of the flight and the route.

Flight distance and itineraryCompensation amount
All flights 1,500km or less250€
Internal EU flights over 1,500km400€
Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 and 3,500km400€
Non-internal EU flights over 3,500km600€

Remember that to get compensated, your connection flights have to be part of the same booking, and the reason for a schedule change has to be the airline’s fault. Extraordinary circumstances for delayed flight causes missed connection, such as severe weather conditions or security threats, could be deemed beyond their control and prevent you from getting compensation. Additionally, always keep all your documentation and tickets as proof to get your money back.

Getting compensated for a missed connecting flight can be quite challenging. To assert your rights and receive proper compensation, you need to have a good understanding of the numerous aviation rules and regulations. This is why hiring professional companies that concentrate on protecting the rights of passengers on flights would be the best option. Our partners have worked in this industry for a long time and are familiar with every nuance of getting paid by airlines. This significantly increases your chances of successfully getting missed connecting flight compensation.

Which Flights Are Covered by EU261?

The EU 261 Law covers most flights within Europe and provides comprehensive protection for air travelers and compensation for missed flight in the event of flight disruptions, cancellations, or denied boarding.

Generally, it covers all flights inside the EU and those whose route goes from inside the EU to outside or vice versa on the EU air carrier. However, if the air carrier is non-EU and you are flying outside of Europe to whichever destination – the EU law won’t cover the disturbances that could occur.

The law offers a high degree of protection to passengers and makes sure their rights are respected in the case of missed connecting flight due to delay or other disturbances. Air travel standards and passenger experience have significantly improved within the European Union due to this regulation.

ItineraryEU Air CarrierNon-EU Air Carrier
From inside the EU to inside the EU✅ Covered✅ Covered
From inside the EU to outside the EU✅ Covered✅ Covered
From outside the EU to inside the EU✅ Covered❌ Not Covered
From outside the EU to outside the EU❌ Not Covered❌ Not Covered

What Is Not Covered by EU 261?

While the European Union’s Air Passenger Rights Regulation (EU 261) provides broad protection for air passengers, there are several circumstances in which airlines are not held liable for flight-related issues. It is critical to understand these exclusions to moderate your expectations and determine when you may not be eligible for compensation or help under EU 261.

Extraordinary circumstances, or situations outside the airline’s control, are one of the main exceptions. According to EU261, airlines are not obligated to provide compensation for missed connection if the disruption was caused by extraordinary circumstances.

Events that fall under the category of “extraordinary circumstances” include:

  • Staff-initiated strikes: Under EU 261, an airline is not entitled to reimbursement if a strike disrupts flights.
  • Political crisis: Political instability, civil disturbances, or conflicts may be considered extraordinary.
  • Bad weather: Extreme weather conditions that pose a risk to aviation safety or result in prolonged delays, including hurricanes, tornadoes, or thunderstorms, are classified as extraordinary circumstances.
  • Security risks: Incidents involving credible threats to national security or acts of terrorism fall under the category of extraordinary circumstances.

What To Do When You Miss Your Connection?

While missing a connecting flight might be annoying, there are a few things you can do to minimize the impact and make sure you get to your destination as soon as possible. If you happen to have missed connecting flight due to delay, you should do the following:

  1. Get an alternative flight. Speak to the staff at the airport and explain to them the situation calmly. They ought to get you an alternative flight to mitigate the situation.
  2. Remember your baggage. Make sure your baggage is retrieved and loaded onto your alternative flight.
  3. Keep all your documents. Do not forget your passports and tickets – these could serve when applying for flight compensation.
  4. Use your “right to care”. If your waiting time for the replacement flight for connecting flight cancelled exceeds 2 hours, you can request meals and refreshments from the airline. And if it exceeds 6 hours – you have a right to get accommodation from the airline.
  5. Check if you are eligible for compensation. See if you can get compensated for your missed connection through our service.
  6. Do not accept offers that do not align with the regulations of EU261.
  7. Turn to specialized services for protecting air passenger rights. They will expertly assess your situation, gather the necessary evidence, and defend your interests against airlines. 

Finally, remain patient when talking to staff to minimize the disruption to your travel plans and potentially receive compensation for missed flight or reimbursement for any inconvenience caused by the missed connection.


What Is the Minimum Connection Time?
The minimum connection time (MCT) is the shortest period needed to go to an airport and connect to another flight. Every airport has a unique MCT, which is calculated by taking into account variables, including the distance between gates, the airport layout, and the effectiveness of the transfer process. Generally, if your first flight is delayed, and you have less time than the MCT to make your connection, you might be able to get compensation from the airline.
Can You Claim Compensation If You Miss Your Connecting Flight?
If the missed connection was solely the passenger’s fault, such as arriving late at the gate or failing to check in on time, no compensation can be requested. However, if a missed connecting flight due to delay or cancellation was the airline’s fault, you may be eligible for compensation. This depends on the circumstances and applicable laws. You can claim compensation for a missed connecting flight, provided that: Both flights were part of the same booking. The delay or cancellation wasn’t due to extraordinary circumstances beyond the airline’s control. Claiming missed connecting flight due to delay compensation can be rather hard due to the legislation involved, so make sure you get a reliable legal advisor to preserve your passenger’s rights.
What Happens If You Miss a Connecting Flight Due to a Delay?
If you miss a connecting flight due to a delay on your initial flight and arrive at the final destination three hours or more late, you may be entitled to compensation from the airline. Furthermore, if you have to wait more than two hours at the airport, the airline has a legal obligation to provide you with food and drink throughout the wait (known as the “right to care” under certain regulations). Yet, it’s worth noting that the specific airline missed connection compensation and assistance provided may differ depending on the airline’s rules and the applicable regulations in the region or country where the issue occurred. If navigating the compensation process seems daunting, it’s advisable to turn to specialized services that focus on protecting air passenger rights. With their help, you are bound to get compensated, as you should not lose money for something beyond your control.

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