What Happens if You Miss a Connecting Flight Due to a Delay?


Have you ever wondered if you can get compensation for missed connecting flights? If yes, then you are at the right place. If you forget your connecting flight due to negligence on your part or because you were late to the airport, then this article isn’t for you. The airline won’t be responsible for your errors. However, if you got to the airport on time, weren’t notified early enough of any possible disruption, and missed a connecting flight, this article is for you. 

Why You Missed Your Connecting Flight

Missing a connecting flight is quite a common occurrence, and the major fault mostly lies with the previous flight you took. If there was a delay on the flight, longer than three hours, and that causes you to miss your next flight, then the airline should be held responsible. Common reasons why flights get delayed include bad weather conditions, bird strikes, tight flight schedules, pilot unfit to fly, air traffic control restrictions, etc. The good news here is that as long as the reason for the delay is within the airline’s control and not due to extraordinary circumstances, you may be entitled to some compensation. 

What Are You Entitled to if You Miss Your Connecting Flight?

If you miss your connecting flight as a result of a delay on the previous flight, the EU 261/2004 regulation protects you as an air passenger. This European law is for flights taking off from an EU member state or landing in one, with a European airline. It also protects you if you check in for your flight no longer than 45 minutes before departure. This assumes that you arrived at your destination three hours later than the originally scheduled time. 

You may be entitled to the following if you meet the criteria:

  • Compensation between €250 and €600, calculated based on the flight distance and not the ticket price. 
  • Free meals and drinks for a delay of over two hours. 
  • Free hotel accommodation for a delay that lasts overnight.
  • Free flight rescheduling option for a flight longer than 5 hours. You are also entitled to a full refund. 
  • The airline should get you a seat on another flight as soon as possible for a missed connecting flight. 

Next Steps to Take

Confirm if you meet the criteria for the EC 261 regulation. You can also get the airline to confirm the cause of the delay in writing. Put all your documents together and be prepared to request compensation. 

Some airlines readily have the compensation form on their website. If you can find it, start filling out the form. You can also contact the airline directly to know the process. Preferably, speak to your travel agency or hire an attorney to help out. 

Bottom Line

To avoid missing your connecting flight, it is often advised to space out your flights. Also, preferably, ensure it’s with the same airline, to make it easier to book another seat at no additional cost to you. 

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By Naomi

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