Air France Connecting Flights


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This is an Air France connecting flights guide.

In this guide, you’ll find information on how to book Air France connecting flights. The guide also includes information about passenger rights in Europe, baggage policy and compensation rules. Air France is the flag carrier of France. Together with KLM, Air France created a merger, Air France–KLM Group. Air France is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, and operates flights to 90+ countries.


Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.


Air France Plane

1

Is It Protected?

Yes, it’s a protected connection.

Traditional airlines sell airline-protected connecting flights. It’s more convenient and more safe than self-transfer flights. You don’t need a visa for connecting flights like this.

Unless you book flights separately.

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2

Baggage Rules

Airline takes care of your baggage.

Mostly, you will check in baggage only once — you won’t have to recheck baggage for every flight. This is how it works with traditional airlines and airline-protected connecting flights.

Baggage allowance depends on the ticket, destination and occasionally some other factors. 


3

Travel Insurance

Make your trip more safe.

Add travel insurance right away. Protect yourself against possible itinerary changes later right from the very beginning. Insurance must be for the duration of the trip.

Make your trip safe from day 1.

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1. Air France Connecting Flights

Air France is a full-service traditional airline.

What is the main difference between full-service airlines and budget (low-cost) airlines? The main (but not the only) difference difference is the protected connecting flights. These flights are the main reason why so many choose full-service airlines over budget airlines. Airline-protected connecting flights are better than self transfers.

Airline-protected connecting flights are:

  • More safe. Your airline takes care of flight problems.
  • More convenient. Baggage transfer is automatic.
  • Easier to book. You book several flights as a single journey.

Air France sells airline-protected connecting flights.

Just like most other traditional airline.

1.1 Connecting Flights, One Airline

You have booked connecting flights with Air France.

In some situations your connecting flight will be operated by Air France. Wait? Isn’t that the norm? Well, not always your connecting flight will be operated by one airline (the same airline you booked your flight from). More on that below.

So, you have booked a connection with Air France. And in many situations your flights will be operated by Air France. These will be Air France airplanes and Air France staff. But it’s not the case with all Air France connecting flights. 

1.2 Air France Codeshare Partners

Sometimes airlines share their flights.

You’ve booked an Air France connecting flight. But part of it (or even all of it) may be operated by another airline. It will be that airline’s plane and its staff. It can be KLM or some other airline. Actually, it’s a very common practice in the aviation industry. You don’t have to worry about it, as in most situations you are still protected under the same EU regulations. These kind of flights are called codeshare flights, and airlines collaborating — codeshare partners.

What you should know is that:

  • If you miss a connecting flight through no fault of your own, you should contact Air France. They have to assist you and find a solution. As long as it’s an Air France connection booked from Air France, they are so called “marketing airline”. And they are responsible for dealing with missed connection flights.
  • If your flight is heavily delayed, cancelled or overbooked, compensation is paid by airline operating this particular flight. If it’s operated by some other airline, not Air France, then they are called operating airline — they have to pay compensation when it’s due.

See a list of Air France codeshare partners here.

Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport

2. What If Air France Cancels a Flight?

Why is Air France cancelling flights?

Airlines cancel their flights due to a number of reasons. It may be bad weather, staff shortages, airport congestion, security issues, all sorts of technical problems, and other issues.

2.1 One of Your Flights Is Cancelled

Air France is a European airline.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

This applies to all their commercial flights.

If you are going to miss your Air France connection because of flight cancellation, contact Air France to discuss your options. Air France will provide you with a new ticket free of charge. They must help you to get to your final destination. If you don’t wish to travel anymore because the new flight doesn’t fit your travel plans, you can ask for a refund. The rules are the same with all Air France cancelled flights.

You may have a right to compensation (more on this below).


Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.


2.2 All Your Flights Are Cancelled

Overall, for you as a passenger, the options are the same.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, Air France must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport if it’s a last-minute cancellation and you are already at the airport (you have a right to care).

This applies to all their commercial flights.

Refund must be paid within seven days.

You may have a right to EU flight cancellation compensation.

2.3 Air France Refund for Cancellation

Yes, you have a right to ask for a refund.

If you don’t wish to travel anymore, you can ask for a refund. 

Refund has to be paid by bank transfer. 

You don’t have to accept any vouchers or coupons.

Refund must be paid within seven days.

Hong Kong airport layover
Hong Kong airport

3. Air France Missed Connecting Flight

Why do people miss connecting flights?

There are a number of reasons. You might miss a connecting flight because your previous flight was delayed or cancelled. The delay doesn’t have to be long. You might miss your flight even if the delay is 40-minutes long, or even less. You could miss a flight because of airport congestions and long lines. And, sometimes, you might simply wait at the wrong gate by mistake or fall asleep while waiting for your flight.

3.1 What Happens If You Miss Air France Connection?

If it’s your fault that it happened — it’s your responsibility.

If it’s not your fault, then your airline has to take care of that. If you booked a flight from Air France, it doesn’t even matter if the flight is operated by Air France or not, you should contact Air France. They have to assist you in this kind of situation. You missed a connecting flight, and Air France must offer you a solution.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Take you to your final destination as soon as possible.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

Read more: Missed Connecting Flight Due to Delay 

3.2 Right to Compensation from Air France

Sometimes you have a right to compensation.

If your flight has landed 3 hours later than scheduled, and the delay is due to the fault of the airline, you may be entitled to compensation. Check your flight to find out if you can get compensation. Sometimes even a 2-hour flight delay is enough for you to be entitled to compensation. The latter applies to situations when one flight is cancelled last-minute. If it’s a 3-hour delay, and this delay is due to the airline’s fault, it’s highly likely that you will get flight delay compensation from Air France.

Flight cancelled less than 2 weeks before the trip?

You might be entitled to flight cancellation compensation.

GET FLIGHT COMPENSATION

File a Claim Online

3.3 Right to Care from Air France

On all Air France flights you have a right to care.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004 airline should provide:

  • Free food and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time.
  • Free hotel accommodation if a stay of one or more nights is necessary;
  • Free airport transfer to hotel and back.
  • Plus, two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails. So that you can notify your loved ones about a change in your travel plans. 

It applies to all domestic and international flights with Air France. Again, it’s because Air France is a European airline. With non-European airlines it applies only to flights departing from European airports.


When it comes to air passenger rights, unless otherwise stated, we talk about air passenger rights in the EU, EEA and UK. When we say Europe or European, we mean EU, EEA or UK. This is done for the simplicity, since the according laws in these countries are about the same.


Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport

4. How to Book Connecting Flights with Air France?

There are a number of ways you can book a connecting flight.

The best options are: booking directly from the airline (in this case, Air France) or using a third-party website (such as kiwi.com). 


How to Book?

Airline website (directly).

This is the easiest way to book a connecting flight. It’s also the safest way to book a connection. You make a single booking, have a single reservation code and the booking includes several flights. Sometimes they are all with one airline, other times – two or more. Anyway, in this case, you can be 100% sure that you have a proper connecting flight.

Other Option

Flight booking websites.

Few examples: skyscanner.net, expedia.com, momondo.com.

Pay attention to the details. Because some of these sites are only search engines, and sellers are other websites. Apart from that, they often sell both airline-protected connecting flights and self-transfer flights. If it’s a self-transfer, know that it comes with its own risks, and there are things you should take into account. Self-transfer is not the same thing as airline-protected transfer. 

For extra protection, buy also a travel insurance covering flight disruptions, or book with sites like kiwi.com, who offer extra protection.

With kiwi.com you are more protected than normally.


Read more: How to Book Connecting Flights?

Two backpacks

5. Air France Connecting Flights: Baggage

Since Air France is a traditional airline, everything’s very easy.

Baggage rules on connecting flights with Air France are simple.

In short, Air France takes care of your baggage. You check it in at your origin airport, and in most cases it will be sent all the way to your final destination. You won’t have to collect and recheck your baggage between flights. Unless you have booked your flights separately (self-transfer), or you’re traveling through a country that requires everyone to collect and recheck their baggage (e.g., the U.S.).

If you aren’t sure, ask the staff at the check-in/baggage drop counter.

5.1 Baggage Transfer: Different Airlines

What happens if there are several airlines?

What if one of your flights is operated by different airline, not Air France? Yes, you may experience this, because Air France does share some of its flights with its codeshare partners. In this situation the rules are the same — your baggage is being taken care of by an airline. In most situations you won’t have to worry about it.

Read more:

5.2 Air France Free Baggage Allowance

Baggage allowance varies — it’s not the same on all flights.

It depends on the airline, travel class and destination. To see your baggage allowance, check your booking confirmation, or view your booking details here. You’ll need to log in using your booking reference and last name.

If you haven’t booked a flight yet, pay attention to baggage allowance. 

5.3 Economy Light

This is the cheapest option for long-haul flights.

Economy Light comes without free baggage allowance.

We see this all across the industry. Full-service traditional airlines are offering also tickets without free checked baggage allowance. The wording is also often the same — Economy Light. So, if you see this, most likely it’s without checked baggage (carry on baggage only).

When you see cheap Air France flights, pay attention to this. Because Air France also sells Economy Light tickets. If you need more than a carry-on bag, this option may not suit you.

Iguazu Falls in Brazil
Iguazú Falls, Brazil

6. Connecting Flight Examples

Here are two connecting flight examples with Air France.

6.1 Protected Connecting Flights with Air France (Most Common)

For this example I’ll be using the website of Air France.

For example, I want to fly from Milan (Italy) to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

I searched for flights for October 31, and these are my options:

Milan - Rio de Janeiro Connecting Flight with Air France
Milan – Rio de Janeiro Connecting Flight with Air France

You can book connecting flights on the website of Air France. 

There are several options you can choose from. Some flights are with one stop, some — with 2 stops. For example, the first option is with a layover in Paris, the second option — with a layover in Amsterdam. If you prefer one destination over the other, as a layover city, pay attention to this.

What else? As you can see, not all of these connecting flights are operated by Air France. Some of them are partly or wholly operated by another airline. For example, the second option is operated by KLM Cityhopper and KLM.

If this matters to you, if you want to be on an airplane of Air France, you must be paying attention to details like these.

Total flight duration, number of stops and price also vary.

6.2 Self-Transfer Flights with Air France

What if Rio de Janeiro is not your final destination?

What if you have a domestic flight as well?

For example, you are flying from Milan to Rio de Janeiro, and then onwards to Foz do Iguaçu, to visit Iguazú Falls. But before that you want to spend a 2 days in Rio de Janeiro, the most iconic city in Brazil.

  1. Book a connecting flight to Rio de Janeiro, just like in the example above. Let’s say, you’re choosing the fastest (but not the cheapest) option, the first one on the list. It arrives in Rio de Janeiro 18:15 (6:15 pm).
  2. And then you go to skyscanner.net, kiwi.com, or some other flight finder, and choose a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Foz do Iguaçu. Leaving yourself, let’s say, 2 days in Rio de Janeiro. It’s best to use flight finders only to find flights. And then book a flight directly from the airline.

You are traveling to Rio de Janeiro on an airline-protected connecting flight. If your first flight is delayed or cancelled, and because of that you miss your next flight, Air France will take care of this issue. The airline will put you on another flight for free. This far you are protected by airline.

However, the last leg, Rio de Janeiro – Foz do Iguaçu, is a separate flight. You check in for that flight separately, take care of baggage yourself, and you won’t be receiving compensation for that flight if any of previous flights get rescheduled, let’s say, for 3 days.

What is your experience with Air France? Have ever missed connecting flight with Air France? How did the airline solve this? Did you receive compensation from Air France?

Image by Dylan Agbagni from Pixabay


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