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Air India Connecting Flights


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This is an Air India connecting flights guide.

This guide contains information about Air India connecting flights, baggage rules, passenger rights and compensation regulations. Air India is the flag carrier airline of India, with its headquarters in New Delhi. The airline serves more than a 100 domestic and international destinations. It is a member of Star Alliance. 

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

Air India Plane
Air India Plane


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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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 full-service airlines and airline-protected connecting flights.

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


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1. Air India Connecting Flights

Air India is a full-service traditional airline.

Full service traditional airlines offer a number of services and amenities as opposed to low-cost airlines. This is the main reason why many choose to fly with traditional airlines. Among those services, are airline-protected connecting flights which 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.

Yes, Air India sells airline-protected connecting flights.

1.1 Connecting Flights, One Airline

In some situations, your connecting flight will be operated only by Air India.

It will be an Air India plane, manned by Air India staff.

However, that is not the case with every Air India flight.

1.2 Air India Codeshare Partners

Sometimes airlines share their flights.

They do it in order to widen their flight network. So that the airline can offer more flights, even to destinations they normally don’t operate flights. It is possible due to existence of shared flights. Connecting flights with different airlines is a very common practice in aviation. These kind of flights are called codeshare flights, and airlines collaborating — codeshare partners.

So, you may book a connecting flight from Air India, but it might be operated by another airline. You may have to fly with another airline, on their airplane.

What you should know is that:

  • If you miss a connecting flight through no fault of your own, it’s not your responsibility. Contact the Air India to find a solution. In most cases, you will be put on another flight free of charge. Because it was not your fault that you missed your flight. Air India has take care of that, even if this connecting flight was operated by their partner.
  • 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 India, then they are called operating airline — they have to pay compensation when it’s due. In case of Air India connecting flights, this applies to their flights from Europe.

See a list of Air India codeshare partners here.

People at an airport
People at an airport

2. What If Air India Cancels a Flight?

Why Air India cancels their flights?

The reasons are the same for all airlines. Your flight can get cancelled because of bad weather, staff shortage, strikes, airport congestion, security issues, terrorism threat and various technical problems.

2.1 One of Your Flights Is Cancelled

Air India is an Indian 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 their flights departing from Europe.

And if as a result you’re going to miss your connecting flight, it’s Air India’s responsibility to offer you an alternative flight for free to your final destination. You may also opt for a full refund instead. The latter applies only to Air India flights departing from Europe.

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 India 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 their flights departing from Europe.

Refund must be paid within seven days.

You may have a right to EU flight cancellation compensation.

2.3 Air India Refund for Cancellation

If your Air India flight is cancelled, you can ask for a refund.

But only if your flight departs from Europe. Otherwise, European regulations won’t work. Refund has to be paid by bank transfer, within seven days.

Hong Kong airport layover
Hong Kong airport

3. Air India Missed Connecting Flight

Why people miss their connections?

You could miss your flight because of airport congestions and long queues. If the previous flight was delayed or cancelled, you also could miss your flight. And, sometimes, you could just simply wait at the wrong gate or fall asleep while waiting for your flight.

3.1 What Happens If You Miss Air India 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 India, it doesn’t even matter if the flight is operated by Air India or not, you should contact Air India. It’s their responsibility to find a solution. You missed a connecting flight (it wasn’t your fault), airline 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).

With Air India, some of this apply only to flights from Europe.

Read more: Missed Connecting Flight Due to Delay 

3.2 Right to Compensation from Air India

Sometimes you have a right to compensation.

If your Air India flight:

  1. Departs from the EU, EEA or UK,
  2. Arrives to destination 3 or more hours late,
  3. Is delayed or cancelled due to the fault of the airline

Then you might be entitled to flight compensation from Air India.

Flight cancelled less than 2 weeks before the trip?

You might be entitled to flight cancellation compensation.


File a Claim Online

3.3 Right to Care from Air India

On all Air India flights from Europe 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. 

With Air India the regulation applies only to flights departing from European airports. With European airlines, like KLMLOT Polish AirlinesWizz Air and British Airways, it applies to all their flights.

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 India?

You can do it directly from Air India or via a third-party.

Visit webpage of Air India to book their connecting flights. Alternatively, you can use a third party website (,, etc.) to book Air India flights. These are two most popular options. Booking directly from the airline often is the best option at times of uncertainty.

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:,,

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, who offer extra protection.

With you are more protected than normally.

Read more: How to Book Connecting Flights?

Two backpacks

5. Air India Connecting Flights: Baggage

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

Baggage rules on connecting flights with Air India are simple.

In short, Air India takes care of your baggage. Check in your bag upon arriving at the airport. If it’s a connecting flight, in most cases, your bag will be sent to your final destination automatically. Unless it’s a self-transfer, or you are traveling through a country that requires everyone to collect and recheck their baggage at the airport (for example, USA).

Ask the staff if you aren’t sure about the destination of your bag.

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 India? As we already talked, you may experience this, because Air India 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 India Free Baggage Allowance

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

It varies depending on the airline, travel class and destination.

If you don’t know what is your baggage allowance, check your Air India booking confirmation. When you are only booking an Air India connecting flight, you can see baggage allowance when you are choosing your flight and travel class.

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).

Air India doesn’t have an “Economy Light” travel class (for now). All passengers get free baggage allowance on flights operated by Air India. However, airline baggage policy can change. So, make sure you check what is included in the fare when you are making a booking.

A beach in South Goa, India
A beach in South Goa, India

6. Connecting Flight Examples

Here are two connecting flight examples with Air India.

6.1 Protected Connecting Flights with Air India (Most Common)

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

For example, I want to fly from New York to Mumbai (India).

I’ve searched for flights for August 23, and these are my options:

New York - Mumbai Connecting Flight with Air India
New York – Mumbai Connecting Flight with Air India

On their website Air India sells only protected connecting flights. As you may already know, some of the connecting flights could be operated by another airline, Air India’s codeshare partner. In this case, however, all connecting flights seen in the example are operated by Air India.

If this matters to you, if you want to travel with Air India only, pay attention to which airline operates the flight. Also keep in mind that total flight duration, number of stops and price vary, too.

Let’s choose one connecting flight. Most people want to get to their destination as fast as possible, and as cheaply as possible. Since the price for all the options stays the same, let’s choose the shortest flight. It’s No 1. It has only one stop, at New Delhi Airport. Great!

6.2 Self-Transfer Flights with Air India

Let’s assume that Mumbai is not our final destination.

We want to fly from New York to Mumbai, and then — from Mumbai to Goa, where we have booked a stay in a resort on the beach. But before that you also want to spend a day or two in Mumbai, to explore the city.

  1. You can book a connecting flight to Mumbai, like in the example above. Let’s say, you’re taking the first option, which arrives in Mumbai at 4:15 pm. 
  2. And then you go to, or some other flight search website or app, and book a flight from Mumbai to Goa. Leaving yourself, let’s say, 30 hours in Mumbai. It’s enough for a quick stopover in Mumbai. You may also book this flight directly from an airline.

Your flight to Mumbai is an airline-protected connecting flight. If your first flight is delayed or cancelled, Air India will put you on another flight for free. However, the last flight, Mumbai – Goa flight, includes a self-transfer layover (a stopover, to be more precise). This is a separate flight, booked separately. It’s not a protected connection. If you miss it, the airline won’t put you on a new flight. 

Take this into account when booking flights like these. Don’t risk with very short layovers. 60-minute layovers are only okay if it’s an airline-protected connection, not self transfer, let alone 45-minute layovers.

What is your experience with Air India? Have you ever missed a connecting flight with Air India? How did the airline solve this? Did you receive compensation from Air India, or refund for cancellation?

Featured photo by Daniel Eledut on Unsplash

About the author:

Co-founder and Editor at Connecting Flights Guide

Una is an organized globetrotter and foodie who’s been living a digital nomad lifestyle since 2013. She always starts her day early with a good book before diving into work. Apart from traveling and aviation, her other passions include gym, hiking and cycling. Una is also a strong proponent of AI technology. She firmly believes in its potential to simplify life and has often advocated for its wider adoption in our day-to-day activities. Her favorite airlines are Qatar Airways, Emirates, and KLM.


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Connecting Flights Guide

Your go-to guide to air travel rules and regulations. Connecting flights, self transfer, onward tickets and more – we want you to understand air travel better

This article may contain compensated links. Learn more in our disclaimer.

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