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Can You Get a Free Flight if You Miss Connecting Flight?


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Mostly it depends on two simple things.

First, what kind of connecting flight is it? Second, why did you miss your connecting flight? Generally speaking, for most travelers the answer will be yes. Because, yes, you can get a new flight for free, if you missed a connecting flight, and it wasn’t your fault. It works like this with most airlines globally.

Continue reading to learn more about all options.

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

Departures in Dubai airport
Departures in Dubai airport

Can You Get a Free Flight if You Miss Connecting Flight?

Yes, if it’s a “proper connecting flight”, not a self transfer.

And if it isn’t your fault, but airline’s, that it happened. For example, if you missed connecting flight due to flight cancellation, delay or strike.

1. Airline-Protected Connecting Flights

These are “proper connecting flights”.

These are airline planned connecting flights. You can book these kind of flights both directly from the airline websites and from flight booking engines. This means that even if your first flight is running late, the airline will still ensure that you make it to your destination without any extra cost or hassle.

Can you get a new flight for free? Yes. As long as it’s airline’s fault. Get in touch with the airline’s representatives to get it sorted out.

Very often you also have a right to care.

2. Self-Transfer Flights

These are separately booked flights.

Mostly people book these kind of flights, when traveling with low-cost airlines like Ryanair and easyJet. It can also be a mix – one flight with a full-service airline like KLM or Delta, and one flight with Ryanair or easyJet.

These kind of flights are sold also on flight booking websites. If you book a flight through one of these kind of websites, pay attention to the details. They always tell if it’s a self transfer. If you don’t see that, then it’s a protected connection.

Can you get a new flight for free? No.

3. It Was Your Fault That You Missed a Connecting Flight

If the cause behind the issue is within the airline’s control, such as a delayed flight, very often they have to provide alternative transportation, including a free flight, to reach the destination. However, if the cause is something outside the airline’s control, such as a missed connection due to personal circumstances, the airlines is not obligated to provide a free flight.

If it’s your fault, it’s your responsibility.

In this case you also can’t get flight compensation.

How to Get a Free Flight if You Miss Connecting Flight?

Very often, all you have to do is contact the airline.

  1. Stay calm and approach the airline staff. Politely explain your situation to them and request their assistance in rebooking.
  2. Provide proof of the cause. If you missed connection due to delay of another flight, most likely all you will have to show is your boarding pass and / or passport. They can see flight arrival times themselves.
  3. If the offered solution doesn’t work for you, ask for other options. Rerouting through a different city might be one of them.

Have you ever missed a connecting flight? Did you get a new flight for free from the airline? If yes – what airline was it?

About the author:

Co-founder and Chief Editor at Connecting Flights Guide

Kaspars is a digital nomad and travel blogger who’s been traveling the world extensively since 2013. Since 2017, Kaspars has been writing about the less-known aspects of air travel, things like air passenger rights laws and regulations. He’s really good at simplifying complex concepts and making them easily understandable. Kaspars favorite airlines are Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines.


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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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