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Croatia Airlines Connecting Flights


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This is a Croatia Airlines connecting flights guide.

In this guide, you’ll learn more about Croatia Airlines connecting flights, baggage policy, air passenger rights and EU compensation regulations. Croatia Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Croatia. Headquartered in Buzin (near Zagreb), the airline operates flights within Croatia, and services a number of European destinations. Croatia Airlines is a member of Star Alliance.

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

Croatia Airlines plane
Croatia Airlines airplane


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. Croatia Airlines Connecting Flights

Croatia Airlines is a full-service traditional airline.

Just like other traditional airlines, Croatia Airlines offer airline-protected connecting flights. These flights are one of the main differences between traditional and low-cost airlines. If you have booked such a flight, your connection is protected. If you miss your connection due to delay or cancellation of the previous flight, the airline will book you on another flight.

That’s why airline-protected connecting flights are better than self transfers. See our comparison here – Connecting Flights vs Self-Transfer Flights.

Airline-protected connecting flights are:

  • Safer. 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, Croatia Airlines sells airline-protected connecting flights.

1.1 Connecting Flights, One Airline

You have booked a Croatia Airlines connecting flight.

Often Croatia Airlines connecting flights will be operated only by Croatia Airlines. See the example below (“Connecting Flight Examples”). These will be Croatia Airlines planes, and Croatia Airlines staff.

But it’s not the case with all Croatia Airlines flights.

1.2 Croatia Airlines Codeshare Partners

Sometimes airlines share their flights.

It is done in order to widen the flight network. Thanks to this, airlines can offer flights to destinations they don’t service.

So, you have booked a connecting flight with Croatia Airlines. It can be operated partly (or even fully) by another airline, a Croatia Airlines partner. The flight will be serviced by the partner’s plane and staff. Connecting flights with different airlines is a common practice in aviation. Such 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 don’t have to worry — you will be booked on another flight. Contact Croatia Airlines to find out what are your options. As long as it’s a Croatia Airlines connection booked from Croatia Airlines (they are called marketing airline), they have to find a solution. Even if the connecting flight was partly or fully operated by their partner airline (for example, Austrian or Lufthansa).
  • 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 Croatia Airlines, then they are called operating airline — they have to pay compensation when it’s due.

See a list of Croatia Airlines codeshare partners here.

Departures terminal at an airport
Departures terminal of an airport

2. What If Croatia Airlines Cancels a Flight?

Why is Croatia Airlines cancelling flights?

This happens for a number of reasons. Staff shortage, technical problems, airport congestion, bad weather, security issues, strikes. These are just some of the most popular reasons why airlines cancel their flights.

2.1 One of Your Flights Is Cancelled

Croatia Airlines 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 as a result you’re going to miss your Croatia Airlines connecting flight, it’s the airline’s responsibility to offer you an alternate flight to your final destination. The rules are the same with all Croatia Airlines cancelled flights. You may also opt for a full refund if you don’t wish to travel anymore.

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, Croatia Airlines 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 Croatia Airlines commercial flights.

Refund must be paid within seven days.

You may have a right to EU flight cancellation compensation.

2.3 Croatia Airlines Refund for Cancellation

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

If the alternate flight doesn’t fit your travel plans, request a refund. 

This refund has to be paid within 7 days by bank transfer.

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

All of this is stated in the EU Regulation 261/2004.

Hong Kong airport layover
Hong Kong airport

3. Croatia Airlines Missed Connecting Flight

Why do people miss their connecting flights?

The reasons are different. It could be due to a silly mistake like confusing am with pm. Or it could be something more serious like airport congestion or cancelled/delayed previous flight.

3.1 What Happens If You Miss Croatia Airlines 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 Croatia Airlines, it doesn’t even matter if the flight is operated by Croatia Airlines or not, you should contact Croatia Airlines. It’s their responsibility to find 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 Croatia Airlines

Sometimes you have a right to compensation.

If your flight is 3 or more hours late due to the fault of the airline, you may get flight compensation from Croatia Airlines. If you have a connecting flight, sometimes even an hour or 2-hour flight delay is enough for you to be entitled to compensation. As long as you arrive at your final destination 3 or more hours late. Also it applies to situations when one flight is cancelled last-minute. If it’s a 3-hour delay (due to the airline’s fault), there’s a very high chance you have a right to delay compensation from Croatia Airlines.

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 Croatia Airlines

On all Croatia Airlines 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. 

It applies to all domestic and international flights with Croatia Airlines. Again, it’s because Croatia Airlines 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 Croatia Airlines?

You can do it directly from Croatia Airlines or via a third-party.

The best option is to book directly from the airline. It’s safer, but not always cheaper. Alternatively, you could use a third party flight booking website ( or to book Croatia Airlines connecting flights.

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. Croatia Airlines Connecting Flights: Baggage

Since Croatia Airlines is a traditional airline, everything’s very easy.

Baggage rules on connecting flights with Croatia Airlines are simple.

In short, Croatia Airlines takes care of your baggage. You check in your bag only once, before your first flight. Croatia Airlines and airport staff will take care of your luggage throughout the journey. You don’t have to collect and recheck baggage between flights — which is super convenient.

Unless you have a self-transfer, or you’re traveling through a country that requires everyone to collect and recheck their baggage (e.g., US).

If you aren’t sure ask the staff at the check-in 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 Croatia Airlines? As we already talked, you may experience this, because Croatia Airlines 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 Croatia Airlines Free Baggage Allowance

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

It depends on the airline, travel class, ticket type and destination.

When you are booking a Croatia Airlines connecting flight, you can see baggage allowance when you choose the flight, when selecting your travel class and ticket type. Haven’t paid attention to this fact? Check your booking confirmation to see your 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 Croatia Airlines flights, pay attention to this. Because Croatia Airlines also offers ticket type similar to Economy Light. It’s called “FlyEasy”. If you travel with more than a carry on bag, this option is not for you.

Read more: What Is Carry-on Bag / Baggage?

Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik, Croatia – Photo by Nikolett Emmert

6. Connecting Flight Examples

Here are two connecting flight examples with Croatia Airlines.

6.1 Protected Connecting Flights with Croatia Airlines (Most Common)

For this example I’ll use the website of Croatia Airlines.

Let’s assume that you want to fly from Bucharest to Zagreb.

You’ve searched for flights for September 2, and these are the options:

Bucharest - Zagreb Connecting Flight with Croatia Airlines
Bucharest – Zagreb Connecting Flight with Croatia Airlines

On their website Croatia Airlines sells only protected connecting flights. But as you might already know, not always connecting flights will be operated by the marketing airline (in this case, Croatia Airlines). Some of the connecting flights could be operated by partner airlines.

Flights in these example, however, are operated by Croatia Airlines. Only total flight duration and prices vary. The first option is the fastest. But it’s not the cheapest. There are two flights operated by Croatia Airlines. And there’s a layover in Split Airport (SPU).

6.2 Self-Transfer Flights with Croatia Airlines

Now, let’s assume, that your itinerary is slightly more complex.

Your final destination is not Zagreb. You want to fly to Dubrovnik after spending a couple of days in Zagreb, a stopover in Zagreb..

  1. You can book a connecting flight to Zagreb, like in the example above. For example, you’re taking the first option, which arrives in Zagreb at 1:40 am. 
  2. And then you go to, or some other flight search engine, and book a flight from Zagreb to Dubrovnik. Leaving yourself, let’s say, 30 hours in Zagreb (a stopover in Zagreb). You can also choose to book this flight directly from the airline.

Your flight from Bucharest to Zagreb is an airline-protected connecting flight. You are protected against flight delays and cancellations. If you miss your connection because of that, the airline will assist you and put you on another flight for free.

But the last leg (Zagreb to Dubrovnik) is a separately booked flight (self transfer). You will need to check in for this flight separately, as well as check in for luggage. All of this will take time. Take this into account when booking connections like these. Don’t risk with short layovers (45-minute layovers, etc.).

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

Featured photo by WikimediaImages

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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