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Emirates Connecting Flights


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This is an Emirates connecting flights guide.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to book Emirates connecting flights. The guide also covers baggage rules, air passenger rights and flight compensation regulations. Along with Etihad, Emirates is a flag carrier of the UAE. Operating to more than 150 destinations, it is the largest airline in the Middle East.

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

Emirates plane
Emirates 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. Emirates Connecting Flights

Emirates is a full-service traditional airline.

It is one of the most popular airlines in the world. Known for its excellent service, Emirates offer airline-protected connecting flights. Along with other services, airline-protected connecting flights is why so many prefer to travel with traditional full-service airlines. Airline-protected connecting flights are better than self transfers.

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, Emirates sells airline-protected connecting flights.

1.1 Connecting Flights, One Airline

Not always your Emirates flight will be operated by Emirates.

How so? More on that below.

Often, however, your Emirates connecting flight will be wholly operated by Emirates. You will have two or more flights and all of them will be operated by Emirates. These will be Emirates airplanes and Emirates staff.

But it’s not always the case with all Emirates connoting flights.

1.2 Emirates Codeshare Partners

Sometimes airlines share their flights.

It is done in order to widen the flight network. Connecting flights with different airlines is a common practice in the aviation industry. These kind of flights are called codeshare flights, and airlines collaborating — codeshare partners.

So, you may book a connecting flight from Emirates, but it might be operated by their partner airline. It will be the partner’s plane manned by the partner’s staff.

What you should know is that:

  • If you miss a connecting flight through no fault of your own, it’s not your responsibility to look for solutions but your airline’s. Contact the airline to tell about your issue and ask them to find a solution. As long as it’s an Emirates connection booked from Emirates (they are called ‘marketing airline’ in this case) — they are responsible for finding solutions.
  • 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 Emirates, then they are called operating airline — and they have to pay compensation when it’s due. In case of Emirates connecting flights, this applies to their flights from Europe.

See a list of Emirates codeshare partners here.

Dubai Airport Entrance
Dubai Airport Entrance

2. What If Emirates Cancels a Flight?

Why Emirates is cancelling their flights?

There are various reasons why airlines, including Emirates, are cancelling their flights. A flight can get cancelled because of bad weather, staff strike, staff shortage, airport congestion, security issues and various technical issues.

2.1 One of Your Flights Is Cancelled

Emirates is an airline registered in the United Arab Emirates.

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 only to their flights departing from Europe.

If you are going to miss your connecting flight because of the cancellation of the previous flight, it’s the airline’s responsibility to find a solution. In most cases, you will be offered a new ticket free of charge. If you don’t wish to travel anymore, you can ask for a refund.

The refund and assistance part applies only to Emirates flights departing from Europe. Speaking of a new flight, instead of a missed one, this is what you can expect also on other Emirates 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, Emirates 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).

The refund part apply to flights departing from Europe.

Refund must be paid within seven days.

You may have a right to EU flight cancellation compensation.

2.3 Emirates Refund for Cancellation

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

If your flight has been cancelled, you can ask for a refund. You don’t have to take the alternative flight offered to you, if it doesn’t fir your travel plans. Refund has to be paid by bank transfer, within seven days.

But keep in mind that these rules don’t apply to all flights.

They apply only to Emirates flights departing from Europe.

Hong Kong airport layover
Hong Kong airport

3. Emirates Missed Connecting Flight

Why people miss their connections?

The reasons are different — anything from a silly mistake to airport congestions and late flights. You could miss your flight because of airport congestions and long queues. If the previous flight was delayed or cancelled, you could also miss your flight. And, sometimes, you could just simply wait at the wrong gate or fall asleep while waiting for your flight. Silly, but it happens.

3.1 What Happens If You Miss Emirates Connection?

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

If you missed your connection because you fell asleep or waited at the wrong gate, the airline can’t help you. You will need to deal with the consequences yourself. However, if it’s not your fault, then your airline has to find a solution.

If you booked a flight from Emirates, it doesn’t even matter if the flight is operated by Emirates or not, you should contact Emirates.

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).

Again, the last two points apply only to flights from Europe.

On other routes, they, as a minimum, have to offer you a new flight.

Read more: Missed Connecting Flight Due to Delay 

3.2 Right to Compensation from Emirates

Sometimes you have a right to compensation.

In case of Emirates, if your flight:

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

Then you may be entitled to compensation from Emirates.

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 Emirates

On Emirates 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 Emirates the regulation applies only to flights departing from European airports. With European airlines, like KLM, LOT Polish Airlines, Wizz 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 Emirates?

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

These are two best options that you have. You can either go to the website of Emirates and book Emirates flights there, or you can book via a third-party booking website (,, etc.).

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. Emirates Connecting Flights: Baggage

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

Baggage rules on connecting flights with Emirates are simple.

In short, Emirates takes care of your baggage. Upon arriving at the airport, check in your bags. In most cases, they will be sent to your final destination. You don’t have to collect and recheck baggage between your flights. Unless you have a self-transfer (separately booked flights), or you’re traveling through a country that requires everyone to collect and recheck their baggage (e.g., USA).

Speaking of the US, you also need a visa or an ESTA to travel there. You need it even if you are only transiting through, without leaving the airport.

If you aren’t sure about this, ask at the baggage drop / check in.

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

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

Baggage allowance depends on your airline, destination and travel class.

It’s not always the same. Check your Emirates booking confirmation to see, what have you booked for yourself. Or, if you’re still thinking of booking a flight with Emirates, make sure to pay attention to that — these rules aren’t the same for all flights and for everyone.

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). Emirates do it their own way — they include free baggage with every single booking.

However, Emirates baggage policy can change. So, make sure you check what is included in the fare, at the time when you are making a booking.

Burj Khalifa in Dubai
Burj Khalifa in Dubai

6. Connecting Flight Examples

Here are two connecting flight examples with Emirates.

6.1 Protected Connecting Flights with Emirates (Most Common)

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

For example, I want to fly from Madrid to Bangkok.

I’ve searched for flights for August 31, and these are my options:

Madrid - Bangkok Connecting Flight With Emirates
Madrid – Bangkok Connecting Flight With Emirates

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

If this matters to you, if you want to travel with Emirates only, pay attention to these details. Also always notice that total flight duration, number of stops and price vary, too.

Let’s see. We need to choose one flight.

In this case, almost all options cost the same. Only total flight duration differs. Let’s choose the fastest and the cheapest flight — option No 1.

6.2 Self-Transfer Flights with Emirates

Now, let’s assume, that Bangkok is not your final destination.

You want to fly from Madrid to Bangkok, and from Bangkok onwards to Phuket, where you have booked a stay at a beach front resort. But before that, you want to spend two days in Bangkok, to explore Thailand’s capital.

  1. You book a connecting flight to Bangkok, like in the example above. For example, you’re taking one of the cheapest options, the first one, which arrives in Bangkok at 7:15 pm. 
  2. And then you go to, or some other flight booking website, and book a flight from Bangkok to Phuket. Leaving yourself, let’s say, 2 days in Bangkok. It’s a very good duration for a quick stopover in Bangkok. Yes, this will be called a stopover, not a layover. Learn about the differences here. You can book this second flight directly from airline as well.

Until Bangkok you have an airline-protected connecting flight.

If your first flight is delayed or cancelled, Emirates will take care of that. Most likely they will put you on another flight for free. However, the last leg, Bangkok – Phuket, is a separate flight that you will check in for separately. And there is also this stopover. Take this into account when making a reservation.

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

Featured photo by Harrison Macourt

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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