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Ethiopian Airlines Connecting Flights


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This is an Ethiopian Airlines connecting flights guide.

This guide covers connecting flights, baggage rules, air passengers rights and compensation regulations. Ethiopian Airlines is the flag carrier of Ethiopia. It is a full-service airline with its headquarters and main hub in Addis Ababa. It operates flights to more than 100 destinations. Ethiopian is a Star Alliance member.

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

Ethiopian Airlines plane
Ethiopian 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. Ethiopian Airlines Connecting Flights

Ethiopian Airlines is a full-service traditional airline.

Just like any other traditional airline, Ethiopian Airlines offers airline-protected connecting flights. Such flights are among the main differences between traditional and low-cost airlines. Airline-protected connecting flights are better than self transfers. That’s why many prefer full-service traditional airlines.

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, Ethiopian Airlines sells airline-protected connecting flights.

1.1 Connecting Flights, One Airline

Often a connecting flight will be operated only by Ethiopian Airlines.

It will consist of two or more flights, and all of them will be operated by Ethiopian Airlines. These will be Ethiopian Airlines airplanes and Ethiopian Airlines staff. Note, that it’s not the case with all Ethiopian Airlines connecting flights.

1.2 Ethiopian Airlines Codeshare Partners

Sometimes airlines share their flights.

Airlines do so to widen their passenger destination network. So, you might have a connecting flight booked from Ethiopian Airlines, but it might be operated by another airline — Ethiopian Airlines partner. In this case, you will fly with another airline, on their airplane. Connecting flights with different airlines is nothing unusual. 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 don’t have to worry about this. Ethiopian Airlines will have to assist you and get you to your destination. Contact Ethiopian Airlines to find out what are your options in this particular situation – they should be able to help you.
  • 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 Ethiopian Airlines, then they are called operating airline — they have to pay compensation when it’s due.

See a list of Ethiopian Airlines codeshare partners here.

Doha International Airport
Doha International Airport

2. What If Ethiopian Airlines Cancels a Flight?

Why is Ethiopian Airlines cancelling flights?

This happens for a number of reasons like, bad weather, staff shortage, technical problems, airport congestion, security issues and strikes.

2.1 One of Your Flights Is Cancelled

Ethiopian Airlines is an airline registered in Ethiopia

It’s not a European airline. Despite the fact, on some of their flights you are protected by European law. 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 your Ethiopian Airlines flight (departing from Europe) is cancelled, and as a result you miss your connection, it’s the airline’s responsibility to offer you a new flight, or a full refund. On flights departing from Europe, you may also 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, Ethiopian 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 their flights departing from Europe.

Refund must be paid within seven days.

You may have a right to EU flight cancellation compensation.

2.3 Ethiopian Airlines Refund for Cancellation

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

If your Ethiopian Airlines cancelled flight was scheduled to depart from Europe, you can opt for a refund if the alternate flight does not fit your travel plans. This refund must be paid, in full, within 7 days. It has to be paid by bank transfer. You don’t have to accept any vouchers or gift cards.

Please note that these rules apply only to flights departing from Europe.

Hong Kong airport layover
Hong Kong airport

3. Ethiopian Airlines Missed Connecting Flight

Why do people miss connecting flights?

There are a number of reasons. You may miss a connecting flight because one of your previous flights was delayed or cancelled. You may miss a flight because of airport congestion and long queues. Or it could be a simple mistake, like waiting at the wrong gate or falling asleep while waiting for flight.

3.1 What Happens If You Miss Ethiopian 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 Ethiopian Airlines, it doesn’t even matter if the flight is operated by Ethiopian Airlines or not, you should contact Ethiopian 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).

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

On other routes, the airline still has to offer you a new flight.

Read more: Missed Connecting Flight Due to Delay 

3.2 Right to Compensation from Ethiopian Airlines

In some cases, you have a right to compensation.

If your Ethiopian Airlines flight:

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

Then you may be entitled to compensation from Ethiopian Airlines.

Flight cancelled less than 2 weeks before the trip?

You might be entitled to flight cancellation compensation.

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

3.3 Right to Care from Ethiopian Airlines

On all Ethiopian Airlines 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. 

In case of Ethiopian Airlines, the regulation applies only to flights departing from European airports. With European airlines (such as KLM, Lufthansa, SAS, etc.) it applies to all 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 Ethiopian Airlines?

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

These are two most popular options. Either you can book a connecting flight on Ethiopian Airlines official website or a third-party flight booking website / online travel agent (such as

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. Ethiopian Airlines Connecting Flights: Baggage

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

Baggage rules on connecting flights with Ethiopian Airlines are simple.

In short, Ethiopian Airlines takes care of your baggage. Check in your flight only once — at your origin airport before your first flight. The airline will take care of your luggage throughout the journey. You don’t have to collect and recheck it between flights. 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 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 Ethiopian Airlines? As we already talked, you may experience this, because Ethiopian 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 Ethiopian Airlines Free Baggage Allowance

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

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

Check your booking confirmation to see your baggage allowance.

When you are booking your flight, baggage allowance is shown when you choose your travel class and ticket type (in most cases). If you don’t see information about baggage, check out the airline’s FAQ and Information. 

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).

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

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

A desert in Namibia
Desert landscapes of Namibia – Photo by Roger Brown from Pexels

6. Connecting Flight Examples

Here are two connecting flight examples with Ethiopian Airlines.

6.1 Protected Connecting Flights with Ethiopian Airlines (Most Common)

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

For example, you want to fly from Berlin to Windhoek (Namibia).

You have found flights for September 29, and these are some of the options:

Berlin - Windhoek Connecting Flight with Ethiopian Airlines
Berlin – Windhoek Connecting Flight with Ethiopian Airlines

On their website Ethiopian Airlines sells only protected connecting flights. However, as we can see, not all flights are operated by Ethiopian Airlines. The first leg of each connecting flight is operated by Lufthansa, one of Ethiopian Airlines’s partners. The rest are operated by Ethiopian Airlines.

Also pay attention to total flight duration, number of stops and price.

6.2 Self-Transfer Flights with Ethiopian Airlines

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

You want to fly from Berlin to Windhoek, and from Windhoek onwards to Walvis Bay, to visit the dunes. But first you want to spend a day or two in Windhoek, to explore the capital of Namibia.

  1. You can book a connecting flight to Windhoek, like in the example above. For example, you’re taking the first option, which arrives in Windhoek, Namibia, at 1:20 pm. 
  2. Visit or to find and book domestic flights to Walvis Bay. Leaving yourself, let’s say, 30 hours in Windhoek (a short stopover). 

The Berlin to Windhoek connecting flight is protected by the airline. This means that if in case of flight delay or cancellation you miss your connection, the airline will provide you with a new ticket. The last flight, however, is a separate flight. You will need to check in for this flight separately. If you have checked baggage, you will have to collect it and recheck it.

Take this into account when booking such flights. Don’t risk with short layovers. Definitely don’t risk with a 45-minute layover, or something similar.

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

Featured photo by Jeffry Surianto

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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