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Missed Connecting Flight Compensation in Europe


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If you miss your connecting flight, it can cause a lot of problems for you. You might have to wait for hours or even buy new tickets.

Fortunately, if you’re traveling to or from Europe and your flight is delayed or cancelled due to an airline’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation under EU regulations (up to 600 euro from the airline). In this article we will discuss what missed connecting flight compensation in Europe entails, how to file a claim for it, and share tips on avoiding delays and missing connections altogether.

So if you’ve ever been stuck at an airport waiting for your next flight due to no fault of your own, read on! You may still get compensation from airline!

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

Cabin of an airplane - Uzbekistan Airways

UK / EU Flight Compensation

We have several articles on these topics.

Here is a full guide on UK / EU flight compensation regulation. There we talk about all situations, when you can get compensation from the airline and when you have a right to care. We also have separate guides on what to do if you miss connection due to delay, strike, or cancellation of one of your flights.

Here, in this article, we will focus more on the compensation – UK / EU Missed connecting flight compensation.

1. Missed Connecting Flight Compensation in Europe

If your flight is delayed or cancelled due to the airline’s fault, you can get money back from the airline. This is often called “missed connecting flight compensation.” You can get this money if you were traveling to or from Europe and you missed your connecting flight because of the airline.

There are two conditions:

  • You must be arriving to destination 3 or more hours later than planned. In this case, the time of your arrival is the moment doors of the airplane are opened and passengers are allowed to leave the airplane.
  • It must be an airline-protected connecting flight. These rules don’t apply to self-transfer flights, or DIY connections as they are sometimes referred to. Self transfer is your responsibility, not airline’s.

1.1 European and non-European airlines

The country of origin of your airline matters.

If it’s a European airline (registered in the EU, EEA, UK), you have the same rights on all their flights to and from Europe. With non-European airlines, like Qatar Airways, Qantas, etc., you have these rights mentioned on this page only when flying from Europe, but not on flights departing from somewhere else.

EU/UK to EU/UKEU/UK to Other countriesOther countries to EU/UK
EU airlines+++
UK airlines+++
Other airlines++

1.2 Self-Transfer Flights

With self transfer, it’s not as easy and stress-free.

You are less protected with self transfers. With self-transfer flights, all your flights are considered separate flights. That means, if your flight is delayed for 2 hours, not 3 hours, and you miss the next flight, you won’t get neither the compensation, nor a new flight.

  • You won’t get a new flight, because it’s a self transfer.
  • And you won’t get a compensation, because your flight isn’t at least 3 hours late at its destination. In this case, the fact that you missed another flight doesn’t change anything. Because these two flights are separate 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.

2. How Much Can You Claim for Missed Connecting Flight?

Mostly it’s 250, 400 or 600 euro per person.

The amounts are regulated by flight compensation regulations.

The longer the flight, the more you can get.

  • 250 EUR – if the flight distance is less than 1500 km;
  • 400 EUR – if the flight distance is between 1500 and 3500 km;
  • 600 EUR – if the flight distance is more than 3500 km.

3. How to File a Claim for Missed Connection Compensation?

There are two options:

  1. You can file a claim with compensation company.
  2. Or, you can do it all on your own.

If you choose the latter (option number 2):

  • The first step is to research the airline and to find out where they are registered. This way you will know, whether the European flight compensation regulations apply to your flight or not. Once you have confirmed that you are eligible for compensation, you will need to gather all of your documents and information needed to file your claim. This includes copies of your ticket, boarding passes, copies of passport or ID, etc.
  • After preparing all necessary documentation, contact the airline directly in order to submit your claim. When contacting them, provide all documents needed to prove that your flight was delayed or cancelled due to their fault. Be sure to keep track of any communication with the airline so you have evidence should they deny it.
  • If after submitting a claim with the airline there is no response within two weeks, consider seeking legal advice from a professional who is familiar with EU regulations regarding missed connection compensation in Europe.


File a Claim Online

4. Tips on Flight Delays and Missed Connections

The more informed you are, the better.

  • Don’t risk with too short layover times. Make sure you give yourself enough time between connecting flights in case of a delay or cancellation on one leg of your trip. 45-minute layovers aren’t for everyone.
  • Check the airline’s or airport’s website for any notices of potential delays or cancellations. Do it before leaving for the airport. It won’t help you to avoid missing a connecting flight, but at least you won’t be spending too much time at the airport. And you will arrive to the airport better prepared.
  • Use flight trackers to stay informed. Consider using tools such as FlightAware and FlightStats to track your flight status in real-time and be aware of changes that could affect your connection times.
  • Look into buying travel insurance. This will help pay for things if you miss your next plane because of something bad that happened. The insurance can cover the cost of a new ticket, a hotel room, and more. This is especially important with self-transfer flights. It’s one of the ways you can make a self transfer more safe.
  • Learn about the EU rules for getting paid / receiving care if you miss a connecting flight. That way, you will be better prepared if something goes wrong while you are traveling through Europe. Very few people know that you have a right to care from an airline in Europe.

What is your experience with connecting flights? Have you ever missed a flight? Did you receive the missed connecting flight compensation from airline? If yes, did you file a claim yourself?

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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