Swiss missed connecting flight compensation.
If your scheduled flight has been disrupted due to Swiss’s negligence, and this resulted in you missing a connecting flight, then the EU law entitles you with a compensation from Swiss. In this article, we will explain more about what’s involved when claiming such compensation, provide advice on how to avoid future incidents like these and explore ways for minimizing delays.
It applies to all Swiss flights to and from Europe.
Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.
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. Swiss Missed Connecting Flight Compensation
Swiss (Swiss International Air Lines) is the flag carrier of Switzerland.
If your Swiss flight is delayed for more than 3 hours due to their fault, you may be eligible for compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004. The same applies to last-minute cancellation.
But what if you miss your connecting flight due to delay or cancellation of your previous flight? If this delay or cancellation is due to the fault of Swiss, you might be entitled to missed connecting flight compensation from the airline. This compensation is called “missed connecting flight compensation”, but in reality it’s flight delay compensation.
Simply put: if you arrive at your destination 3+ hours late because of any problems with Swiss, you might get compensation from the airline.
There are two conditions that must be met:
- Your flight must be at least 3 hours late. Delay time should be calculated at the time of your arrival.
- It must be an airline-protected connecting flight. These rules don’t apply to self-transfer flights (separately-booked flights).
1.1 European and non-European airlines
The country of origin of your airline matters.
Swiss is a European airline. So it has to comply with European regulations. When traveling with European airlines, such as Swiss, passengers can rest assured that their rights are protected regardless of whether they’re arriving to Europe or departing from there. According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, you are protected on all Swiss flights.
However, if your flight is with a non-European carrier such as Thai Airways, United Airlines or Air Canada – you are protected under the European law only on their flights departing from European airports.
|EU/UK to EU/UK||EU/UK to Other countries||Other countries to EU/UK|
1.2 Self-Transfer Flights
With self transfer, it’s not as easy and stress-free.
Self transfers are separately-booked flights, often called “DIY connecting flights”. In a self transfer flight, a passenger is responsible for transferring themselves from one flight to another. The airline does not provide any assistance with the transfer. This is in contrast to a “protected connection,” where the airline takes responsibility for getting the passenger to their final destination in the event of a missed connection. In short: you are protected less with self transfers.
What happens if you miss your self transfer connecting flight?
- Unfortunately, you won’t be given a new flight to your destination because it is a self transfer. The responsibility falls solely on the passenger and not any airline – since you are the one who created the connection, none of them is obligated to do so.
- If your flight isn’t delayed for at least three hours, you can’t get a compensation for your missed connection. Even though the short delay/cancellation caused you to miss another connecting flight. These two flights are considered individual entities, not a protected connection.
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:
- You can file a claim with compensation company.
- Or, you can do it all on your own.
If you choose the latter (option number 2):
- Gather information: Collect your flight details, including flight numbers, dates, and times.
- Review eligibility: Check if your situation qualifies for compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004.
- Contact Swiss: Submit a complaint to Swiss either through their website or by sending an email to their customer relations department. You may be required to provide information and evidence to support your claim. Mention how much later did you arrive to your destination, and what was the reason for delay.
- Wait for a response: Swiss will respond to your complaint, typically within a few weeks. If they agree to provide compensation, they will inform you.
- Consider further action: If Swiss denies your claim or the offer of compensation is not satisfactory, you may consider seeking legal advice or filing a complaint with the relevant regulatory body (a National Enforcement Body). Or you can work with a flight compensation company (see Option No 1).
4. Right to Care from Swiss
On all Swiss 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. So that you can get in touch with your loved ones and notify about changes in your travel plans.
It applies to all domestic and international flights with Swiss. Again, it’s because Swiss is a European airline. With non-European airlines it applies only to flights departing from European airports.
5. Tips on Flight Delays and Missed Connections
The more informed you are, the better.
- Don’t book a connecting flight with a short layover. A short layover increases the risk of missing a connection due to factors such as flight delays, long security lines, or immigration procedures.
- Before you head to the airport, take a few minutes to check the airline’s or airport’s website for any potential warnings of cancellations or delays. While flight delays are unavoidable, being prepared can help save valuable time and leave you feeling like an informed traveler when arriving at the airport.
- Be prepared. Check the flight status regularly before and during travel and make sure you have all the necessary information such as flight numbers, dates, and times. Use FlightStats to keep an eye on your flight status.
- Travel with insurance. Consider purchasing travel insurance that includes trip interruption coverage, which can provide financial protection in the event of a delay or missed connection. Especially if you have a self-transfer flight; this is how you can make your self transfer safer.
- Know your rights. Familiarize yourself with EU Regulation 261/2004 and the conditions of carriage of your airline, as well as any relevant consumer protection laws.
- Seek help from the airline. If you have an airline-protected connecting flight, and you miss your connection due to a delay or cancellation, immediately inform the airline and ask for their assistance in rebooking you on the next available flight.
What is your experience with Swiss? Have you ever missed a connecting flight with Swiss? How did the airline solve this? Did you receive missed connection compensation from Swiss?
Featured photo by Max Walter