Getting compensation for missed connecting flights is possible, provided that the airline is fully responsible for you missing your flight. If you miss your connecting flight due to negligence on your part, the airline would not be responsible for that. However, if a delay on your previous flight causes you to miss your next flight, the airline should be held responsible. This article highlights what you need to know about missing a connecting flight.
Not many people are aware of their rights when they miss their connecting flight. Rather than getting frustrated at the airline, you can take it a step further and get them to pay you for the inconvenience. If your flight is taking off from the EU or arriving at the EU with a European airline, the EU 261/2004 regulation protects you. This applies if you got to your final destination three hours or more than the originally scheduled time due to a delay by the airline. However, you must have checked in early for the flight, which is officially at least 45 minutes before the departure time.
Under the EC 261 law, you are entitled to free meals and drinks for a delay of over two hours. If it extends to three or more hours, you can get up to €250 – €600 in compensation claim. And if the flight is delayed overnight, the airline should provide you with a free hotel booking.
If the delay is longer than 5 hours, you can request a seat on another flight and can also reschedule for a later date with no additional cost. Or you can cancel the flight completely and get a refund.
If you miss your connecting flight as a result of the delay, the airline is obligated to get you a seat on another flight as soon as possible. This is often easier if it’s with the same airline. If they are unable to get another flight, they should book you with another airline. If, on the other hand, your connecting flight is with a different airline, the case is slightly different. You may have to rebook yourself but ensure you get your full compensation from the airline at fault.
Check the eligibility criteria of the EC 261 regulation and be sure you meet them. Then, you can request the airline to confirm the cause of the delay. Get them to put it in writing, so you can include it with your documents. If the cause of the delay is within the airline’s control and not due to extraordinary circumstances, then you can get compensated.
Next, you can start gathering all relevant documents, including your ticket, vouchers, and receipts. Take advantage of the basic services you are entitled to at the airport, and then start making plans to reach out to the airline for your compensation.
Most people would rather not go through this process alone and you don’t have to. You can always hire an experienced attorney or an established firm like Flightright to get the work done for you.