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Missed Connecting Flight Compensation

Missed connecting flight compensation in Europe.

How much can you claim? What happens if you miss your connecting flight?

Even a small delay of your first flight can cause you to miss your connecting flight, leading to several hours of waiting for a replacement flight. While missing a connecting flight and waiting at the airport can be frustrating, you should know that Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 protects you in such cases. If you miss your connection, you have passenger rights, including the right to care from the airline. In some cases, you may also be entitled to compensation based on the flight distance to your final destination.

Check flight compensation online.

1. Missed Connecting Flight Compensation

Can you get compensation for missing a connecting flight?

If your connecting flight is missed due to a delay or cancellation of the previous flight, and it’s a protected airline transfer, you might be entitled to missed connecting flight compensation.

1.1 Missed Connecting Flight Due to Delay: Compensation

Experiencing a missed connecting flight can be incredibly frustrating, especially when it’s the fault of the airline.

If you reach your destination 3 or more hours later than planned due to an airline delay, you may be entitled to compensation of up to €600. If you are flying with a European airline, this rule applies to all of its flights. If you’re flying with a non-EU airline, it applies only to flights departing from Europe.

You can get compensation if it meets the following conditions:

  • A delay of 3+ hours;
  • The delay is the fault of the airline, not something unavoidable like bad weather;
  • Your flight is either to or from Europe. For non-European airlines, the flight must be from Europe.

The same rules apply to connecting flights (airline-protected transfer). When considering compensation for a missed connection, your final destination is taken into account.

For example, let’s say you have a TAP Air Portugal connecting flight from Barcelona to Cancun, with a layover in Lisbon. In this scenario, Cancun is your final destination. If your delay causes you to arrive in Cancun 3 or more hours later than scheduled, and it’s due to the fault of TAP Air Portugal, you are entitled to compensation for the entire journey from Barcelona to Cancun.

What happens if your flight is delayed and you miss your connecting flight? Find details below.

This does not apply to self-transfer flights.

By Europe, European Union and EU here on this website we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. This is where these European regulations work.

1.2 Missing a Connecting Flight Due to a Flight Cancellation

The same rules apply as with flight delays. If you arrive at your destination 3 or more hours late due to the airline’s fault, you are entitled to compensation of up to €600. This includes situations where your initial flight is cancelled, causing you to miss your connection.

You are eligible for compensation if:

  • You experience a delay of 3+ hours;
  • The delay is due to the airline’s fault (not extraordinary circumstances);
  • The flight is to or from Europe. For non-European airlines, the flight must be from Europe.

These rules apply only to connecting flights protected by the airline.

This does not apply to self-transfer flights. If you have booked your flights separately, European regulations do not cover this connection in its entirety. In such cases, each airline is responsible only for their flight. Example – you have booked two flights. One with Ryanair, and the other with Lufthansa. In such cases, Ryanair is responsible only for their flight, and Lufthansa for theirs. You may claim compensation for the Ryanair flight when applicable, but Ryanair will not assist with issues on your Lufthansa flight, and vice versa.

1.3 How to Calculate Compensation for Missed Connecting Flight?

For a single flight, it’s based on the flight distance.

For a connecting flight, calculate based on the entire journey. For example, if you have a connecting flight from Budapest to Warsaw to Seoul, and you arrive in Seoul with a delay, you could receive 600 euros. Even if the delay was on the first flight leading to a missed second long-distance flight, you can claim compensation of 600 euros for the entire journey due to the resulting delay.

When your destination is within the EU/UK:


If the distance of your flight is
up to 1,500 km


If the distance of your flight is between 1,500 – 3,500 km

When your destination is outside the EU/UK:


If the distance of your flight is
up to 1,500 km


If the distance of your flight is between 1,500 – 3,500 km


If the distance of your flight is more than 3,500 km

To get flight compensation, you can either contact the airline directly or opt for a flight compensation company, which is the simpler choice. We suggest using a flight compensation company as it saves time and effort.

When choosing this option, here is all you will have to do:

Go to
this page

Fill in a claim form

Upload documents*

Sign online

And that’s it — the rest is handled by professionals.

* Your boarding pass and passport or ID copy.

Read more: Why Should You Use a Flight Compensation Company to Claim Compensation?

2. Missed Self-Transfer Flight: Compensation

With self-transfer flights, it’s your responsibility to make it to the next flight on time. 

Yet, in cases of significant delay or cancellation within 2 weeks prior to departure, you may be eligible for compensation. This compensation is not linked directly to the missed connection but relates to the disrupted flight itself.

You are eligible for compensation if it’s the airline’s fault and:

You may be eligible for up to €600 in compensation. 

Please note that the compensation provided is solely for the disrupted flight, not for the entire journey. Additionally, it’s important to be aware that the airline will not offer assistance in the event of a missed connection, as is typically the case with regular connecting flights.

Read more:

Man waiting for his flight at an airport
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

3. What Happens if You Miss Your Connecting Flight?

What is airline responsibility for missed connection?

It depends on the situation. In case of a regular connecting flight booked on a single ticket, no need to worry about missing a connection. If the first flight is delayed or cancelled, the airline will rebook you at no cost. The airline will arrange a hotel stay if your new flight is the next day and provide meal vouchers. This is called the right to care. An airline-protected connecting flight offers great convenience and reliability for travellers.

However, for self-transfer flights, you’ll have to arrange and pay for a new flight on your own. Self-transfer flights are your responsibility as they’re not organised by the airline(s) you’re travelling with.

“Right to care” guarantees passengers get food, lodging, and airport transfers for flight disruptions like delays, cancellations, overbooking, and missed connections. Airlines must provide free food and communication for delays exceeding 3 hours. For overnight delays, a free hotel stay and airport transfer are mandatory. Passengers are entitled to care even in extraordinary circumstances like bad weather affecting flights.

What to do if you miss your connecting flight?

  1. Contact the airline. Immediately notify the airline about the missed connection. Head to the airline’s customer service desk at the airport or reach out via phone or through their mobile app. Provide your booking details and let them know about your situation.
  2. Know your rights. According to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, you have certain rights as an air passenger. These include the right to care, which entitles you to meals, refreshments, and, if necessary, accommodation and transport between the airport and the hotel.
  3. Ask the airline about rebooking options. They are obligated to arrange an alternative flight to your destination at no extra cost. Inquire about the earliest available flights and see if there are options through partner airlines.
  4. Verify further travel plans. If the missed connection impacts other scheduled journeys (e.g., car rentals, hotel bookings), contact those service providers to inform them of your delay and make necessary adjustments to avoid any penalties.
  5. Contact your insurance provider. If a missed connection affects your bookings and excursions, reach out to your travel insurance provider to receive a refund.
  6. Collect necessary receipts. If the delay extends and you incur additional expenses for meals, refreshments, or accommodation beyond what the airline provides, keep all receipts. These might be reimbursed later when you file a compensation claim. Or, ask your insurance provider for reimbursement.
  7. Claim compensation. Depending on the circumstances leading to your missed connection, you may be eligible for missed connecting flight compensation. If the missed flight is due to factors under the airline’s control (e.g., staffing issues, technical problems, airline staff strikes), you can file a compensation claim as per Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. The amount of compensation varies based on the flight distance. For connecting flights, the compensation is for the entire journey, not just one leg.

Delayed flight – missed connection compensation? Yes, you may be entitled to compensation for missed connecting flight due to delay or cancellation. In European law, it’s considered flight delay compensation, not specifically “missed connection compensation.” If your connecting flight is missed due to a delay, you may qualify for compensation for the entire journey.

Check flight compensation online.

Do you have more questions about connecting flights and self-transfer flights? Do you have questions about missed connecting flight compensation? Feel free to ask in the comments.

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