21.07.2020

Missed connecting flight due to delay: What’s next?

Have you ever missed a flight?

What happens if you miss your connecting flight?

What if you’re missing a connecting flight due to delay of your first flight? To put it simply, there are only a few most likely scenarious. In some situations you’ll have to do nothing. Your airline will take care of everything, in other - you’ll have to look for a new flight yourself. Sometimes you’ll be entitled to compensation, other times - no.

Let me guide you through all the options.

Miniature airplanes

Missed connecting flight due to delay

Was your first flight delayed, and… you missed your second flight?

First things first, what kind of connecting flight was it?

Generally speaking there are two types of connecting flights.

One is called airline-protected transfer, the other - self transfer.

1. Airline-protected transfers (you’re protected)

If you have an airline-protected transfer, you’re protected.

If there is a problem with your flight, and because of that you miss your following flight or flights, the airline takes care of that. You are given a new flight or flights for free. All you have to do is to get in touch with your airline representatives at the airport.

And that’s it.

You don’t have to make a claim or anything.

You don’t have to pay anything extra.

You are simply given a new flight instead of your missed connecting flight.

That’s how airline-protected transfers work all around the world. The easiest way to book one, is to book a connecting flight directly from an airline. If you go to the website of an airline and make a single booking, that includes two or more flights, that is it. If you have one reservation number / booking number, it’s an airline-protected connecting flight.

2. Self transfer flights (most likely you’re not protected)

If you book your flights separately, it’s called a self transfer.

In this case, if there’s a problem, it’s your responsibility.

If you miss a fligh, you have to buy a new flight. Even if you have missed connecting flight due to delay of your previous flight. Even then it’s your responsibility.

You have to pay for it from your pocket.

5 airplanes at the airport

What happens if you miss your connecting flight

What to do if you miss your connecting flight?

In the first scenario, you sometimes don’t have to do anything.

Just wait for the information from your airline. They will tell you what to do next.

Or contact the airline yourself.

In the second scenario, there are a two possibilities:

  1. You simply had booked several flights. Now you have to find and book a new flight. You will have to pay for it yourself.
  2. Your self-transfer is insured. Some of the flight search engines offer protection. For example, kiwi.com does so. And kiwi also offers you to find a new flight for free, if there’s a problem with the first flight. When possible and when in doubts, contact the company or travel agent you booked your flights from, to find out what are your rights in this particular situtation.

In all situations don’t forget about a compensation. You might be entitled to compensation, if you make it to your destination 3+ hours late. With airline-protected transfers your destionation is your last destination, with self-transfers - destination of every single flight.

More on this further below.

Air France aircraft

Missed flight connection: Different airlines

What if you’re flying with two or more different airlines?

What happens when you miss a connecting flight operated by another airline?

What if KLM missed connecting flight, that’s operated by Air France? What if your KLM flight was late, and because of that you didn’t make it to your Air France flight? Or if Lufthansa missed connecting flight?

And again, what matters is the type of the connection / transfer.

If it’s an airline-protected transfer, you’ll be taken care of.

When two or more airlines share a flight, it’s called a codeshare flight. If there’s a flight delay and you miss your connecting flight, the marketing airline is responsible for booking you into the next available flight for free. It’s the airline you’ve bought your flight from.

If it’s a self transfer, it's your responsibility.

100 euro in hands

Missed connecting flight due to delay: Compensation (in the EU)

If your flight is late, you can get a flight delay compensation.

If it’s cancelled less than 2 weeks before the flight - flight cancellation compensation. And if you’re denied boarding because of overbooking - denied boarding compensation.

But what about missed connecting flight compensation?

Can you make a claim for missed connecting flight?

Yes and no.

Yes, sometimes you’ll be entitled to compensation.

But not because of your missed connecting flight. Only if your flight is heavily delayed or cancelled. Or - if you have an insurance covering these cases.

Continue reading to learn more! The rules are simple.

Woman at the airport

What are the EU flight compensation rules

What are the rules un these situations?

Here again it’s important to know, what kind of connecting flight was it?

If it’s an airline-protected transfer, your destionation is your last destination or the destionation of your last flight. And you should be looking at how much later did you reach it. If you reach your destination more than 3 hours late, and if it’s your airline’s fault, then you’ll be entitled to compensation.

You don’t have to look at all your flights one by one.

If you miss one, your airline puts you on another one for free.

What matters is only how much later you reach your final destination.

If it’s a self transfer, you have several destinations. One for every flight. If any of these flights is 3+ hours late, then you’ll be entitled to flight delay compensation for that particular flight.

In both situations, don’t forget to make a claim for a delayed flight.

Check your compensation online.

Or contact your airline.