Self-transfer flight compensation in Europe

Are you entitled to a self-transfer flight compensation?

Self-transfer connecting flights can be a great way to save money on travel. Thousands of people fly this way every single day. But there are some things you should consider before making this type of booking. In this article, we’ll discuss how to book your own ticket for a self-transfer connection, what advantages and disadvantages come with it, and share tips on how to make the most out of your journey.

In addition to that, you will learn more about flight compensation. Because in some situations, you can get flight compensation, if there are problems with your self-transfer.

Keep reading to uncover further details.

Check your compensation online.

Had an issue with a flight recently? You might be eligible for up to 600€ compensation Check your compensation

Ryanair aircraft in the sky

1. What happens if you miss self-transfer flight?

One of your flights is late (or cancelled), and you miss the next flight.

What exactly happens in these kind of situations?

Unlike it is with an airline-protected connecting flight, the airline is not responsible for your connection, even if you miss it through no fault of your own. The airline you are travelling with doesn't have to provide protection if it’s a self transfer. The airline also won’t offer you a new flight in the event of missed connection. You have to deal with this yourself. Missing your flight could mean paying a hefty fee to rebook another flight.

  • No new flight instead of the one you missed
  • No assistance by the airline (they aren’t obliged to help you)

A travel insurance that covers trip interruption and changes may pay some or all of these costs. Contact your insurer to learn more about the policy you have.

But what about flight compensation? Can you get compensation?

2. Can you get European flight compensation for missed self-transfer flight?

The answer consists of two parts:

  1. You won’t get compensation for missed connection.
  2. But… you may get compensation for late or cancelled flight. Here we are talking about the “first flight”. This is the flight that made you miss the connection. You may get compensation for this flight. But take into account, that nothing will be paid on the spot.

You may also get compensation, if you are denied boarding.

Self transfer is when you book two or more flights separately, planning and making a connection yourself. It isn’t a “proper” connecting flight. This means that if your connection is missed due to flight delay or cancellation you are not entitled to a new flight for free, nor is any of the airlines responsible for this flight problem.

However, while you can’t get missed connection compensation in the event of missed self-transfer flight, you may be qualified to receive care and other type of compensation due to this one unfortunate flight experience.

Depending on your circumstances, you might be entitled to:

Person holding a phone

3. What could you be entitled to in case of a missed self-transfer flight?

Listed below are options of what you could be entitled to.

Not because of the fact that you missed connection, though. But because of your bad flight — the one that made you miss the other flight. With self-transfer connections all flights are considered separate flights.

3.1 UK / EU flight delay compensation

You might be entitled to flight delay compensation for your delayed flight.

In order to be eligible for compensation, you must have been travelling within the European Union or the UK, or between the EU / UK and another country, on a flight operated by a EU / UK-based airline. The delay of the flight must have been at least three hours and caused by something within the control of the airline such as technical issues, crewing problems, etc., and not related to extreme weather conditions or any other extraordinary circumstances.

If all conditions are met, you may be eligible to receive compensation of up to 600 EUR per person. The amount of compensation depends on the distance travelled.

Learn more: UK / EU flight delay compensation

3.2 UK / EU flight cancellation compensation

If your flight is cancelled last minute, you might get compensation.

Flight cancellation compensation rules in Europe are very specific. To determine eligibility for flight cancellation compensation, there are certain criteria that must be met.

If it happens 7 – 14 days before the scheduled time of departure:

  • You choose a new flight offered by your airline, which departs not more than 2 hours before the original departure time and you reach your destination less than 4 hours after the original arrival time. In this situation you are not entitled to flight cancellation compensation.
  • In other situations you are entitled to compensation.

If it happens less than 7 days before the scheduled time of departure:

  • You choose a new flight offered by your airline, which departs not more than 1 hour before the original departure time and you reach your destination less than 2 hours after the original arrival time. In this situation you are not entitled to flight cancellation compensation.
  • In other situations you are entitled to compensation.

Conditions for receiving compensation:

  • It’s a last-minute flight cancellation (less than 14 days before departure);
  • Cancellation is due to the fault of your airline;
  • Flight is to or from Europe.

Learn more: UK / EU flight cancellation compensation

3.3 UK / EU denied boarding compensation

If you miss your connection because you’ve been denied boarding on your previous flight, you might be entitled to denied boarding compensation from the airline.

Airlines commonly sell more tickets than the capacity of their aircraft, both traditional and low-cost carriers do so. They know that some passengers won't be in attendance so they can make a bit extra money through this tactic. Unfortunately, there are occasions when everyone arrives for their flight and someone is denied boarding; in such cases airlines operating within the European Union or United Kingdom must provide compensation to those affected according to law.

Conditions for receiving denied boarding compensation:

  • You aren’t voluntarily giving up your seat on the plane;
  • Airline has overbooked the flight (and that’s why you are denied boarding);
  • Flight is to or from Europe.

Learn more: UK / EU denied boarding compensation

3.4 Right to care

If you are stuck at the airport, you might be entitled to care.

The EU and UK regulations provide travellers with the right to receive care on their journey. According to the EC Regulation No 261/2004 (and UK261), the airline must supply passengers with a complimentary meal and refreshments in case of flight delays of three hours or more.

If you're stuck overnight, they must offer you accommodation for free, along with transportation from the airport to the hotel, and back to the airport! No matter the reason for your flight delay or cancellation, you are still entitled to receive care from the airline. You also have a right to receive care if you have been denied boarding. 

Learn more: Right to care

How to claim compensation

4. How to claim self-transfer flight compensation?

The easiest is to work with us, a flight compensation company.

Remember — you can claim only for the bad flight (not missed connection). In this case, no airline is responsible for you missing a connecting flight, since it’s not a proper connecting flight.

All you will have to do is to:

  1. Go to this page on our website;
  2. Fill in the personal and flight details;
  3. Upload the boarding pass and passport copy;
  4. Sign the claim online.

That’s it from you. We’ll do the rest.

4.1 How much does it cost?

There are no upfront costs with our service.

You will only be charged if a successful outcome is achieved.

Our fee of €25 per person plus 25% of the compensation amount. It’s fixed regardless of the case's complexity. If we work on your behalf but fail to win or receive any form of compensation, then there are absolutely no fees incurred by you.

Compensation will be transferred to your bank account.

4.2 How long does it take?

Mostly it takes an estimated three months from submission to deposit.

However, if airlines are less than accommodating and additional action is needed via NEB or a court hearing, it may take up to twice as long — or even longer.

How much can you claim - Refundor

5. How much can you claim?

The exact amount of compensation varies.

The longer the flight, the bigger the compensation.

When destination is within the EU:

  • €250 - if the distance of your flight is up to 1500 kilometres (usually 1-2 hour long flights).
  • €400 - if the distance of your flight is more than 1500 kilometres.

When your destination is outside the EU:

  • €250 - if the distance of your flight is up to 1500 kilometres.
  • €400 - if the distance of your flight is between 1500 - 3500 kilometres.
  • €600 - if the distance of your flight is more than 3500 kilometres.

Exception. When the distance is 3500 kilometres or more and you reach your destination with a delay between 3 - 4 hours, you are entitled to compensation of €300, not €600.

These amounts are per passenger.

5.1 Do you need to accept vouchers as compensation?

Many airlines were handing out vouchers during the COVID crisis.

And many do that also now. Have you been offered a voucher instead of compensation? You are not obliged to accept one. If you would rather receive cash or bank transfer instead of a coupon, that is an option too! According to the Flight compensation regulation 2004 No 261/2004, airline compensation and refunds must always be paid in cash or through bank transfer.

Passengers boarding a Wizz Air plane

6. What is a self transfer?

Self transfers are DIY connecting flights.

These are separate flights that you have to check in for separately. You also have to collect your luggage and check it in again after every flight.

Hence, it is important to check your flight times and give yourself enough time so you don't miss your connection. Self transfer connecting flights can be a hassle, but they often offer more flexibility and can help save money. With careful planning and preparation, they can be a great way to get from one destination to another.

6.1 Disadvantages of taking a self transfer connecting flight

One of the main disadvantages of taking a self-transfer connecting flight is that everything is your responsibility. So it can be quite stressful. As you are responsible for transferring yourself between the different flights and ensuring that you make all connections on time.

If you miss anything, then you have to book another flight yourself.

The airline / airlines you are travelling with are not responsible for your connection, as it’s a self transfer, not an airline-protected connecting fight.

Additionally, there can also be long layovers in between flights when travelling with multiple connections, meaning you may need to find somewhere comfortable to wait for your next departure. It's also important to remember that luggage is not transferred automatically between flights.

6.2 Is self transfer safe?

Self transfer is not as safe as an airline-protected connecting flight.

But, there are ways how you can make it safer.

  1. Book flights through a reliable third-party flight booking website. If you use kiwi.com, you can purchase Kiwi Guarantee. It provides you with a safety net and offers you protection in the event of any disruption or cancellation. With the Kiwi Guarantee, you can be confident that you will receive a full refund if your booked flight is cancelled or significantly delayed, and that any additional costs incurred during the disruption will also be reimbursed.

  2. Book flights with enough time between them. In Europe that usually means at least 2-3 hours between flights, if you don’t have checked luggage, and 3-4 hours - if you have. So that there is enough time in case of delays or cancellations.

  3. Buy travel insurance when booking a self-transfer connecting flight. Travel insurance can provide cover for a variety of issues, including flight delays and cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, medical problems, etc. In addition to this, some policies may also offer additional protection such as personal liability insurance and legal advice. Before deciding which travel insurance policy to purchase, it is important to research the options available and compare the different levels of cover to ensure that the policy meets your individual needs.

7. What is missed connection?

A missed connection is what you experience when your connecting flight departs before you arrive at the gate. This can occur for a number of reasons, such as delays or sudden cancellations. When flights are delayed or cancelled, it becomes easier to miss your next flight — especially if the connection time between them is only 45-90 minutes!

If you have booked a flight that is protected by the airline, know that in most cases your air carrier will provide protection. An unexpected delay can be inconvenient but beneficial if arriving late to your destination won't cause too much disruption; as an added bonus, you may receive up to 600 euro per person in flight compensation!

But, unfortunately, it’s not the case with self transfers.

With self transfers you have to deal with everything yourself.

Do you have questions about self-transfer flight compensation in Europe? Have you ever missed a self-tranfer connection? Get in touch with us, if you need help getting compensation for flight delay, cancellation or boarding denial.

By Europe and EU here on this page 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.

Featured photo by RON ROV from Pexels