What are your rights for self transfer flights?

What about self transfer flights?

What are your rights when things go wrong?

When there are two or more flights, one after the other, they are called connecting flights. Generally speaking there are two types of connecting flights. One is called airline transfer, the other - self transfer. While in the first situation it’s fully your airline’s responsibility to take you to your destination, in the second situation it’s partly your airline’s, partly - your responsibility. Sometimes you can, other times - can't get flight compensation.

Check your compensation online!

Or continue reading to learn more about your rights.

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Self transfer flights: Frequently asked questions

1. What is a self transfer flight?

What does self transfer mean?

Let me give you a few examples. Let's assume, you have two or more flights, one after the other, to your destination.

  • If you booked flight separately, it’s a self transfer.
  • If you have more than one reservation number, it’s a self transfer. This is one of the easiest way to distinguish the two.
  • When you buy flights from several airlines, mostly it's going to be a self transfer. Even if these are partner airlines / codeshare partners.
  • If you paid for these flights separately, it’s definitely a self transfer.

In this case, self transfer meaning that no airline is responsible for this whole journey -- you are transiting yourself, and take full responsibility for that. You check in for every flight yourself. You recheck baggage yourself. If you miss one of your flights for whatever reason, you pay for new flight yourself.

Sometimes it might be hard to distinguish the two, self transfer and airline transfer. For example, kiwi.com allows you buy several flights as a single booking. But if you look at the boarding passes, you’ll see that each one of them has their own reservation number or so called booking reference. That means it’s a self transfer.

Mostly flight booking sites tell it somewhere.

2. Is self transfer safe?

It depends from the situation.

There are situations when it's more or less safe, and then there are situations when it's completely not safe (for example, when you have a super short layover). Generally speaking, self transfer flight always is less safe than airline-protected connecting flight (airline transfer) -- because of more responsibility on you, if something goes wrong, if you miss a flight, etc.

There are ways to make self transfer more safe.

3. How to protect yourself? How to have a more safe airport self transfer?

Sometimes there’s no choice.

You have to buy self transfer flights.

With travel insurance you can make it more safe. It's one of the ways you can protect yourself against bad flights. Pay attention to what it covers and if flight mishaps like these, when you are missing one flight because of another, are covered. You may have a good enough travel insurance included with your bank card.

It's better to buy insurance right after you make a booking.

To protect yourself from the very beginning.

If you aren’t sure which insurance to choose, you can as well go with the easiest option and buy a flight using kiwi.com. Self transfer flights booked via Kiwi come with transfer protection. They are protected by Kiwi. Learn more about Kiwi Guarantee on kiwi.com. Some other sites offer similar services.

Calculate your flight compensation for free! It takes less than 2 minutes Calculate compensation

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4. What happens if you miss a flight?

Was it your fault? If yes, then it’s your responsibility.

It applies to all situations. No matter the type of a connecting flight. If it was your fault, you'll have to deal with the consequences yourself.

What happens if you miss your connecting flight?

Again, if it’s your fault - it’s your responsibility.

But what if you miss connecting flight due to delay of the previous flight? With protected connecting flight, your airline would give you a new flight for free. But with self transfer, you have to get a new flight yourself. It’s your responsibility to find a solution, not your airline's.

But you might be entitled to flight delay compensation.

Check your compensation online!

5. Can you get a compensation for missing connecting flight?

Sometimes yes.

But not because you missed connecting flight.

Because you see, with self transfer flights it's your responsibility if you make it in time for next flight or not. At the same time, you may still be entitled to compensation if your flight is heavily delayed or cancelled less than 2 weeks before the day of departure.

You might be entitled to compensation for the bad flight.

Or - if you have an insurance covering these cases.

That’s in case, if it’s your airline’s fault, and:

You might be entitled to compensation up to €600.

You can contact your airline, or file a claim online with us.

It may take months until you get compensation.

Find out if you are eligible for EU / UK flight delay compensation Check your flight

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6. What if you have to wait at the airport? Due to flight delay or cancellation

In short -- your airline has to take care of you.

Because in the EU you have the right to care. No matter the circumstances, and if it’s your airlines fault or not. If you have to wait 3+ hours, your airline must provide you with free meal and drink, and if it’s an overnight delay - free hotel room and free airport transfer.

In many situations you can get all of that:

  • A new flight (if the old one is cancelled)
  • Being taken care of
  • And also, a flight compensation from airline

Despite what you might have heard before, that you can’t get a compensation if you take a hotel room or free meal. Remember, these are only myths -- in many situations you will get all of that. With European airlines this applies to all flights to and from Europe.

7. Does all of this apply to flights with non-EU airlines?

Yes, it does apply. But not always.

If your flight departs from the EU or UK, these rules apply even if you’re flying with non-EU airlines. These rules apply also to all charter airlines operating in the EU, and you don’t have to be European to have these rights. When it comes to air passenger rights, also tourists traveling to or from Europe have the same rights like citizens of the EU.

If it’s a European airline, it applies to all its flights (both departing from and arriving to Europe). You are protected on all these flights.

Delay? Cancellation? Overbooking? You might be entitled to compensation Check your flight

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Missed connecting flight: Compensation

Yes, sometimes you can get a compensation.

Not directly because of the missed connecting flight due to delay or cancellation of the previous flight, but for that bad flight itself. If a flight is delayed for 3 or more hours, or cancelled less than 2 weeks before the day of departure, you may get compensation.

If it’s airlines fault, you might be entitled to compensation.

For example, technical problems are considered airline’s fault.

The rules are the same if you’re denied boarding because of overbooking. You can get compensation for this flight that you are denied boarding for, but not for the other flight that you may have missed as a result.

How much can you claim?

The compensation amounts are fixed.

Mostly you can get 250, 400 or 600 euro.

Claim airline compensation online

So, yes, it’s definitely worth filing a compensation claim.

If you do nothing, your airline will do the same.


By Europe and EU we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin, the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.