Traveling can be a nightmare and when you have a connecting flight, the slightest delay can be the end of the world. Worrying about making your connecting flight is one of the biggest factors of travel stress and rightfully so. Your second flight won’t wait for you if your first one is delayed or cancelled so any news about a pushed back departure time on your first flight is hard to hear about.

Luckily, you might be eligible for compensation for your missed connecting flight. There are, however, numerous factors that you must consider before you can know if you’re truly eligible or not. Much of the language of the regulations regarding missed flight reimbursement can be difficult to understand leaving you without proper compensation and a wasted vacation.

Here, we have provided the basic rules and regulations you need to know in order to qualify for reimbursement or a rescheduled flight. Keep in mind, these regulations apply only to EU airlines and EU flights. Any international flights or airlines from different regions throughout the world have a different set of rules and regulations that apply to them.

When Are You Covered for Compensation?

The most common cause of a missed connecting flight is due to a delayed or cancelled first leg. Luckily, under EU guidelines and regulations, this will be reimbursed by the airline. If your first flight is cancelled or delayed and you are too late to reach your second leg, you might be eligible for compensation. The same can be said if the airline overbooked the flight and you were unable to make it on. This falls under the denied boarding regulations and will typically be reimbursed itself.

If you were able to find a new flight that got you to your final destination, you might still be eligible for compensation. Your new connecting flight must have gotten to your final destination three hours passed the original landing time. If this is the case for your rescheduled flight, the airline might still have to compensate you for the lost time.

The party at fault for the missed connecting flight must have been the airline itself. If a staff strike or an overbooked flight caused the delay that made you miss your second flight, you are eligible for compensation. However, if it was deemed that you were at fault or the circumstances of the situation were within your control, you might not be eligible for compensation. If the staff of the airport caused any delays, you might have to seek out compensation from a third party.

When Are You Not Covered for Compensation?

If you were on an original flight that was not part of an EU airline or your missed connecting flight was international, you might not be eligible for compensation. These regulations apply to EU based airlines and flights. If the fault for the missed connection flight was placed on you or the airport staff, then the airline will not be held responsible for compensating you. You will have to look into regulations regarding airport compensation for missed flights.

If you were able to reschedule the connecting flight and were able to make it back to your destination within three hours of the original landing time, you will not be eligible for compensation. If the airliner offers you a voucher or a payment as an apology for causing the missed flight and you accept, you may have forfeited your right to compensation. However, if you determine that the voucher or payment they offer you is better than the provided flight compensation, you might want to take it.

Know your rights, if you miss a connecting flight due to the fault of the airline, you may be eligible for compensation. Keep your flight confirmation numbers and be sure to address the issue within three years of the incident occurring.