A flight delay can cause you to miss out on crucial events.
However, rule EC261 might help you if you were traveling from or to Europe. According to the regulation, you may be entitled to a €250 – €600 compensation if you miss your connecting flight which results in a delay of at least three hours.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about missing a connecting flight due to a delay. Does the airline rebook you? Are you entitled to any compensation? Requirements to claim EC261 compensation and more. This article was updated in 2023.
- If you miss your connecting flight due to a delay, the airline will rebook you on the next available flight without charging any fee, as long as the connecting flight is part of the same booking. If you are on two separate bookings, you may have to pay for the rebooking or find another flight yourself.
- Under EC261, you may be entitled to compensation ranging from €250 to €600 if you miss your connecting flight due to a delay that was within the airline’s control and your final destination was in Europe or your flight took off from Europe.
- To claim EC261 compensation, you must fulfill certain conditions, such as the disturbance being within the control of the airline, the flights being part of the same ticket, and the delay resulting in a delay of at least three hours at your final destination.
- It is possible to claim EC261 compensation through companies that handle the claim process for you, but they will keep a percentage of the compensation as their fee.
- When calculating compensation for a missed connection, the length of the entire trip is taken into consideration, not just the leg that was missed.
What To Do If You Miss Your Connection Due To Delayed Flight?
If you miss your connecting flight due to a delay, the airline will book you for the next available flight without charging any fee provided that the connecting flight is part of the same booking.
If you are traveling on two separate bookings, then there are two ways to reach your final destination:
- Either you ask the airline to rebook you for the next available flight to your destination, however, it will not be free of charge.
- Or you look for another flight yourself from any other airline. However, it may cost more than usual or you may even struggle to find one as it will be a last-minute reservation.
Airlines generally arrange a hotel and provide you with food vouchers if you have to wait for a delayed flight. Still, you should keep in mind that there’s no legal agreement on the airline’s part to offer any accomodation. If that’s the case, you’ll need to book an accommodation yourself.
When Can You Claim EC261 Compensation?
To claim EC261 compensation, you must fulfill all of the following conditions:
- The disturbance because of which you missed your flight was within the control of the airline. Meaning, weather conditions do not fall under the regulation.
- The flight either landed in Europe (on the condition that the airline is headquartered in Europe) or your plane took off in Europe (through any airline).
- The connecting flights were bought as part of the same ticket, not separately.
- The connection was missed because of the cancellation, delay, or an overbooked flight.
- You didn’t miss the flight because of the situations under your control (for example, you didn’t have the required documents or showed up late).
- In the instance of a delayed flight, you were nearly three hours late reaching your final location because of the missed connection.
Remember, it makes no difference if the airline has previously offered you a replacement flight. However, claiming your EC261 compensation is a tiring process and you might even have to go to court if the airline refuses. Seeing this, most people don’t even bother. However, there are companies that make the claim on your part and all you have to do is fill in the flight details and they handle the rest. They only keep a tiny percent of the total compensation.
How Distance Is Calculated for Missed Connection Compensation Claims?
The compensation for a missed connection is calculated considering the length of the trip and not the leg you missed, meaning that the airline may also include the legs before the disturbance. Furthermore, they might even be responsible for the other flights affected by the delay caused by them.
Did you miss your connecting flight due to the delay caused by the airline? Don’t worry, you will be rebooked for the next flight to your destination, free of charge, as long as you purchased the connecting flights as a part of the same reservation.
However, if the delay was on your part, you will not be rebooked for free.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I miss my connecting flight due to a delay?
The airline will typically book you on the next available flight to your destination free of charge, as long as the connecting flight was part of the same booking.
Can I claim compensation if I miss my connecting flight due to a delay?
You may be entitled to compensation under EC261 regulations if the delay was within the airline’s control, and your final destination was in Europe or your flight took off from Europe.
What are the requirements to claim compensation under EC261 for a missed connecting flight?
The disturbance causing the missed connection must be within the airline’s control, the flights must be part of the same ticket, and the delay must result in a delay of at least three hours at your final destination.
Can I still claim compensation under EC261 if the airline has already offered me a replacement flight?
Yes, you can still claim compensation even if the airline has already offered you a replacement flight.
How is compensation for a missed connection calculated under EC261?
The compensation is calculated based on the length of the entire trip, not just the leg that was missed, and may range from €250 to €600.
What should I do if I miss my connection due to a delay on two separate bookings?
You may need to pay for the rebooking yourself or find another flight from another airline, as the airline will only rebook you free of charge if the connecting flights were part of the same booking.