Some trips require taking connecting flights. This means that the passenger needs to board at least two airplanes in order to get to the final flight destination.
For instance, you can travel from Berlin to London, and then from London to New York.
However, flights can be canceled without warning. Passenger may also miss the connecting flight due to the first flight being late or due to being denied boarding into the second airplane.
Did you now that you might be entitled for a compensation according to the European Law EC 261, if they are responsible for you missing your connecting flight.
If you qualify under EC 261, an airline is obligated to pay you a compensation for the missed connecting flight of up to €600.
It has to be the airline’s fault.
Under EC 261, passengers are eligible to claim compensation in case of the following three flight disruptions:
-A 3-hour (or more) delayed flight at your final destination.
Any of these instances can give you ground for missed connection compensation.
Remember that in relation to the 3-hour (or more) delay principle, it is immaterial how long the delay is that caused the missed connection. The relevant time of delay is the time of delay to your final destination.
For you to be entitled to claim cash compensation under EC 261, your flight must be either:
-Taking off from an EU airport and operated by any airline.
-Arriving at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline (airline HQ in a European country).
You are not entitled to a compensation if the reason for a missed connection is due to ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’. This means circumstances that are outside the airline’s control.
Extraordinary circumstances are circumstances such as severe weather conditions, lightning strikes, medical emergencies, air traffic control strikes, airport employee strikes or air traffic control strikes, air traffic control restrictions, sudden malfunctioning of the airport radar, political unrest…
The bottom line is, the airlines are only held responsible for things that they control.
Under a recent ruling by the ECJ, internal strikes by flight staff do not constitute as ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’.
Therefore, airlines must now compensate air passengers for flight delays and cancellations, when an airline strike is to blame.
If you have a trip consisting of multiple trips, it is possible that only a part of it will be factored into the compensation.
-All flights must be under one booking and not purchased individually.
-The disruption must be eligible under EC 261, meaning:
(i) The disruption was not caused by ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’.
(ii) The disruption is covered by EC 261.
-The missed connection must be caused by a delay (of any length) and the total time of delay upon arriving to the final destination must total at least three hours. The missed connection must be caused either by a cancellation or a denied boarding and in these two instances, the total delay to final destination could be of any length.
When a flight disruption happens that meets the criteria above, the airline operating the flight is responsible for compensating you.
If one airline causes an issue, it will usually be responsible for all of its own flights, even if they came before the disruption, as well as any later flights that are affected as the result of their disruption, even if they are with an entirely different airline.
If you missed your flight connection because of a delay, you are entitled to missed connection compensation of up to €600 per passenger, providing you arrive at least three hours late to your final destination. This applies even if the connection flight is operated by another airline, as long as the ticket is valid for both flights.
After the airline has delayed for two hours or more, the airline must provide snacks and refreshments for the passengers, according to the EC 261.
Remember that it doesn’t matter whether the airline has provided you with snacks or travel vouchers or coupons, you’re still entitled to the compensation (as long as you haven’t signed your rights away in exchange for travel points or similar).
To qualify for missed connection compensation, you must satisfy the following criteria:
-You bought your tickets on the same reservation.
-Your flight falls under the European Law EC 261.
-The airline is responsible for the missed connection.
Once you satisfy this, you are entitled to compensation even if you accept a replacement flight your destination or a flight back to your point of departure.
For trips with several flights, what counts is the total delay time to the final destination point. In case of cancelation (or delay for less than 4 hours and +3500 km flights) your compensation amount may be halved, depending on the overall amount of time you would be delayed in arriving at your final destination on an alternate flight. This is in comparison to the original arrival time had you arrived with your originally booked flight.
(i) For flights less than 1500 km; €250.
(ii) For flights between 1500 km and 3500 km; €400.
(iii) For flights longer than 3500 km; €600.
When it comes to claiming compensation, the relevant factor is the distance from the destination of the canceled first flight and the arrival time for the taken alternative flight to the final destination.
Inspecto will get no fee unless you get compensated. All of our services are completely free of charge, if we are unsuccessful in getting you your claim. For the processing of claims, we used fixed fees that depend on the type of case. The fixed fee frequently corresponds to around 25% of the potential compensation.
If you missed your flight due to ordinary circumstances (e.g. circumstances within the airline’s control), you are entitled to:
Head to the airline and speak to their representative. This may be straining but stay calm and positive.
If there is a long queue, as time is a factor, you can try skipping the line by calling the airline.
This is the quicker way of finding an alternative flight.
If the airline doesn’t find you an alternative flight, we suggest you book one yourself. If you do, please keep the receipt for later compensation procedures.
Opt For A Refund And A Flight Back To The Airport You Departed From
After missing your flight connection, if the airline doesn’t offer an alternative flight at all, or the airline offers an alternative flight that does not satisfy the passenger’s needs with regards to the time of arrival:
You are within your rights in choosing an alternative flight to the final destination yourself, or you may take a flight back to your origin point.
The airline is obligated to cover the costs for your alternative flight.
When you miss your connecting flight, if the wait until your next flight (re-routing back to where you came from or to your final destination) stretches more than two hours, the airline is obliged to provide you with food, refreshment, a phone call and free access to the internet.
If the airline has still not managed to rebook you to another flight, hasn’t found a seat on a night flight or for the next day, the airline must arrange your hotel accommodation.
The airline must also ensure you are able to transport yourself from the airport to the hotel and vice versa.
The following types of travelers or ticket types are all eligible to missed connection compensation providing the criteria laid out in EC 261 are satisfied:
-Package holiday deals
-Children on paid tickets
Remember that although most travelers are entitled to claim compensation, there are a few exceptions.
Namely, passengers traveling free of charge or at a reduced fare not available directly or indirectly to the public (i.e. the airline staff).
Your right for compensation under EC 261 does eventually expire, so it’s important to know the Statute of Limitations for your claim.
This varies from one country to the next and is determined by where the headquarters of the airline is or what court has jurisdiction in cases concerning the airline.
In general, the time limit is three years but in certain countries it may be even more.
While you may be fully prepared to travel, sometimes life gives us obstacles for the initial travel plans to take place.
Mishaps like a family emergency, or a serious illness can make you a no-show on your flight.
If this happens, it is the best to do as follows.
Contact The Airline
Your first point of call is to try to salvage some of the money you invested in your ticket.
Assuming you have missed your flight (or are about to) and you are not at the airport, contact your airline through their local number. The number should be available in the emails you’ve received from the airline and on the website of the local airport.
If you want to book a new ticket, the airline will likely request a fee. If the fare has gone up since the last time you bought your ticket – you will need to pay the difference in price.
Despite these extra charges, if you call ahead, it is better to pay more than to lose your ticket completely.
If you are at the airport, proceed to the ticketing counter or gate agent. Explain your situation and ask for the options available to you.
Let Anyone Waiting For You To Know About The Disruption
In case you missed your connecting flight, and are in the process of getting an alternative flight or other means of transportation, it is important to let anyone who is waiting for your arrival to know this.
Disclosing this at the earliest possible convenience allows them to make adjustments to your shared arrangements. It will also help them not to worry and focus on making your situation as convenient as possible.
We understand that air travel disruptions might cause feelings of stress and anxiety. However, by keeping your cool and focusing on solving the issue with the airline and any other parties will help you to get to your destination or to your origin point with ease.
When this happens, it’s important that you contact the airline or the airport’s baggage claim. This is so they can keep your checked bags safe and on the ground until you’re available to collect them.
In case of missing the connecting flight, a lot of the airlines will make you a standby for the next similar flights.
It’s understandable that the prospect of having to contact the airline and be put through your paces is not appealing. But does this mean that you should scrap your original ticket and buy a new one?
This is a possibility, if the change fee is sky-high and buying a new ticket is cheaper. For instance, if you missed your outbound flight and you’ve found a cheaper one-way alternative, then go for it.
However, when making the decision, be aware that buying a new one-way ticket makes your existing itinerary null and void. So unless you are absolutely sure you want to cancel your trip completely, avoid doing this.
Contact your hotel as soon as it is clear you will not be able to make your hotel reservation. The goal for you here is to avoid any extra charges. Hotel number is usually found on their website and in the documents you’ve received from them.
To ensure you don’t miss your connecting flight, you need to give yourself enough time between flights. That sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Sadly, the problem often is with the airlines thinning the window of opportunity between connecting flights.
To avoid missing your connecting flight, the secret is to be alert when booking your ticket. How long is the layover time in between? It would be best to have at least one hour in between of domestic flights and two hours in between of international flights.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself when considering if the flight’s layover time is sufficient:
Do you have to go through customs?
Do you need to change terminals?
What transport do you need to take to change terminals?
Is your connecting flight the last flight of the day for the airport?
Is your next flight on a different airline?
Also, bear in mind that if your layover time is between thirty to forty-five minutes, this is not actually a lot of time. So avoid doing time-waster activities like window shopping or making lengthy phone calls.
As can be expected, if you are responsible for missing your connecting flight, the airline is under no obligation to pay you anything for your missed connection.
If you ask the airline to assist you with your re-booking, they may oblige. However, this isn’t their Inspectotory obligation.
When you have a journey that requires connecting flights or you are flying into a popular airport, ensure you have plenty of time between flights.
When it comes to air travel, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Your right to missed connection compensation depends on whether:
-Your tickets are purchased on the same reservation as opposed to separately.
-Your disruption must be covered by EC 261.
-The airline is responsible for the missed connection.
Providing you satisfy all this criteria, you qualify for compensation whether you accept a substitute flight to your destination or a refund of the ticket price and a flight back to your point of departure.
If you missed your connection due to the fault of the airline (e.g. a delayed flight caused by non-extraordinary events or mechanical problems), the airline should re-book you on the net available flight. The amount you are entitled to depends on the length, type and duration of your flight disruption.
When you’ve missed the connecting flight, please speak to the airline representative as soon as possible to mitigate the negative effects you might suffer due to missing the flight.
You will understandably be stressed but showing this will not make your situation any more solvable, so please remember to remain calm through the ordeal.
Should the airline not be able to find you a substitute flight, you can book one yourself. If you choose this option, keep the receipt. The airline is obligated to offer you a full refund or the difference between the price of the original and the new ticket, if the latter is more expensive.
You can also opt for a refund and a flight back to the airport you departed from.
The airline is obligated to do this for free.