What Happens if You Miss a Connecting Flight Due to a Delay?


Did you know you can get compensation for missed connecting flights? Missing a flight is not something anyone looks forward to, at least not when you are fully prepared and have done everything possible to avoid that. However, it does happen.

You could miss your connecting flight due to negligence or lack of proper planning and that would solely be your responsibility. However, if on the flip side, you missed it due to a delay on your previous flight, then the airline responsible for it should compensate you and make things right. This is where the EU 261/2004 regulation comes in.

What is the EU 261 Law?

The EU 261 law was passed in 2004 to protect the rights of air passengers against flight disruptions and in the case of a missed connecting flight, here’s what to expect:


  • Monetary compensation is between €250 – €600, based on the flight distance.
  • Rights to care, including free food and drinks, internet access, and hotel accommodation if you have to wait through the night.
  • Alternative transport is organized by the airline.
  • Access to refund if you arrive at your destination 5 hours late.

This law applies to flights taking off from an EU member state or landing in one, with a European airline. This is assuming you already checked in at least 45 minutes before the departure time and you arrived at your destination three hours later than scheduled.

What Are The Next Steps to Take?

Here are a few steps to take if you ever miss your connecting flight due to a delay from the airline:

1. Gather all Relevant Documents

Start getting ready to be compensated. Compile documents of your booking information, boarding and luggage pass, receipts, and any other relevant documents. You also need to know why your flight was delayed and get the airline to put it in writing. This will be beneficial, as it confirms whether or not the airline is responsible for the disruption.

2. Review Your Itinerary

While you wait, make the best use of the time and review your itinerary. This is the best time to check for the next available flights you might be able to jump on once you miss your connecting flight. You can also contact the airline to find out how they can help you fix this situation and get you a seat on the next flight.

3.  File a Compensation Claim

Contact the help desk of the airline on how to go about claiming compensation. In most cases, the form is available on the website for you to fill out. For a more seamless process, you can get an attorney or an agency to help you claim your rights. This applies to EU flights operated in the last six years.

Bottom Line

Missing a connecting flight can cause great inconvenience, as it can disrupt your entire plans. However, you can exercise your rights under European law and get compensated, as highlighted in this article.