Missing your connecting flight always puts your travel plans at risk. But you can get a missed connection compensation of up to 600€ when you missed your flight because of a flight delay, cancellation, or overbooking. Learn more about your rights and what to do when you miss your connecting flight.

      When Are You Eligible for Missed Connection Compensation?

      You can claim up to 600€ in compensation under EC261 if:

      𑂽 You missed your connecting flight because of the delay, cancellation, or overbooking of the previous flight
      𑂽 All your flights were under the same booking; they were not purchased individually
      𑂽 You reached your final destination at least 3 hours late
      𑂽 Your flight departed from the EU or landed in the EU (and was operated by an airline headquartered in the EU)
      𑂽 The airline is responsible for the delay, cancellation, or overbooking that caused you to miss your connecting flight (i.e. the delay was not caused by “extraordinary circumstances”, out of their control)

       

      How long after the missed connection can I claim compensation?

      As a general rule, you can claim compensation under EC261 for flight disruptions that occurred up to 3 years ago. In practice, each country has their own time limit, or statute of limitation. 

      The following are examples of the statute of limitation for several countries:

      • Austria: 3 years
      • Belgium: 1 year
      • France: 5 years
      • Germany: 3 years
      • Italy: 2 years
      • Portugal: 3 years
      • Spain: 5 years
      • Switzerland: 10 years
      • United Kingdom: 5 years (6 years in Scotland)

      Read our post on the statute of limitation for flight compensations to know your country's. 

      How Much Compensation Can You Claim For Flight Delays?

      Flight delay compensation amount

      The compensation amount for a missed connection varies depending on the reason for which you couldn’t catch your flight. 

      You missed your connection because of a fight delay

      If you reached your destination at least 3 hours late because the delay of your first flight caused you to miss your connection, then the compensation amount depends on the length of the delay and the itinerary:

      Distance < 3 hours 3 - 4 hours 4+ hours
      All flights 1,500 km or less / 250€ 250€
      Internal EU flights over 1,500 km / 400€ 400€
      Non-internal EU flights 1,500-3,500 km / 400€ 400€
      Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km / 300€ 600€

       

       

       

       

      Learn more about delayed flight compensation

       

      You missed your connection because of a fight cancellation

      It gets more complicated if you missed your connection as a result of a flight cancellation, because more factors come into play, but here’s how much you would be entitled to, based on how late you reached your destination:

      Distance Under 2 hours 2-3 hours 3-4 hours 4+ hours Never arrived
      All flights 1,500 km or less 125€ 250€ 250€ 250€ 250€
      Internal EU flights over 1,500 km 200€ 200€ 400€ 400€ 400€
      Non-internal EU flights 1,500-3,500 km 200€ 200€ 400€ 400€ 400€
      Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km 300€ 300€ 300€ 600€ 600€

      Learn more about cancelled flight compensation

       

      You missed your connection because of a boarding denial

      If you were denied boarding due to an overbooked flight and missed your connection, you can also get compensated. How much you’re entitled to depends on the flight distance and the itinerary:

      Flight distance and itinerary Compensation amount
      All flights 1,500km or less 250€
      Internal EU flights over 1,500km 400€
      Non-internal EU flights between 1,500-3,500km 400€
      Non-internal EU flights over 3,500km 600€

      Learn more about denied boarding compensation

      Did you miss your connection because of a flight delay, cancellation, or overbooking?

      You may be entitled to missed connection compensation.

          Other Rights When Your Flight Is Delayed

          You’re entitled to cash

          As per EC261, compensations “shall be paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services."

          In other words, feel free to refuse a compensation paid as a voucher by the airline. Of course, you’re free to accept their offer. But if you do, make sure that you’re not getting less than what is planned by the EU law. 

           

          You “right to care”

          If you miss your connection and have to wait at the airport for over 2 hours, you can enforce your right to care: the airline must provide you with food and refreshments. Except it to be in the form of a meal voucher, which can be used in the restaurants of the airport. 

          Should you need it, the airline must also give you a means of communication so that you can make arrangements for your trip. 

          If you have to wait for 6 hours or more (long delay), you can even request accommodation to rest. The airline also has to provide you with transportation between there and the airport. If you must pay in advance for the expense, keep your receipts and claim a refund after. 

           

          Right to reimbursement or re-routing

          If your replacement flight is delayed by at least 5 hours at departure, can claim a full refund. This is independent from your compensation. 

          You may choose not to travel anymore instead. In that case, the airline must also give you a free flight back to your point of departure. 

           

          Upgrades and downgrades

          After you missed your connection, the airline should provide a re-routing. If the only available seat to your destination is in a higher class than the seat that you initially purchased, you can’t be charged extra.

          If, inversely, you must now fly on a lower class, you’re entitled to a refund ranging between 35 and 75% of the original ticket price.

           

          Further compensation

          If you consider the EC261 compensation insufficient, you may seek further compensation. In general, you would do so by claiming for damages under the Montreal Convention, in which case the missed connection compensation planned by EU law will be deducted from the amount you can get. 

          Which Flights Are Covered by EC261?

          In general, the EU Regulation 261/2004 covers:
          𑂽 All flights departing from the EU
          𑂽 Flights arriving in the EU that are operated by an airline headquartered in the EU

          The EU airspace also includes Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the “outermost regions” - i.e. French Guiana and Martinique, Mayotte, Guadeloupe and La Reunion, Saint-Martin, Madeira and the Azores, and the Canary Islands.

          However, missed connections are more complicated, because there isn’t a single flight involved. Whether you are eligible to a missed connection compensation or not can be summarized like so:

          Travel itinerary of the missed connecting flight EU carrier Non-EU carrier
          From EU to EU Yes Yes
          From EU to non-EU Yes Yes
          From out of EU to EU Yes No, unless your journey started in he EU*
          From out of EU to non-EU No, unless your journey started in he EU* No, unless your journey started in he EU*

           

          *EC261 now considers all flights booked under the same reservation as part of the same journey. This means that your missed connection is covered, as long as your journey started in the EU, regardless of the itinerary of your missed flight. Note, however, that some EU courts still interpret this issue differently. 

          Note that no matter your itinerary, your flights must be under the same reservation for you to be eligible for compensation. Tickets under the same reservation have the same booking number, or PNR. 

          If you booked your tickets separately, you are responsible for making the connection: when you booked individual tickets, missing your connecting flight doesn’t make you eligible for compensation, even if the airline was responsible.

          Missed your connection?

          Claim up to 600€ in compensation. Check your eligibility in less than 3 minutes!

              No compensation for disruptions caused by “extraordinary circumstances”

              Delays, cancellation, or boarding denials caused by “extraordinary circumstances” are not subject to compensation. 

              Those “Acts of God” include air traffic control restrictions, adverse weather conditions, political unrest, strike action by airport employees or air traffic control, medical emergencies, bird strikes, lightning strikes, etc. 

              If you missed your connection because the airline had to delay or cancel a flight because of extraordinary circumstances, you won’t get compensated, as the airline cannot be held responsible. 

              Note that “bad weather”, “technical problem”, “operational issues”, and “airline staff strike” are not regarded as extraordinary circumstances under EC261. If the airline denies your missed connection compensation request for one of these reasons, know that they are in violation of the law. 

               

              No compensation for connections missed for reasons out of the airline’s responsibility

              Just like booking two separate tickets rather than booking them together, under the same reservation, makes you ineligible for compensation, you won’t get compensated for missing your connecting flight if you are responsible for it.

              This could happen in the case of an emergency, or if you fell asleep and didn’t present yourself at the boarding gate on time, for example. 

               

              What To Do When You Miss Your Connection?

                   𑂽 Get an alternative flight to reach your destination, by talking to the airline staff at the airport or on the phone

                   𑂽 If you’re travelling with checked luggage, make sure that you can get them now or that they will be on the same plane as you

                   𑂽 Keep your travel documents, even those for the missed connecting flight. You will need them to claim compensation. 

                   𑂽 Ask for a meal and refreshment if the waiting time until your replacement flight is over 2 hours

                   𑂽 If you’re experiencing a long delay of over 6 hours, you lay request accommodation

                   𑂽 Keep your receipts and ask for a refund at the end of your trip if the missed connection ends up costing you more money

                   𑂽 Do not accept an offer that isn’t the one planned by EC261

                   𑂽 Check if you’re entitled to a missed connection compensation

               

              How To Claim Compensation For Missed Connection?

              Like many passengers, you may not have the time or the legal expertise to claim compensation. Or you simply don’t want to fight the airline yourself. 

              You can let ClaimCompass handle the whole process for you.
              𑂽 We let you know quickly if you’re entitled to compensation.
              𑂽 We take care of the communication with the airline and, if necessary, legal actions.
              𑂽 We work on a “no win, no fee” basis: we only take a commission if you receive your compensation. There are no risks for you.

              Don't let the airline get away with it!

              Let ClaimCompass get the compensation they owe you for your missed connection!

                  FAQ

                  What is the minimum connecting time?

                  Also called Minimum Connection Time or MCT, it is the minimum amount of time that is required for you to catch a connecting flight. Each airport has their own MCT. 

                  As a rule of thumb, if you have less time to board the plane than the MCT as a result of the delay of the first flight, you may be eligible for flight compensation. 

                  Read more about minimum connecting time and flight compensatons

                   

                  How to know if I'm eligible for missed connection compensation?

                  The easiest solution is to submit a claim via our Compensation Calculator. Our team will check your flight details and let you know if you're entitled to compensation or not.

                  When trying to determine your eligibility on your own, use the OTAREU method. It stands for: 

                  • One Ticket (OR): to be eligible, your filghts must be under the same booking
                  • Airline's Responsibility (AR): it was the airline's fault if the first flight was delayed
                  • European Union (EU): your journey is under EU jurisdiction