• 19.March.2024
  • 3 min
  • By: Serena Bhangu

The possibility of reaching pretty much any destination in the World is a reality thanks to the airlines for making this achievable. However, getting from A to B may involve one or more changes of flights along the route, and this can lead to unintended problems for travellers.

Steve Reid our resident travel expert, explores the problem that missing flight connections create, the knock-on consequences and what compensation you may be due.

World travel is a marvel, helped by airlines, particularly those airlines that collaborate in alliances, or so-called ‘code-sharing’ to offer up a multitude of destinations by connecting with each other’s schedules, with the least amount of ‘lay over’ waiting time for passengers.

However, things can go awry when there is a problem with one or more of the connecting flights along the route, which causes passengers to miss a connecting flight and in turn disrupts their plans. With connecting flights as part of a planned trip, it is not uncommon that flights may be operated by different airline companies. So who is at fault when you miss a connection en route?

It’s a good question. Firstly, as long as the whole trip is under one booking, you may have some rights to recompense, even if the flights are operated by different airlines. If you booked the constituent flights individually, then you may only have some limited rights. In the latter instance, if you arrive at the connection point with a delay of 3 hours or more, then you may be owed compensation. But, if you have a series of flights all under one booking then your rights are more comprehensive. If a flight delay leads to a passenger missing a connecting flight, and the delay at the final destination is 3 hours or more, they may have a valid claim for compensation and assistance with alternative arrangements.

Compensation for missed connecting flights

If passengers arrive at their destination over three hours late due to a missed connecting flight, you have the right to compensation, as well as some additional assistance at the airport. Based on the EU and UK Passenger Rights Regulations, you may be due up to £520 per passenger in compensation. Additionally, the airline must provide you with food and drinks after 2 hours of waiting time. If your flight is delayed overnight, the airline is also responsible for providing accommodation for you.

If you arrive at your connecting airport to find your next flight has already left without you, you’ll have two choices: either to be re-booked on to the next available flight free of charge or request a refund and a flight back to your point of departure.

The airline must assist you by making alternative flight arrangements to get you to your destination as soon as possible, irrespective of EU/UK passenger regulations. If you incur any expenses yourself due to a missed connection, make sure that you keep the receipts as you may be able to claim back any reasonable expenses from the airline.

The cause of you missing a connecting flight is a crucial point. If the earlier flight was cancelled or delayed due to circumstances within the control of the airline, and not classed as ‘extraordinary circumstances’ such as severe weather, (see information about this in our FAQ’s{link}) then the airline has responsibilities to you.

We help passengers understand their rights and where their access to compensation is possible. Simply provide us with some simple information about your trip and we’ll do the checking for you.

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