Your rights when you miss a connection

Learn about how your airline should help you if you miss a connecting flight, and what to do if it happens to you

Many journeys by air involve connecting flights. This is when you have to take more than one flight to reach your destination. For instance, you might fly from Manchester to London, then from London on to New York.

Under EU law, you may be entitled to compensation from your airline if you miss a connection. To be covered by these rules, your flight must be either:

  • departing from an EU airport and operated by any airline
    or
  • arriving at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline

(Under this law, EU airports also include those in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.) See the full country list.

If your journey involves flights with airlines from different countries, it’s generally the nationality of the airline at fault that determines your rights.

For instance, if a delay on your first flight causes you to miss your second, it’s the airline operating the first flight that is responsible.

Are you on a through ticket?

Your airline is only required to provide compensation if you are booked on a through ticket. This means you have a single ticket and one reservation reference for your entire journey. The cause of you missing your connection must also be within the airline’s control.

If you or your travel agent booked the flights separately, then you are not covered by these rules.

Claiming compensation
 

In some circumstances you may be able to claim compensation for your missed connection.

This depends on how late you arrive at your final destination and what caused the delay.

The rules about compensation when you miss a connection are the same as for any other flight delay.

Learn about your rights for:

What to do when you miss a connection

See what you should do if you’ve missed your connection.