If the flights you are booking involve a connection between the legs of your flight, there are
some things you should bear in mind.
Many air journeys involve passengers connecting between two or more flights to reach their final
destination. If you have a number of connecting flights on the same reservation, also known as a
‘through ticket’, and you are flying with two or more airlines, you are generally entitled to be
looked after by the first airline on the ticket. For instance, if you miss your flight connection
because the first flight was delayed, the airline operating the first flight should arrange and pay
for meals and accommodation.
The entitlements set out above are only available to passengers on a “through ticket” i.e. one
reservation reference. If you have separate tickets / reservation references - either because your
travel agent has booked your flights or you have put together your own “connections” using separate
reservations - these are separate contracts and you will probably have to buy a new ticket if you
miss the connecting flight. Some airlines advise of the dangers of this on their websites.
But it can be considerably cheaper to make your own connections. If you do, consider building in
extra time to allow for delay, if possible.
If you missed your connection due to a delay on a previous flight, if it was on the same ticket,
then you may be entitled to compensation if you
arrive at your final destination more than three hours late, unless the delay was completely
outside the control of the airline.
If you missed your connection due to a problem in transiting through the airport, for instance
due to very long queues at security screening, you will not be entitled to financial compensation
under Regulation EU 261/2004.
You should make sure you have receipts for anything you buy and may be claiming for later.
Airline alliances are agreements between airlines which allow them to co-ordinate schedules and
to collaborate on fares and marketing. They enable passengers to book one ticket which covers their
flights with multiple airlines.
A code share is when tickets to one flight are sold by two or more airlines. The flight will
have more than one flight code depending on who is operating it and who sold the ticket.
You should be made aware when you buy a ticket that your flight will be operated by another
airline. This important for a number of reasons, not least because you need to check in with the
airline that is operating the flight, which may be different to the one that sold you the
Buying a ticket for a flight operated as a code share can affect which rights you have in cases
of delays and cancellations. You will have more rights with an EU airline when flying into Europe.
For instance, if you have a code share flight, and your inbound flight is with a non-EU airline and
is delayed, you will not be entitled to the same rights as you would have if you were flying with
an EU airline. Also, you will need to know whose terms and conditions apply when you are
travelling, the airline you booked with or the airline that is carrying you. You will need to know
this as for example, the baggage allowance may vary. This information is not always clear from the
small print, or may not even be included in the terms and conditions. Ask your agent or airline
before you book.
If you have booked to travel with a global airline, their website may have details of who they
code share with.
When booking flights, consider the following:
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