• Delay to connecting flights outside of the EU (first flight leaving the EU)

    A flight with one or more connections under a single reservation constitutes a whole in the regulation on the rights of air passengers. Accordingly, connecting flights of which the first flight was performed from an EU airport fall within the scope of the passenger rights regulation even if the second of those connecting flights was performed by a non-Community carrier from and to a country which is not an EU Member State. Therefore, the operating air carrier that has performed the first flight is responsible for compensation even though the delayed flight was operated by a non-EU carrier outside of the EU. However, 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.

    Learn about how your airline should help you if you miss a connecting flight, or your connecting flight is disrupted, 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, even if the initial delay causing you to miss the connection was under 3 hours.  EU law also covers delays to a connecting flight, whether the connecting flight departed from an EU or non EU airport.

    To be covered by these rules, your journey must either:

    • depart from an EU airport and operated by any airline
      or
    • arrive at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline;
      and
    • the delay at your final destination is over three hours

    (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.

    I’ve missed my connection