You can never be sure to arrive on time when flying to your destination, especially if your trip includes a flight connection. Although every airport has set amount of transfer time that is considered sufficient for a passenger to make a connection between an arriving flight and a departing flight, the Minimum Connecting Time, if your first flight is delayed, you might miss the next one. Here’s what to do if this happens.
Ask to be rebooked right away
If you manage to get first in line at the counter and speak to an airline representative, good for you! Stay there, keep calm (the delay is surely not this person’s fault and they’ll be more willing to help you if you’re polite), and the airline should be able to find you another flight. If other passengers are already there before you, don’t bother waiting in line and call the airline straight away. You’re more likely to find a substitute flight over the phone than by waiting for an hour in line.
Your right to care
In the meantime, the airline is also supposed to provide you with refreshment, food, a phone call and free access to the internet. If you still haven’t been rebooked to another flight before 6:00pm receive a seat on a flight during the night or on the next day, the airline must provide hotel accommodation as well as the means to go from the hotel to the airport and vice versa.
Your right to compensation
What largely impacts your entitlement to compensation is whether you bought your tickets on the same reservation or separately.
If you’ve booked the whole trip at once (and have one booking reference for all flights)? You miss your connection because of the delay of one of the flights? And then arrive at your final destination more than a 3h delay? Sounds like you are entitled to a compensation of:
- €250 for flights up to 1,500km or €125 if you arrive within 2 hours of your original flight time;
- €400 for flights of a distance between 1,500 and 3,500km or €200 if you arrive within 3 hours of your scheduled arrival time;
- €600 for flights over 3,500km or €300 if you arrive within 4 hours of your original arrival time.
However, if you bought separate tickets and miss one of your flights, you simply be noted as a “no-show” for the next flight and will not be entitled to any compensation.
Missing your connection can really ruin your trip - on the bright side, you can take advantage of the situation and start filling in your compensation claim.
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