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Missed Connection? What To Do When You've Missed Your Connecting Flight

AuthorThe AirHelper

Missed connection? We’ve all been there. We get to the airport on time, we wait in the lobby for the hour, board our plane and then sit there waiting to taxi out.

There’s nothing much you can do about it but put your hands to your face and sigh. You cut it a little close with scheduling your connecting flight or better yet, the airline set you up to connect to a flight that you may just end up missing. After the plane takes off you realize there is no way you are going to make it across the labyrinth that is an airport terminal in time.

Missed connections can be some of the most irritating things for airline passengers rights and the sense of powerlessness does not help. The question we all ask ourselves is, what could we have done?

We’ve got some answers!

What should you know?

Your rights in this situation depend a lot on the airline carrier, what country or region the airline is flying from and in what country the airline is based. Unfortunately US-based airlines have no laws governing how they are to treat passengers who have missed connections. How a US based airline treats you in this circumstance is determined by the airline’s own contract of carriage (more info on this in an upcoming post). If however, your flight is flying in from Europe, you may be able to seek up $800 in compensation from the airline if you ended up missing your connection and your overall travel time was affected.

Wait, a minute, your airline isn’t a US based airline? If the airline you are flying on is a European airline. The flight laws governing that region do apply to you and you may be able to seek compensation under a formal stipulation by the European Union, called EC 261. This law states that passengers must be financially compensated if their flight is canceled, overbooked or delayed for over three hours.

What can you do?

All hope is not lost if you flew in on a US based airline. If the missed connection was the airline’s fault (a mechanical or crew problem, for example) then you should ask for overnight lodging, a meal voucher, plus transportation to and from a hotel, if applicable. Depending on the airline, you may receive one, all or none of these, as unfortunately there is no law stating that the airline must do this. This again is specific to the airline’s contract of carriage or their own customer service procedures.

If the airline, is an European based airline, or flew from Europe at the beginning of the trip, you may be eligible to receive compensation. In which case you should click here as quickly as possible. We’ll try our best to get you sorted!

Flight delays happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. You may be entitled to as much as $680 in compensation if your flight was delayed, canceled or overbooked within the last three years.

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