If you have a long distance to cover or want to save up some money on airfare, a connecting flight is the best option. With layover or connecting flights, you have two or more flights with different flight numbers. For E.g. a flight from Mumbai to New York will probably have a layover in Dubai, where you will have to change flights. Connecting flights give you enough time to relax between long-distance flights. Sometimes, you can even leave the airport during a layover if they are long enough. But while you book flights online have you ever thought, what if I miss a connecting flight?
Yes, it is very much possible to miss a connecting flight due to various reasons. It is very disheartening when you are running across the airport but can’t make it to the flight. Missing a connecting flight can upend your further travel plans. Instead, of crying over it, you should immediately start looking for alternatives.
There are various solutions to this problem, but they depend on different scenarios, as follows;
Was it your fault?
The first thing you need to be clear of is the fact that if you miss the connecting flight because it was your own fault, you might be in some trouble. This may include reasons like booking two flights with a short layover time, getting stuck up in traffic, falling asleep at the departure terminal, or getting too busy window shopping through duty-free shops that you didn’t hear your boarding announcement.
In this condition, the airline will help you rebook another flight. However, they are under no obligation to do so under any laws but do so only out of the goodwill of the airline. They will help you book the next possible flight and you will have to pay the change fee plus the applicable fare difference if there is any.
The best way to avoid missing your connecting flight is to book flights with ample amount of layover time, know how early you should reach the airport and stay alert while waiting in the airport.
Missed the Flight due to the Airline?
You can miss your connecting flight due to the fault of the airline on your first flight. This delay could be due to technical faults, bad weather, etc. The next step of action here will depend on two scenarios, is your connecting flight with the same airline or is it with a different one?
If you miss a connecting flight with the same airline, it is the responsibility of the airline to rebook you on the next flight to your destination. For E.g. Your flight from Mumbai to Dubai and further from Dubai to New York is with Lufthansa only. In this case, you will just have to get in touch with an airline representative at the airport and they will put you on the next available flight. If there is no flight until the next morning, the airlines will also pay for your accommodation and meals. If the reason for the delay is bad weather, the airline will help you rebook your flight but not offer accommodation or meals. Most airlines follow this as a standard practice and it is not an obligation.
If you have booked flights separately, for E.g. Mumbai to Dubai with Emirates and from Dubai to New York with Kuwait Airways then the first airline is not obliged for any sort of compensation. If both airlines belong to the same alliance then maybe you can be offered some assistance. If you have booked your flights separately, don’t expect much assistance from any of the airlines.
For these self-transferring flights, you will have to pay for the rebooking yourself. However, if your first flight was 3+ hours late, you might be entitled to some compensation for the delay. The best way to not miss a connecting flight is to allow ample time in between the arrival time of the first flight and the departure time of the second flight. A gap of about 3 to 4 hours can be ideal. Waiting at the airport will be worth it rather than being stranded there once your flight has taken off. Also, knowing the airport layout will help you to get from one point to another swiftly.
Always remember, the airline officials will help you out of goodwill and not under any obligation or law, so please be courteous with them. Being polite can also help you get your way with the flight arrangements.
Do not want to take the risk to miss a connecting flight? While you make your travel plans, searching for the best deals on flights, accommodation, visa and tour packages, also look for travel insurance. Make sure your insurance covers missing a connection too.
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