Missed connection | Konsumentverket (2024)

When you miss your connecting flight, you may be entitled to compensation and help from the airline. Find out how much compensation you may claim and what you can do if the airline refuses your claims.

Translated page: This text has been translated from Swedish. The text and appearance of the page may look different from the original page.

Your rights depend on the type of ticket you have and the reason for missing the connection.

If you have one single ticket for the entire journey that means that stopovers are included in the journey. When you have a single ticket, you usually only need to check in once. It is also usually indicated when you book the ticket if it is one single ticket or if there are several different tickets.

If you only have one booking number, it is usually a single ticket. If there are several different booking numbers, there are probably separate tickets.

1. Find out your rights and make a claim

If the airline is the reason that you miss your connecting flight, you may have a right to both help and compensation from the airline.

Travelled with a single ticket

Your right to rebooking

When the airline is the reason that you miss the connecting flight, the airline must offer you alternative transport as quickly as possible. You can demand that the airline that caused the delay rebook you to a new flight so that you arrive as soon as possible.

Your right to food and lodging

When it is the airline that is the reason that you miss a connecting flight, the airline is obliged to arrange food, beverages and lodging for you if it is needed.

Your right to compensation

There are two kinds of financial compensation you may be entitled to when the airline caused you to miss your connecting flight. One is called compensation and the other is called damages. However, there are exceptions when you are not entitled to compensation.

Compensation

If your flight is covered by the EU rules, you may have the right to compensation in the form of a standard amount if you are delayed by at least three hours to your final destination. The compensation varies from 250 to 600 euros.

The EU rules apply in the following cases:

  • when you are flying from an airport within the EU.

  • when you are flying from an airport outside the EU to an airport within the EU with an airline registered in the EU.

The rules also apply to Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion, Mayotte, Saint-Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands (but not the Faroe Islands) in the same way as for all EU countries.

The compensation is intended to compensate you for time you lost.

How much you are entitled to depends on the length of the flight:

  • EUR 250 for all flights of no more than 1,500 km.

  • EUR 400 for all flights within the EU longer than 1,500 km and for all other flights that are between 1,500 km and 3,500 km long.

  • EUR 600 for all other flights covered by the EU rules.

How is the length of the journey calculated?

The length of the flight is calculated from the starting point to your final destination, regardless of where you had layovers and where the delay occurred.

Compensation may be halved

In some cases, the compensation amount may be halved. Using the Flight Calculator, you can easily calculate the compensation you can claim.

Try the Flight Calculator

If you are rebooked due to being denied boarding, the amount may be halved if the new arrival time does not exceed the original arrival time by more than:

Damages
When are you entitled to compensation for damages?

You may have a right to compensation for expenses that you incurred because of the delayed flight. For example, you can demand reimbursem*nt for food at the airport (if the airline did not arrange food and beverages), missed hotel nights or lost work income. You may be entitled to compensation regardless of whether your flight is covered by EU rules or not. It is important that you keep in mind to limit your expenses, otherwise you may only get reimbursem*nt for a portion of your costs.

Remember that you must be able to prove what expenses you had and that they are linked to the delay so that you will be able to request reimbursem*nt for them. Save all the receipts for your expenses as evidence. If you want reimbursem*nt for lost work income, you need to present a certificate from your employer.

How much compensation are you entitled to?

You can receive a maximum of SDR 5,346 (special drawing rights), which corresponds to around SEK 71,000, as reimbursem*nt for your expenses. SDR is a reserve currency that is used in international trade and can be described as a basket of major currencies.

Check the current value of SDR on the Riksbank's website

Remember that you cannot receive financial compensation for mental distress, inconvenience of waiting, discomfort or similar inconveniences due to the delayed flight.

Circ*mstances that may be extraordinary

There are no defined situations that are always considered to be extraordinary. This must be assessed case by case. But there are examples of circ*mstances that may be seen as extraordinary:

  • political instability

  • weather conditions that make it impossible to fly

  • security risks

  • unforeseen deficiencies in flight safety

  • when a strike happens that affects the operations of the airline.

Technical faults on the aircraft are usually not seen as extraordinary events.

The circ*mstances and the airline’s actions matter

It is not certain that the above examples are always considered extraordinary events. It all depends on the circ*mstances. It is up to the airline to prove that the missed connecting flight was due to an extraordinary circ*mstance. The airline must also be able to prove that they did everything they could to keep you from missing your connecting flight.

Travelled with separate tickets

When you travel with separate tickets, you should make sure that there is enough time between the different flights and that you have time to check in to the next flight. If you miss your connecting flight because you did not have enough time between transfers, you cannot demand anything from the airline.

Your right to compensation

When the airline is the reason that you miss the connecting flight, you may be entitled to demand compensation from the airline. It may involve you having had expenses because you missed the connecting flight, such as food and lodging. You may also have a right to demand compensation because you were forced to buy a new airline ticket to arrive at the next destination.

Remember to save the receipts for all expenditures. You need to be able to prove what costs you had linked to the missed connection.

The Swedish National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN) has previously assessed that as a passenger, you should be able to claim compensation for expenses incurred due to a missed connecting flight. However, it is not guaranteed that you always have the right to it, as different rules may apply in different countries.

Compensation

If your flight is covered by the EU rules, you may have the right to compensation in the form of a standard amount if you are delayed by at least three hours to your final destination. The compensation varies from 250 to 600 euros.

The EU rules apply in the following cases:

  • when you are flying from an airport within the EU.

  • when you are flying from an airport outside the EU to an airport within the EU with an airline registered in the EU.

The rules also apply to Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion, Mayotte, Saint-Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands (but not the Faroe Islands) in the same way as for all EU countries.

Exceptions when you are not entitled to compensation

You cannot demand any compensation from the airline if the airline can show that they took all reasonable actions to keep you from missing the connecting flight.

Nor can you require any compensation if you did not follow the rules that exist concerning the minimum connection time for the respective airport.

If a travel agency has booked the tickets for you

If a travel agency booked the tickets, you may be entitled to make a claim against the travel agency if it turns out that the booking was made incorrectly, which in turn led to you missing your connecting flight. Remember to contact the travel agency in writing, by email for example, when you make your claim.

2. Write to the airline to file a complaint

It is often possible to send your complaint to the airline via the airline’s website. If you cannot do so, you can instead send an email or letter to the airline. Write and explain clearly what happened and what claims you have. The airline’s contact information is often on the airline’s website, such as in the contractual terms.

If you want to demand compensation for expenses you have had, it is important that you send documentation, such as receipts, that shows what expenses are involved. You cannot claim compensation for an expense that you cannot prove that you had.

Waiting for a response from the airline

Once you have sent your complaint to the airline, you need to wait for an answer from the airline. It usually takes a few weeks to get an answer, but if you have waited more than six weeks without getting an answer, you can take the next step with your case.

3. What applies if the airline refers to extraordinary circ*mstances or force majeure?

The airline is not obliged to pay financial compensation if the delayed or cancelled flight is due to extraordinary circ*mstances. Extraordinary circ*mstances (also called force majeure) mean events that are beyond the airline’s control and cannot be avoided even if all reasonable steps are taken.

Examples of circ*mstances that may be extraordinary:

  • political instability

  • weather conditions that make it impossible to fly

  • security risks

  • unforeseen deficiencies in flight safety

  • when a strike happens that affects the operations of the airline.

Strikes among the airline's own staff are usually not considered extraordinary circ*mstances. Neither are technical faults on the aircraft.

Who determines if it is an extraordinary circ*mstance?

There are no defined situations that are always considered to be extraordinary. This must be assessed case by case. It is up to the airline to prove that the delayed or cancelled flight was due to an extraordinary circ*mstance. The airline must also be able to prove that they did everything they could to avoid the flight being delayed or cancelled.

4. If you need guidance

Travel with a Swedish airline or an airline not registered within the EU

The Swedish Consumer Agency

If you need guidance, you can contact our national information service. We can provide information on your rights and what options you have to make progress. We provide independent guidance and therefore cannot assess your individual matter, resolve disputes or contact companies for you.

Contact us

Municipality's Consumer Guidance

Many municipalities provide consumer guidance where you can seek free information and support. The assistance offered may vary from one municipality to another.

Travel with an airline form another country within the EU, Norway, Iceland or the United Kingdom

If you are residing in Sweden and the airline you have issues with is registered in another EU country, Norway, Iceland or the United Kingdom, you can receive free advice from ECC Sweden. ECC Sweden is part of a network of consumer offices within the EU. In some cases, ECC Sweden may share the case with a sister office in another country to attempt to reach a solution through mediation.

Contact ECC Sweden

Before contacting ECC Sweden you need to have lodged a claim with the airline first.

To ECC Sweden, you need to submit a description of the problem and documentation showing what has happened. Documentation is necessary if your case is to be shared with any sister office in another country. Remember to keep your originals and only send copies to ECC Sweden.

Send your case via email to: konsumenteuropa@konsumentverket.se

The email should include:

  • your contact information and the airline's name

  • your ticket or boarding card

  • a copy of your complaint and the claims you have made

  • receipts

  • the airlines reply

  • the Property Irregularity Report

Once you have submitted your case, you will usually receive a response within approximately a couple of weeks.

ECC Sweden cannot
  • Force a company to act according to the law. The work is based on the company being willing to cooperate with the ECC network to reach a resolution.

  • Mediate in a case if we cannot identify the seller or if the seller refuses to cooperate with the ECC network.

  • Act as legal representation or assist when the consumer has already initiated legal proceedings.

  • Assist in purchases between businesses or purchases between individuals.

If you have any questions

ECC Sweden is part of the Swedish Consumer Agency. Do you need help clarifying your rights or want to discuss if and how you can proceed with your case? Then you can contact us at the information service.

Contact the information service

5. Have your case reviewed

There are several different authorities that can assess your case if the airline rejects your claims. Which one depends, among other things, on the type of compensation you demand and in which country the flight issue took place.

When the flight issue happened in Sweden

In Sweden it is the National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN) that can assess whether you are entitled to financial compensation, the airline has rejected your claims. If you flew from or were supposed to fly from Sweden, you can always turn to ARN.

Submit a complaint on ARN's website

When the flight issue happened in another country than Sweden

There are two types of financial compensation you may be entitled to – compensation and damages.

Compensation

Compensation is provided in the form of a sum from 250 to 600 EUR. The compensation aims to reimburse you for time lost due to, for example, a delayed or canceled flight, or because you were denied boarding.

Damages

Damages are compensation for expenses incurred due to, for example, a delayed or canceled flight, or because you were denied boarding. This may include needing to buy food at the airport, missing a hotel night or losing income.

Where to turn if you demand damages

If you demand damages, you can turn to the National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN). This applies if you demand damages only or if you demand both damages and compensation.

Submit a complaint on ARN's website

Where to turn to if you only demand compensation

If you only demand compensation, you should contact an authority in the country you flew from or were supposed to fly from. Below you will find a list of authorities within the EU where you can send your case. The different authorities operate in different ways and not all of them handle individual cases.

List of authorities within the EU

Are you unsure which authority to turn to?

If you are unsure where to send your case, you can always contact us. We can also assist you with information about what you can do to have your case assessed or if the authority in the country you need to contact does not handle individual cases.

Contact us

Missed connection | Konsumentverket (2024)
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