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You may be eligible for compensation if you miss a connecting flight due to a delay at the departure airport, miss a connection flight thereof, and if the delay caused you to arrive at your final destination more than 3 hours later than scheduled. Please note, that the entire flight must be operating under one single booking number (PNR-number to the airline, which typically looks similar to this: VZGA9Y, which you use to check in with). If so, you may be entitled to respectively €250, €400 and €600 - depending on the flight distance.
To be eligible for compensation when missing a connecting flight the PNR-number must be the same for the entire journey. The PNR-number consist of 6-7 letters/digits and has different names across the airlines - including “booking reference”, “reservation number”, “reference number” etc.
If you book your flight directly through the airline, you may often only get one PNR-number for the entire journey. However, there are exceptions to this, as some airlines and third party booking agencies split up the booking.
Please be observant when booking through travel agencies and note that the booking reference you receive from the travel agency, typically has no relation to the PNR-number assigned by the airlines. So even if the travel agent's booking reference is the same for the entire journey, it does not mean that the whole trip is operating under the same PNR number.
The booking confirmation below is from the travel agency Kiwi, and clearly shows a booking with one booking number but two PNR-numbers. This means that the passenger, Anders Andersen, will not be eligible for compensation if he misses a connecting flight due to a delay on the first flight.
Generally, there are no specific guidelines for when flight disruptions make passengers entitled to accommodation. But passengers will typically be entitled to accommodation if the flight disruption occurs late at night or if the departure time is not yet scheduled. If you are rerouted (new flight) with a departure within 5 hours, you will not be entitled to accommodation.
If the airline has not provided you with any accommodation, and you will have to find it yourself, it is important that you choose a hotel in a reasonable price range, otherwise, you risk the airline refusing to reimburse your expenses or only acknowledging parts of the expense. We always recommend that you get in contact with a representative of the airline in the airport before you seek accommodation in any hotel. Please save any receipts relating to extra expenses which occur due to the flight disruption, if you wish to seek reimbursement from the airline.
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