Delayed Flight during a Layover: Know Your Rights

Was your flight delayed, causing you to miss your layover? Read about your right to compensation here.


According to EU legislation, you are entitled to compensation if, due to a delay at your departure airport, you fail to catch your flight during a layover, resulting in an arrival at your final destination more than three hours late.

File a claim with Refundmore and let us assist you in obtaining your rightful compensation for delayed flights during layovers. It only takes 3 minutes.

When Can I Receive Compensation for a Delayed Flight during a Layover? 

As mentioned above, you are entitled to compensation if, due to a delay, you miss your next flight during a layover and are more than three hours late at your final destination. However, there is a requirement: it must be a single booking/journey and not multiple separate flights. If your booking is considered a single journey, you, as a passenger, are eligible for compensation ranging from 250 to 600 EUR, depending on the flight distance.

If you arrive later than three hours at your final destination due to a delayed flight during a layover, you are entitled to the following compensation:

Cause Flights up to 1.500 km More than 1.500 km for flights between EU countries + Norway, Iceland and Switzerland Other flights between 1.500 - 3.500 km Flights over 3.500 km to countries outside the EU
  250 EUR 400 EUR 400 EUR 600 EUR

How Do I Know If My Journey Was a Single Trip?

A general rule is that if your journey is unified, you have one PNR (Passenger Name Record) code for the entire trip. PNR codes have various names across different airlines; booking reference, booking number, and reservations number are just some of the terms associated with PNR codes. 

If you purchase your ticket directly from an airline, you will often receive a single PNR code, indicating a unified journey. However, be aware that some low-cost carriers may divide the journey into multiple PNR codes.

When you buy your trip through a travel agency, it may not always constitute a single journey. In this case, be cautious because the booking number you receive from the travel agency may not match the PNR code from the airline. Therefore, having the same booking number from the travel agency does not necessarily mean it's a single journey. 

Here's an example of a booking confirmation(Link til eksempel) from, displaying one Kiwi booking number but 2 different PNR codes. Therefore, it is not a single journey.

Når Kiwi opdeler deres kunders rejse, så man mister sine rettigheder


It might still be considered a single journey if a single total price was paid for the entire trip without itemizing individual parts, and if a unified travel document was issued for the whole journey. This can sometimes happen even if the different parts have different PNR codes. 

The above explains your situation if you book a unified journey. But what if you book your flights individually? 

If you piece together your trip with separate tickets from different airlines, you are generally responsible for booking the trips with ample time for layovers. If, however, there is a delayed flight during a layover, you will not be eligible for compensation since you booked the trips with insufficient time for transfers, and you also won't meet the criteria for a single journey with one PNR code.

If you are unsure whether your journey was a single trip, you can start your claim here, and we will figure it out.

Meals for a Missed Connecting Flight

Did you know that as an air passenger, you are entitled to meals if there is a flight delay of more than two hours? This also applies if there is a delayed flight during a layover.

If you incurred expenses for food, drinks, transportation between the airport and a hotel, or phone calls due to a missed connecting flight, you are entitled to have the amount for necessary essentials reimbursed by the airline. It only requires you to keep receipts for your expenses. 

Accommodation for Delayed Flights during Layovers

It might also be the case that you missed a flight during a layover late in the evening or at night. In this situation, and if the next flight departs significantly later or the next day, you have the right to be accommodated in a hotel at the airline's expense. 

If you miss your flight during a layover and are offered a new departure within 3 hours, you cannot demand accommodation unless your onward journey from the layover destination is not until the next day. In that scenario, you most likely have the right to accommodation.

Delayed Flight during a Layover: Remember to Keep Your Receipts

Remember to keep receipts for everything you purchase!

Please note: Refundmore handles only cases related to new flight tickets and not other additional expenses. We have deemed this approach to be the best and most fair for the passenger, as airlines are usually good at refunding these amounts.

However, be aware that your spending should be reasonable. Therefore, you should not choose to stay at a 5-star hotel if there is a 3-star option nearby, and you might consider a sandwich instead of a lavish dinner. Also, expenses for alcohol are never considered reasonable in this context.

Missed Connecting Flight: When You Are Not Eligible for Compensation

As mentioned earlier, you are not eligible for compensation for a delayed flight during a layover if there is no unified journey, for example, under one PNR code. However, there are a few other exceptions. 

You cannot receive compensation for a missed connecting flight if: 

  • You are at fault for missing the flight
  • You were not aware of changes to your journey
  • You planned your trip yourself and did not allow enough time for transit and transfers




Missed Connecting Flight due to "Extraordinary Circumstances"

If a delayed flight during a layover is due to "extraordinary circumstances," which are beyond the airline's control, you are not entitled to compensation.

Extraordinary circumstances include, for example:

  • Severe weather conditions
  • Acts of terrorism, military coup, or political unrest if they pose a security risk
  • Air traffic control restrictions
  • Acute passenger illness or distress
  • Strikes among air traffic controllers


Situations not classified as "extraordinary circumstances" include:

  • Technical issues
  • Staff shortages (applies even during strikes among the airline's own personnel)

We often see airlines citing "severe weather conditions" as the reason for the delay, allowing them to reject the claim. They do this even if the weather was perfectly acceptable. If you disagree with the airline's decision, you can easily and quickly file a claim with Refundmore.

Tips for Layovers

If there is a delayed flight during a layover, and you arrive late at the layover destination, there isn't much you can do. However, if your first flight is only slightly delayed or you have a short layover, you can prepare a bit:

  • Keep track of your itinerary: Know when your different flights land and take off, how much time you have at the layover destination, etc.
  • Travel with carry-on luggage: If you're worried about losing your baggage during a layover, consider traveling with only carry-on luggage
  • Get an Overview: Which Gate Are You Landing at and Which Gate Do You Need to Go to? You should familiarize yourself with your itinerary, specifically identifying the gate where your flight lands and the gate for your connecting flight. It's advisable to research the distances between different gates, especially in larger airports such as London, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt
  • Avoid Breaks During Short Layovers: If you have limited time between flights, it's best to avoid stopping to buy food, drinks, or to shop. Instead, head directly to your gate
  • Ensure Possible Entry Permits: While not necessary for all destinations, if you have a layover in countries like the USA or Canada, make sure you have a valid entry permit. Without it, you could be denied entry (and consequently, you might not be eligible for compensation)

Layovers and Baggage

Just as you need to change planes, your checked baggage also needs to make the transition, and this process can vary.

If you've purchased a unified journey with one or more layovers, both you and your baggage are typically checked in all the way through. Therefore, you usually won't need to collect your baggage and check it in again during the layover.

However, if you've bought your tickets independently of each other, you might have to collect your baggage and check it in again to have it transferred to the next flight. Thus, it's essential to allow ample time for your layover since you'll need to collect your baggage from the baggage claim, check it in again, and go through security checks (and possibly passport control) once more.

Sometimes, unfortunately, baggage gets delayed or even goes missing entirely. Read more about what to do if you experience delayed or lost baggage.

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