You missed your flight – what now?

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It happens quicker than you think. You are on your way to the airport and should have had enough time to get there. Now you are stuck in traffic and will miss your flight. A sick child or a forgotten backpack can also cause you to miss your flight. You need to stay calm and try to find a solution to your problem.

You should go to the airline’s desk right away so they can try to book a new flight. However, this is usually associated with additional costs.

You should call the airline soon as you realize that you going to miss your flight. They can try to change your reservation. You should also expect to pay additional fees.

If you want to be safe and avoid additional fees from the get-go, you should book a flight that will allow you to cancel at the last minute at no cost. These tickets usually are usually more expensive than a regular ticket.

Did you miss your connecting flight?

The regional court in Berlin ruled that travelers are entitled to receive financial compensation if a delayed flight causes them to miss their connecting flight. This also applies in cases where each flight is operated by a different airline.

Was your train delayed?

What happens if you miss your flight because the train was delayed? The railway company is not required to reimburse you. You can contact the airline and hope that they show goodwill.

There is one exception: if you have booked a so-called Rail & Fly ticket and missed your flight due to a delayed train, the tour operator will have to pay a refund. In 2010, the Federal Court of Justice decided that tour operators who include train travel in their offer are liable in these cases.


If you are ill, similar rules apply. If the airline is not willing to accommodate you, they will charge extra fees for changing the reservation. If you realize that you are unable to make the trip a few days in advance, you may be able to cancel the flight. You should check whether you have travel cancellation insurance and what consequences you can expect if you cancel your trip.

Lastly, if it is your own fault that you have missed the flight, you are not entitled to a refund. The airline is also not required to change your reservation, whether they charge an additional fee or not. Any extra fees or taxes you have already paid will have to be refunded.

The airlines rarely refund your money automatically. You usually have to submit a request for refund, which is usually ignored. Tenacity is often rewarded. In Germany, you usually have three years to file your claim.

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