This came up in Athens airport 1-hour connection at normal walking speed and I must admit I do not know the answer. So we have a flight coming from outside Schengen and has a very tight connection to an intra Schengen flight. What if the border check is slow and you are late because of that? Or, what if you are made to go through security again for whatever reason (if I remember correctly, UK always does, and there was that time when I landed in Amsterdam coming from Budapest and we were made to go through security because Budapest security sucked even more than usual so they were under censure) and you are late because of that? Does the flight compensation "fire" only when the airline is late or also when the airport makes you late?
EU261 does NOT apply in situations like this.
From the regulation itself, EU261 covers :
- This Regulation establishes, under the conditions specified herein, minimum rights for passengers when:
(a) they are denied boarding against their will;
(b) their flight is cancelled;
(c) their flight is delayed.
Very clearly none of those cover things like Border delays.
There is however a gray area here - what happens if your flight was delayed, AND there were delays at the border, and the combination of these two factors cause you to miss a connection. This situation is not well covered by the legislation, and normally airlines will state that it would not be covered unless the inbound delay was sufficient to cause you to miss the connection on it's own.