I'm planning trip from London (UK) to Lima (Peru).

Here is a result of a sample search:

London to Lima

2h40m layover should be enough, but what if my 1st leg gets delayed?

I'm pretty sure that is a not an uncommon scenario and "standard operating procedures" exist. However I'm unable to find reliable information on the internet:


Talk to an airline representative about getting another connecting flight if you are concerned you will miss your existing connection.


You need to have arrived three hours or more after your scheduled arrival time to be eligible to claim delayed flight compensation.


When confronted with flight delay or cancellation always request a written statement from the airline. This is always necessary if you have purchased a cancellation insurance policy.


There must be I presume, rules in your country about airline delays and the right to be compensated in case of a delay

From related question: How to pass customs in time in case of a flight delay

if you still miss your connection (which will then be not your fault), then the airline will book you on a later flight at no additional charge, provided that you booked everything onto one ticket and the minimum connection time is met

Who decides if it was mine / not mine fault?

Previously I assumed "standard operating procedure" exists but maybe it depends:

  • on the country
  • place where I booked my tickets
  • operating airline(s)

Another assumption of mine - airline personal have manifest and coordinate with their colleagues at the airport to wait for some passengers.

Taking all these unknowns into consideration - how do I protect myself from missed 2nd leg?

Bonus question:

  • [fact] I'm 28, I'll be travelling with hand luggage and I'll run quickly. Say, 30 minutes to change planes is enough.
  • [what if] I'm 78, have a lot of luggage, I get lost at the airport, I need to use aid of a wheelchair and airport personnel and I miss the flight even though I had 2 hours to change?

Is every scenario considered individually?

  • @jpatokal I'd say similar. My question focuses on protection - how do I ensure that at every step of the process I'm not loopholed: "you didn't get a written certification from personnel at terminal Z" (but I was in a hurry) Aug 4, 2015 at 22:47
  • 4
    Just book it all on one ticket (needs to all be the same single e-ticket number!), then you'll be covered
    – Gagravarr
    Aug 4, 2015 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


You cannot avoid problems like this when travelling. It is like trying to avoid traffic when driving. Maybe you live in a village and you travel to work at 5 am. Even so, one day you will get stuck in a jam. It happens.

If you're taking connecting flights, you will get delayed and at some point you will miss a flight. It is a normal thing.

The best you can do is to pad your connections by say 23 hours 59 minutes (providing schedules allow it). But frankly, yes I would pad very short connections before very long flights (let's say there's only one flight a week to the city, I will take that seriously), but you're talking about GRU-LIM which is served four times per day directly and many more times indirectly: I would not even think about it.

On a through ticket (a single ticket), the airline will accommodate you to your final destination, including if customs or immigration delayed you. There's no tricks about it. It's just how it works.

Beyond delivering you to your final destination, in most countries, the airline never guaranteed the schedule so it's your problem how you spend the time in the delay. Unless the airline caused the fault you might get a $10 voucher for food in the airport (which inevitably costs $12) and, maybe—if you're lucky—a room in some awful hotel somewhere very far away.

My advice is to take out reasonable travel insurance; invoice your insurer for reasonable costs your incur (meals and convenient hotel). The insurer will sort it out with the airline later.

The exception is within the EU on EU carriers, you are entitled to compensation for the delay in some circumstances. They also have a strict duty of care towards you, even if they are not responsible for the problem, which includes accommodation and food.

  • 1
    EU carriers should always give duty of care (in addition to compensation in some conditions as mentioned), which goes beyond the $10 towards a $12 meal you didn't want, even if they sometimes (to very often, depending on airline...) make it hard to claim on that
    – Gagravarr
    Aug 4, 2015 at 23:37
  • Thank you for clarification. I was worried that airlines are make it exceptionally hard and problematic - just like like RyanAir not making any profit on 'fare' itself but charging all the extras. I guess this article had an influence on me - rollingstone.com/culture/features/… - maybe I should ask another question - "under what circumstances missing your flight can be beneficial" ? :) Aug 5, 2015 at 12:12
  • Ryanair and Easyjet only sell individual flights So you can't safely use them as part of a multi-flight trip. Sep 8, 2017 at 19:15

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