What To Do If You Miss Your Flight

By Gath Adams on 19/May/2014

Sometimes, an unexpected event can ruin your trip before it even begins.

Most travellers just assume they'll have no problem making that morning international flight, but then Murphy's Law suddenly kicks in. Perhaps you've missed your bus, or your car broke down. Maybe you slept right through your alarm, or there was traffic that delayed your trip to the airport. Whatever the reason, you are now left panicking and scrambling when you finally reach the airport with not enough time to spare.

Although you rush through security and sprint down to the terminal, it’s no use. You approach the empty gate and the hostess gives you a sympathetic look as you watch the doors close and the plane taxi down the runway.

So, what now? Missing a flight is stressful, but there are a few things that you can do to make the situation a little bit better.

First of All – Take a Deep Breath

The most important step is to stay calm. All the panicking in the world cannot help you travel back in time and catch your flight, so there's no point in getting angry or upset.

Your first steps will often involve speaking to airline staff and figuring out the next best option. You'll be more successful at this if you are calm and clear, rather than hysterical and desperate.

If you lose your head, or get angry, it will only make working with airline staff more difficult.

Missed Connection? Make Sure Your Bags are Taken Care Of

You’ve missed your connection, but your bags haven’t. So what happens when they arrive at your destination several hours before you do? Make sure that you call ahead to the airline and ask the baggage claim agent to pick up your bags for you. This will help to sort out any confusion and will ensure that your stuff is safe and taken care of.

Can You Call Before the Gate Closes?

If you are stuck in traffic, painfully watching the minutes tick away before the flight takes off, you can always try calling the airline and speaking to a ticketing agent.

If you call before the gate closes, you will have a better chance of switching to another flight. Simply explain what has happened – if you are polite they might be able to switch you to a different flight that day. There will be a fee to change your flight, but if you ask nicely there is a chance that it will be reduced.

Does Your Airline Follow the Two Hour Rule?

Many people don’t know about the two-hour rule, but it is part of the policies of several airlines – including Southwest and US Airways.

The rule states that if there is an event beyond your control (such as an accident on the highway) that has delayed you and you still arrive within two hours of the missed flight, you can be placed on the next flight at no charge. It’s certainly worth asking if this policy applies!

These are just a few things that you can do when you miss your flight, so when things go wrong don’t panic and simply follow these steps instead. They're your best bet for recovering from a trip gone awry.

Do you have any tips for travellers who miss their flight? Share them in the comments below.

By Gath Adams on 19/May/2014
Want more like this? Sign up for the free Newsletter.

Tagged as: missed flight, international flight

We have heaps of useful articles to make your travels cheaper and more enjoyable:
How to pay NO Credit Card fees when buying Flights
Five Killer Tips for Travelling on a Budget
Running late for your flight? This may save you
Take a Celebrity Holiday in Australia
Avoid paying for Extras on Jetstar Flights
Avoid paying Extra charges and fees on Tiger Airways
How to: Check if you have purchased Checked Luggage on CheapOAir
Tiger Air is the New Tiger Airways
Don't Pay Unnecessary Bank Fees when Booking Flights
How to use Jetstars Price Beat Guarantee
3 of the Best Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Cards
Flight Centre Lowest Airfare Guarantee VS Expedia Price Match
Compare Travel Insurance before you Book
So this guy built his own Hobbit House. And now I have to visit.
The Secrets to Finding Cheap Flights
Get Free Flights Faster with Virgin Velocity Credit Cards
Avoid Paying Fees on AirAsia
How To Avoid Credit Card Fees On Jetstar Flights
How To Make Your Long-Haul Flight More Comfortable
How To Get More Legroom On Your Next Flight
How To Save Money By Avoiding Hidden Fees On Scoot
How To Avoid The Latest Air Travel Scams
5 Must-Follow Tips For Flying With Young Children
The Savvy Traveller's Guide For Getting From Sydney Airport to the CBD
Save Money On Your Next Flight By Avoiding These Common Booking Mistakes
The 5 Best Ways To Get From The Melbourne Airport to the CBD
How to set Airfare Alerts. Get an Email when the Price Drops
How Free Tours Have Become Big Business
10 Things To Organise Before You Board that Flight
How to find the Cheapest Dates to Fly
I Want That Flight
ABN 60 115 987 687
Copyright 2015
Travel Affiliate Program