What To Do If You Miss Your Flight

By Garth 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 Garth Adams on 19/May/2014

Tagged as: missed flight, international flight