“What to do if you miss your flight”
– here is the guide you need to follow
Did you miss your flight?
You did. It may seem ridiculous, but it can happen with anyone, and there is no point denying it. There can be many reasons like heavy traffic, a flat tire, confusion over time zone, or arriving at the wrong airport. Accept that it had happened, and you are in the soup and have to find a way out of it.
Panic won’t help you
What happens when you miss a flight? Panic. You start worrying and frantically look for a solution. However, remember that fright can’t save you. It will only muddle up your thoughts. So, calm down. Take a few deep breaths, allow the feeling to sink in, and start thinking logically.
What are your options now? You need to do a reality check and decide your next course of action. If you are traveling for work and have to reach your destination, you have to take the next available flight. If there is no such emergency, you can take the opportunity to deviate from your itinerary and try something new. You can book a cab or take a train instead of flying. If time permits, stay in a hotel and explore the place. Often, mishaps occur to allow us to catch our breath and slow down to enjoy life.
Call up the airline
Whatever you decide to do, you need to call up the airline first and share your predicament with them. It is better to call the local number and connect to a ticketing agent to know your options. Maybe you have to pay a change fee or a difference in price to avail the next flight.
If you are a member of the airline, the agents will be willing to help you more.
Flat tire rule
The name sounds funny but helps flyers who have missed flights due to unforeseen events. Mostly unpublicized and varying from one airline to another, this rule applies to flyers who reach the airport within two hours of the departure time.
When you talk to the ticketing or gate representative, ask about this policy. Under this rule, the airlines re-issue a standby boarding pass for the next flight at no extra cost. As you can understand, availing of this benefit will save you a few thousand dollars that you may have to spend on buying another ticket to paying the change fee.
Different airlines have different flat tire rules, but they don’t publicize them. They prefer to handle each case differently so that flyers don’t make it a habit. However, remember that high-cost carriers follow this policy and also airlines that have a strong customer support system. Most low-cost carriers cannot afford to offer such privileges as they work under a different pricing system.
If you miss your flight and arrive at the airport within two hours of the scheduled departure, talk to the gate representative to learn about the flat tire policy. Even if there is none, you may get a boarding pass to the next flight without paying anything extra if the representative is willing to help.
Your travel insurance may provide you some respite in case you miss a flight. The flat tire rule that we discussed just now holds for domestic flights. International flights are very costly, and most carriers do not have any fixed policy regarding missed flights. The penalty for missing international flights is higher and hence, having travel insurance may come to your rescue.
When buying travel insurance, check for clauses that allow you to recover some or the whole expenses that you have to pay for missing a flight. To get benefit from this clause, you have to prove that the mishap was not your fault. Go through the policy and take the necessary steps to confirm that the incident for which you missed your flight was caused by factors outside your control. You may have to submit papers to back up your claim. So, documentation is vital.
Some credit cards provide complimentary travel insurance that you can use to cover the expenses.
One of my colleagues missed a flight due to a road accident. When he submitted the necessary papers with the airline, he was given a new boarding pass without any extra cost.
This also brings us to another point that you must follow.
Get documents of everything that you encounter at the ticketing counter. Ask for hard copies of policies and the remedy suggested by the agent. In case you file a travel complaint, these papers will help you to substantiate your claim.
Keep a backup plan ready
Having a backup plan is always a good option. After missing your flight, if you fail to get to another booking or if the charges are too high for you, try other alternatives. You can try alternative routes or stay back in a hotel and get a cheaper flight.
So, try different apps to grab a good deal at a local hotel. Relax, enjoy the stay, and check out the local hotspots before hopping onto your flight.
Learn from the mistake
It is hard to admit our mistakes, but many times we miss flights due to our faults like starting late or being lazy and careless. So, if it ever happens to you, learn from it. Of course, missing a flight doesn’t spell the end of the world but causes a lot of stress that could be avoided. Moreover, you may end up losing business opportunities and paying more for alternative tickets.
However, if you ever miss a flight, follow this guide to find a solution.