Missing a flight is any traveller’s worst nightmare – especially if the reason why you missed your flight is because of circumstances that were beyond your control, such as the weather, bad roads, any unexpected traffic diversions and so forth. We’ve jotted down this quick list of tips that you should refer to, in order to quickly recover from the setback of a missed flight and the additional expenses that come with it.
Contact your airline
Don’t wait until you’ve actually reached the airport late and been informed by the staff there that your flight has left with you, to get in touch with your airline. Get on the phone with the airline as soon as you know you’re going to be late – the sooner you switch flights to a later one, the better your chances of not having to forfeit the entire amount you paid for your original ticket. Your airline will be able to rebook you by having you pay a change fee and any fare difference. This is especially useful if you have any connecting flights since your airline may help you to book accordingly. The earlier you inform the airline, the sooner you will be rebooked. If you have a membership status with the airline, let them know – airline agents may be more willing to cooperate. Also, if you are using another airline for your connecting flight, make sure to keep them informed as well.
Get on the airline’s good side
Several airlines have an unwritten policy to be more lenient to travellers who face situations that are completely beyond their control – especially if you arrive at the airport less than two hours after your original flight was scheduled to take off. Known as the ‘flat tire rule’, this policy can make certain airlines more willing to waive change fees and other charges, but doing so is at their discretion. Being polite and cooperate with the airline can help you to make the most of such policies.
Double check before you book a new flight ticket
Depending on the change fees and other charges that you’re up against, it may seem much cheaper and like a lot less work to just buy a new ticket altogether. However, if you have to take another connecting flight to your destination, buying a new ticket may cancel out your existing itinerary. In this scenario, you’re better served by coughing up the change fees. However, if your existing ticket is for a one-way, direct flight, you can look into buying a new ticket.
Call your hotel
If missing your flight may cause you to miss your hotel reservation, call your hotel soon after you notify your airline. This will help you to avoid extra fees and surcharges, and can also save the airport transfer staff that the hotel may have organized the frustration of having to return empty-handed from the airport.
Check your insurance policy
Several insurance companies will reimburse a part or all of your expenses arising from missed flights, if you are able to convince them that the scenario was truly beyond your control. Make sure to read the fine print on your insurance policy to avail any such provisions.