It’s a given that something unpredictable is bound to happen at times. Missing your flight is definitely one of them, whether you are travelling to a holiday hotspot or coming back home. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to panic. Here are some things you can do if you miss your flight:
Be nice to the staff
Even if you are in a stressful situation, keeping calm and being polite with the gate agent and airline representatives can get you far. They can help you find the best solution to fix your problem, and even put you at the top of the standby list for the next scheduled flight. Also, if you are on your way to the airport and know for certain that you are going to be late, you should call the airline rep ahead of time. That way, they can put you on standby for the next flight for a smaller fee or free of charge. It is cheaper to pay for a reduced fee than a change fee.
Use the “flat tire” or “two hour” rule
Many airline companies might not tell you about this rule upfront, but it exists and you can make use of it if you miss your flight. If you have missed your flight because of traffic or an accident, or even a flat tire, you can go on the next scheduled flight for free. Another situation in which this rule applies is when you arrived at the airport no later than two hours after the plane’s departure and missed the last flight of the day. In that case, you can be on standby for the first flight on the following day.
Wait around the airport
If you’ve missed your flight and there are no other ways to get to your destination with the same airline company, you should definitely wait around the airport and see if there’s another ticket you can purchase. Chances are you will find another airline company which sells cheap tickets and has a flight scheduled around the same time as the one you just missed.
Go to an airport hotel
There’s no need to sit around the airport all night if there are no flights available. Try to get a good night’s sleep and depart the next day. Hotels like the Gatwick Airport hotels are located conveniently close to the airport, so you are bound to get to your second flight on time. If you’ve got kids in tow or have come off a long flight it is a far better option than waiting at the airport and your travel insurance may even cover it. Check out AirportHotels.com for deals across Britain.
Buy a one way ticket
This piece of advice is very advantageous for those who missed their return flight, since their itinerary won’t be affected. Depending on the airline company, the fee required to change your flight might be more expensive than purchasing a second plane ticket. Use the internet to find out if there is a cheaper flight that will get you home safe and sound.
Check your travel insurance
This is another reason why it’s good to have travel insurance. Make sure your travel insurance covers unexpected situations like this one. Your travel insurance will also help you if you’ve checked in your luggage and it left on the plane you just missed. For that reason, it’s also good to pack light and carry your bag, especially if your trip isn’t that long.
So, if you miss your flight, don’t forget to be polite, well-informed and resourceful. Worst things can happen!