Missing a flight is probably the worst thing that could happen before you fly and I just missed my flight this afternoon. This was my first time missing a flight, it was a terrible experience, but with the help of my super mom I managed to get another flight. Now I want to share with you what you should do when you missed a flight.
1. Make sure you really missed the flight
When you think you miss the flight or when you are told that you miss your flight chances are you can still get into the plane. Some airlines have a very strict timing but there are few airlines that are not. Ask the counter staffs whether you can still get into the plane, a “please”, winking, flirting or begging might help. Cry if necessary. Sometimes what the staffs consider as “miss a flight” is usually just “didn’t show up right after the last call is announced”. But this is pretty much depends on the mercy of the staffs and how late you are. If let say the departing time is 1 pm and you show up at 1.30 pm then it is an absolute no. Don’t bother begging. But if after you beg you are given the chance to get into the plane then DO IT QUICKLY!!! Get your passport & boarding pass ready with you, cooperate in every immigration & security checks, walk (run!) directly into the correct gate, skip duty-free, skip toilet! Usually you will be accompanied by one of the airline staff until you get into the plane. This person is usually talking busily on the walkie-talkie making sure the pilot and all the passengers wait for you. FOLLOW HIM/HER!
2. Stay calm
As with any urgent situation stay calm is important. If after you try all those you still miss the flight then panic is no use. You might feel some uncomfortable feelings be it sad, angry, confuse or others and that’s normal. But you have to get over it quickly and calm down. Now is the time to plan your next action. After you missed the flight then you have two options to choose from: 1) find another flight, or 2) cancel your flight & trip altogether (forgetting those nice sunny beaches you’re dreaming all this time). I don’t generally think cancelling your flight & trip will be a good idea for most people.
3. Find another flight
Finding another flight doesn’t necessarily buying a new flight ticket. Depending on your ticket type / status and the airlines, you can reschedule your flight to another time even after you missed the flight. Some airlines charge a fee, some don’t. Again, that depends on your ticket status & the airlines. The counter staff will give you information on how you can reschedule your flight.
You have to know that there is a chance you might not be able to fly on the same day you missed your flight, not even the next day. You can only reschedule your flight to the next nearest available flight. Some airlines just fly to a particular city once a day, some even only 3 days a week, and so on. You have to check the timetable of your airlines.
If reschedule is not possible (as is the case with low-cost airlines) or if you can’t wait until the next nearest flight then you can buy a new flight ticket at the airport. Please take a note that buying a last-minute flight ticket can be very very expensive.
4. Be punctual on your next flight
After you get your new ticket now is the time to prepare for your next flight. Come to the airport earlier and check in early. You don’t want to miss your flight twice! As a rule of thumb you should check-in 2 hours before the stated departure time. And that means you should arrive at the airport earlier than that.
Most of the airlines now provide a way for you to self check-in whether it’s online or at the self check-in kiosk in the airport. Use this to safe the hassle of queuing in the check-in counter. But remember, if you have a check-in baggage (those you don’t want to bring along to the cabin) you still have to drop your baggage at the baggage-drop counter though the queue is usually shorter.
After all the process at the counter you still have to go to immigration check (for overseas flight) and that takes time too. Shopping, eating, go to the toilet also take time. Even finding & walking to the right gate takes time… So always, always, and always be aware of your time. Listen to all the announcements (even tough most airports I’ve been to have awful announcement sound) for they might announce updated information about your flight etc.
I hope you learn from your missed flight as much as I do and hopefully you’ll enjoy your next flight and never miss any flight ever again.