This is a nightmare situation which almost no traveler can escape. Especially when it’s happening for the first time; especially when they think they have arrived at the airport on time, but still somehow manage to miss their flight. There could be a whole list of other reasons for that, whether in your control or not.
There is a scope for every negative feeling to crop up in your head. But hey, all is not lost, it is possible to reach your destination on time or with some delay. You just have to know and exercise the official and unofficial rules. Some of which are:
It is not a rare situation for anyone to miss flights. You don’t need to overreact or panic. Agreed, it is indeed a problematic situation, but if you want to solve it, then a clear and calm state of mind is needed. You need to think of all the options to get out of it. So keep calm, take deep breaths, be positive and face it like a pro.
The Flat Tire rule
Airplanes experiencing cancellations and delays is a regular thing. Most of the airlines have such long policies like waiving change fees, or fare rules when the passengers missed their flights because of factors out of their control and had reported to the airport at least two hours before. You can check this rule with your airline and exercise it instantly.
Contact your Airlines
Whether you already missed a flight or you know that you are not going to make it in time, you should immediately inform your airlines, preferably on their local number. That will save you a lot of time in getting to a gate agent, next flight etc. Be polite with them, as they will decide whether you will pay only the change fee or a full new ticket for the next flight.
Go through your Travel Insurance
Leave this option if you don’t have one, but you should. It greatly helps in times like these. If you have a valid reason for your flight missing then the insurance can cover almost all the upcoming expenses. Although the policies may alter, so go through the fine print to know what all you can get and use in such a situation.
Talk to the Airport authorities
Sometimes even the ground staff or airport authorities help by putting you on the next available flight without any hassles. That will save you a lot of money. So if that is an option, do use it, go talk to the airport people or help desk and hope for some positive outcome.
Help of a Travel agent
If you had booked your flight with the help of a travel agent, go get some more help; if not, then hire one. They have experience in handling such situations and can move you quickly on to a satisfactory option using their connections with minimum commotion.
Begin a new search
If you are not getting the next flight by any means and minimum expenses, it is time to look for other options to reach your destination. If there is another airport in the city, try that option, maybe there you can get the next flight, and quickly enough. If a new one-way ticket is cheaper than the change fee, then consider that. If you can travel to your destination via rail or road, take that option, as surely it will be cheaper and more frequent than the airlines. You can also check out the ticket prices of other air carriers as they may turn out to be cheaper than your previous airline’s new one-way ticket.
You also have to take care of a couple of other things like notifying your destination hotel about your delay so that you can avoid additional fees later; the factor of connecting flights, if there are any etc. Don’t curse or blame yourself for missing the flight, it happens to even the most punctual flier. Stay cool and use all the options you can, one by one. After all, life is boring without uncertainties and adventures. Isn’t it?