Many of us travelers have felt the horror and embarrassment of missing our plane flights. It’s a very uncomfortable situation on many different levels. Not only are all of your plans when arriving to your destination most likely blown up, but there is a stigma of irresponsibility that sticks with you like cigarette smoke on your sweatshirt when standing outside near a smoking section. Even if you take off the sweater, you can still smell the smoke. That’s a similar feeling to the silliness some feel when being a full grown adult with functioning everything and still finding a way to miss flights.
Let’s be honest, there is nothing cheap about flying, except maybe the free bag of pretzels they offer you during your flight. Then again, the costs of the tickets seems like we should be getting a bigger bag. Nonetheless, we’ll take what we can get. If you are one of the individuals who unfortunately missed a flight or two, don’t worry you are not alone by any stretch of the imagination. According to Quora.com1, on average, the calculation for the number of people not turning up to their flights is about 5% and on some circumstances, that number has gone up to 15%.
To be completely transparent, not all missed flights can be directly attributed to irresponsibility or extreme hungoverness. According to forbes.com2, a survey completed by Capital One revealed that lines at TSA security checkpoints not only cause travelers to miss flights, but could have an overall impact on how we travel. Regardless of how or why travelers may have missed their flight, it’s an unfortunate feeling and there’s always that anxiety of what do we do next?
Airlines understand accidents happen, mistakes are common and there will always be those extenuating circumstances that are far beyond our control, that cause us to miss our flights. They tend to have very solid procedures in place that could accommodate travelers when they miss flights. They can generally get you on the next flight, or if it’s a busy travel season, they’ll help you to get on standby flights so you can get on the next immediate opening to get to your destination. Be careful though. There are a lot more budget airlines that allow you to fly ‘Bare’ fares which are inexpensive flights which allow travelers to fly for next to nothing. You also get little to no travel perks which means there’s a possibility there is no policy for missing flights. In some cases, once you miss your flight on a budget airline, you’re stuck or you have to buy a brand new ticket. This is where Travel insurance may come in handy, but you’d need to look into your options once you decide on which type of air fare you’re looking for.
There are many great ideas to consider when you find yourself in the position where you missed your flight. You don’t have to worry about being stranded or coming out of pocket for a brand new ticket. If you are coming home from vacation, chances are you don’t have a lot of extra money to buy a whole new ticket, so it’s even more imperative for travelers traveling home to have backup plans in case their flight is missed. Here are some more ideas to consider when you’ve missed or are in danger of missing your flight.
Contact the Airline if You’re Running Late
Not every airline has a policy in which they are required to accommodate passengers who have missed their flights. It is strictly a courtesy and a form of great customer service for airlines to accommodate. Once consumers make a ticket purchase, just like a show they go to watch live, if you miss it, there is no guarantee the theater will refund you for the ticket, and they don’t have to. They may be kind enough to provide complimentary passes to another showing. Similarly, airlines could accommodate the same. They can see about getting you on a later flight at no cost. This is why it may be a good idea to call the airlines beforehand if you find that you are running late and are in danger of missing your flight. They can also give you an idea of what TSA looks like. That way, they can let you know even if you do get to the airport on time, you’re still in danger of getting stuck in TSA and missing your flight. When there isn’t a rush of a bunch of people who all missed their flights, it’s easier to focus on you and get you on the next flight. Calling early eliminates potential competition you’d face getting on the next flight if you would’ve waited.
Ask the Airport to Page the Gate Agent
Sometimes, paging the gate agent at the gate from which you are departing could help in buying you some more time to make your flight. They could essentially delay the plane from leaving if the circumstances are dire enough to warrant delaying the takeoff. They generally give away your seat to standby passengers if you are not at your gate within 15 minutes of your flight. Paging the gate agent may buy you some time and they won’t give away your seat right away if they know you’re on your way, just running late. If there’s no way for you to make it, they could swap your position with someone who is present, but on the standby list. This will assure you will get on one of the next flights out. Gives you some time to relax and have a drink at the bar!
Ask for a Later Flight
If you know for sure there is no way you are making the flight far enough in advance, you can just ask for a later flight and guarantee yourself a seat. Some may book same day later flights at no additional charge, as long as there is room on the plane. In some cases, like American Airlines, they may charge a change fee, but it’s generally pretty nominal. In the case of delays or schedule conflicts, the fee may be waived.
So if you’re thinking you may miss your flight, try one of these ideas and see if they can’t help you conveniently get to your next destination with less pain and embarrassment as possible.