Missed your flight? Here is what you should do: a step-by-step guide for recovery
If you have a flight, always remember about punctuality, as check-in for flights ends usually 30-40 minutes before takeoff, and for international flights – one hour before departure. But, if this unforeseen situation happened (you overslept, fell ill, got caught in a traffic jam or just did not calculate and spent too much time getting ready for your journey) and you eventually missed the plane, try to keep it together. No one is insured against such circumstances, and it is important to know how to act in such a case.
6 things to do when missed your flight
1.Get to the airport. Try to do it as soon as you can. This situation is familiar to everyone who flies a lot. There are a number of circumstances that can prevent you from arriving at the airport in time. For example, a serious traffic accident can completely cut off the road to the airport.
If you are a budget traveler, you have a non-refundable ticket. In most cases, the airport cancels your reservation for the return flight, because you have not boarded the plane.
Keep calm. We will tell you some options to manage this troublesome situation and save your budget. Even if it is clear that you have missed you plane, you should get to the airport. Of course, you can despair and go home, but such behavior is not the way to go. Some airlines can provide you with opportunity to board another flight with no change fee.
2.What is the Flat Tire Rule? There is a policy that gives a hand to customers who miss their flights because of unexpected circumstances. If you can make use of this policy, then this unpleasant situation will cost you nothing.
Flat tire rule is a slang term, which is used in the airline industry. The main goal is that if any failure happens that does not give you a chance to arrive at the gate on schedule, the airline will provide you with the reserve boarding pass for the next flight absolutely free of charge. This rule does not apply to those who come the next day. What is more, it usually becomes inaccessible about two hours after the initial departure time. For this reason it is a matter of great importance to head to airport, even if you are aware that you are late.
Remember, it does not refer to low-cost airlines. In most cases missed flights on low-cost carriers lead to a financial penalty.
Airlines that are worried about customer service often try to accommodate passengers caught in such situation. Just take a note: flat tire rule is a discretionary policy and only gate workers can make a decision to assist you or not.
3.About change fee. If your airline wants a change fee, be ready to pay extra $150-$200 per ticket for the reservation. However, the change fee is paid only once, because you will be already in flight opportunities base.
In such a situation a lot of people are tempted to find a one way ticket at the last moment. It will be cheaper than to pay the change fee. It is rather difficult challenge, but sometimes it happens.
Anyway, it is more reliable to pay the change fee, rather than succumb to the temptation.
4.When you are late on the international flight. If you miss an international flight, do not hope for a flat tire rule. Here reigns another rule. Flat tire rule provides passengers with a reservation for the next flight. However, numerous airlines do not admit reserves on international flights. Thus, you should book a new seat reservation at the actual rate that differentiates from the original fare.
By and large, if you miss an international flight, you have to pay a big penalty. For this reason, calculate your time. One more great idea is to get travel insurance that includes such circumstances.
5.Record everything in the airport. Regardless of the situation you face with airlines, it is worth documenting everything. Make copies of all documents, e.g. airline policies. It will come in handy if you want to file a travel complaint. These records will be highly beneficial. Your claim can end unsuccessfully because of the lack of needed documentation.
6.Be courteous and peaceful. It is clear that such a situation will bring stress and annoyance, but not happiness. And it is significant to keep these emotions under control, when solving a given problem with gate representatives. They will help you find a way out. Though they are accustomed to communicate with disappointed passengers, they respond better to people who ask, but not claim. According to experienced travelers, politeness is more effective than threats.