Miss your flight? Don’t panic. Check out my top tips to get you to your destination as soon as possible, and hopefully without much additional cost.
It’s your worst nightmare. You spend months organising, preparing and even packing for your important break away, and in a split second your dreams are shattered. Maybe your alarm doesn’t go off, or you get stuck in a traffic jam, or maybe you miss a connecting flight through no fault of your own. Hopefully my handy tips on what to do, will help alleviate some of the stress caused when you miss your flight.
Contact the airline or your travel agent immediately.
If you are lucky enough to have booked with a travel agent, they should be your first port of call. Hopefully they will be able to find you an alternative flight as soon as possible. They may even have a contact in the airline and be able to change your flight without a penalty.
If you have booked directly with the airline, call them immediately. Try to get a number for your airlines ticket desk at the airport. The airport staff usually have more lee-way when it comes to waiving change fees than the average reservations agent at a call centre.
If you have managed to make it to the airport but are too late for your flight, go straight to the ticket desk and explain your circumstances in a calm, collected manner – the odd tear might help too! Appeal to their better nature, remember you have missed your flight and want them to help you. Now is not the time to rant about your airlines policy of closing the gate too early.
Check your travel insurance policy.
Some travel insurance policies will cover you for Missed Departure. Multitrip.com’s Premier Plus travel insurance policy will cover you for up to €1000 in reasonable accommodation and travel expenses, depending on the reason you missed your flight. If, for instance, your hired car broke down or there was an accident on the motorway which caused an unexpected delay, these could be adequate reasons.
As a general rule of thumb, you would need to persuade the insurance company that the reason you missed your flight was completely beyond your control – so needless to say ‘sleeping it out’ wouldn’t be covered! Adverse weather conditions and strikes are also covered if you have travel disruption cover. See my post on why you should add travel insurance disruption cover to your insurance policy here.
TopTip: If you are changing your travel plans and extending your return date, make sure you advise your travel insurance provider of your new travel dates.
Don’t pay for new flights without checking alternatives.
If you are unable to persuade your airline to change your ticket free of charge, check alternative flight costs before agreeing a change fee. You may find it is cheaper to book a one-way flight with an alternative airline. Skyscanner show same day flight availability with multiple airlines.
TopTip: If you manage to re-book an alternative flight with a different airline, make sure your original return flight is not cancelled. It is very important that you advise your original airline that you will be using your return flight.
What to do if you miss your flight connection due to a flight delay.
The answer to this depends on how your flight was booked. If you booked two separate reservations and the first flight was delayed, resulting in a missed connection, you will need to follow all of the above rules.
If, however, you have booked connecting flights under one reservation and you miss your connection, it is the airlines responsibility to book you on the next available flight without any additional cost to you. You are also entitled to accommodation and meal expenses if necessary. See my blog on what to do if your flight is cancelled or delayed here.
Contact your hotel and airport transfer company.
Once you have a new flight booked, contact your hotel and airport transfer company to let them know of your new arrival time. If you are not going to travel, cancel your hotel as soon as possible. You may be entitled to a refund of some of your hotel cost.
Relax in the airport lounge
Now that the panic is over and you have a new flight to look forward to, book into the airport lounge while you wait for your next flight. Many airports have a general lounge that you can pay to access, such as Dublin Airport who charge €25 for up to three hours. Sit back, relax and enjoy some complimentary refreshments!
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