1. Determine the Reason You Missed Your Flight
2. Look into Travel Insurance
3. Check the Terms of Your Flight
4. See If There is Another Flight Available
5. Be Positive
How Did This Happen?
As weird as it sounds, the reason you missed your flight has a lot to do with how the airline will respond to your case.
Let’s say you missed your flight because you have an expired id or passport. This is a personal mistake you should have caught before you departed. Most airlines will allow you to reschedule. A fee of $200 or more plus the difference in fare applies on most airlines.
If you missed your connecting flight due to bad weather, most often you’ll be put on the next available flight so there’s no need to panic.
Now, if you just slept in, read your ticket wrong, or showed up a day late, you might have to be pretty humble to get the solution you need. Check with the airline to see what options are available to you. In my experience, going directly to the airport with everything in order and pleading your case has been the best option. I’ve been able to hop on flights at no extra charge and other times paid a small change fee.
Did You Purchase Travel Insurance?
If you checked the box that most of us say no to, this might help quite a bit . Assuming you did, then your day just got a little easier. As long as you have a qualifying reason, your travel insurance will cover your expenses for a cancelled flight or delay.
Qualifying reasons differ per policy, so you will need to read the fine print. Generally speaking, if your flight is delayed or cancelled by four hours, then your insurance will cover the costs for another flight to get you to your next destination. There’s no need to wait standby, just book a flight with any airline and be on your way.Check the Terms of Your Flight
What Fare Did You Purchase?
When you buy an economy ticket, your terms tend to be very limited. It wouldn’t be a surprise if your terms read something like the following: “If you fail to check in on time or fail to board the aircraft by the time the aircraft departs, the fare you paid will not be refunded to you for any reason whatsoever.” That might cause a mild panic attack, but it’s not as bad as it sounds.
Most airlines have a “flat tire” rule where if you show up for your confirmed flight within 2-hours of departure, you’ll be put on standby for the next available flight. This only works if you have a legit reason for missing your flight.
Note that this is an unofficial rule, but major airlines including American, Delta, Southwest, and United are known to extend this favor to customers. That being said, if you know you’re going to miss your flight, call the airline to let them know as it shows them that you’re essentially giving up your seat.
Is Another Flight Available?
The airline will typically put you on the next available flight on standby. Be informed on the upcoming flights and make suggestions. If it’s the end of the day, they’ll put you on standby on the first flight with available seats in the morning. Remember, the “flat tire rule” is unofficial, there is always a chance that you’ll be charged a fee to rebook your ticket.
If need to be somewhere fast, you might as well see if there are any other flights available to help you reach your final destination. You still need to take a flight within the carrier’s network, but taking a stopover might get you to where you need to be a bit quicker.
In the chance you cannot find any flights available through your carrier even with some creative strategies, you can book a new flight entirely. Last minute flights are always available on Skyscanner.
You’re Going to Get There Soon!
Okay, we know this is easier said than done, but you’re trying to figure out what happens if you miss your flight, try to be positive. You’ve either missed your flight at your own fault or due to a force of nature it happened and there is a solution. Staying positive (instead of a grump), you’ll likely get staff who are much more willing to help you. Remember, that flat tire rule is up to the discretion of staff, if you’re rude to them, they may not extend it to you. You’ll get your final destination eventually, you might as well make the best of it for now.
Stuck At the Airport Awhile?
Catch up on some travel information or the destination you are about to reach.
Looking for the best daily flight deals to anywhere in the world? Check out our daily flight deals page and grab the cheapest flights with the highest savings today. Book free now!
Skyscanner Hotel Deals Finder helps you search, compare and book cheap hotel deals from around the world. Skyscanner Search finds you apartments, hostels, all-inclusive resorts and hotels from hundreds of providers.
Looking for cheap flights or want to enjoy a last-minute holiday? Every week we round up the best travel deals and the cheapest flights to a variety of destinations – all under $100! Whether it’s a sunny beach or a budget weekend getaway you’re looking for, check out the best prices right here before you book.
Looking for the best last-minute flight deals to anywhere in the world? Check out our last-minute flight deals page and grab the cheapest flights starting from 25% off the average ticket price!