Guide to recovering from a missed flight
The stress from missing a flight can make traveling a real nightmare, putting a damper on an otherwise great trip. You may feel lost and desperate to get to your destination or back home, and this can make it even harder to focus on what to do.
Follow these steps to make the process as painless as possible:
Call Your Travel Insurance Provider
The first thing you should do is call the airline and let them know you’re on your way. The next thing you should do is call your travel insurance provider to file a claim and get the process started. They’ll also be able to advise you specifically on what you’re covered for and the next steps to take.
If you didn’t get travel insurance for this trip, be sure to get it next time so you’re covered in the event of a missed flight. It makes the experience much different, and it’s like you have someone on your side helping you through it and picking up the tab as well.
Have a Sense of Urgency
Even though you missed the flight you should still try to get to the airport as soon as you can. The sooner you get there, the sooner they’ll be able to start helping you, and the more it looks like you did your best to get there on time and barely missed it.
It will also matter if your airline has a “flat tire policy” (see below) in which you’ll need to get there within a certain time period, usually two hours after your flight was scheduled to depart.
Ask About Your Options
If you’re flying domestically you might be able to take advantage of the “flat tire rule” that is built-in to some airline’s policies although you won’t find it in writing. If they don’t, you can ask them if they have anything similar to that or what else they can do for you.
If you were supposed to be on an international flight the process is different and it will take a bit more creativity to get you where you need to be. Extra patience is in order as they look up possible ways for you to reach your destination, and it may be necessary for you to stay an extra night in your current city.
Keep Your Cool
It can be frustrating and stressful to miss your flight and emotions can run high, but getting upset at the airline personnel won’t help the situation at all. They see this kind of thing every day, and are much more inclined to think of ways to help you if you’re being polite and respectful.
Create a Paper Trail
Things can happen quickly when you’re trying to book a new flight on the spur of the moment, which is why it’s a good idea to keep track of the paperwork and receipts you’re given while all of it is happening.
One added bonus of keeping track of your receipts is so you can use them to process your travel insurance claim later. It will help relay the story of what happened, and it’s always better to have physical evidence of payments made in situations like these.