What To Do If You Miss Your Flight
First of all, determine why you missed your flight. This should be quite obvious, but the specific reason will impact how your airline responds - and how much you have to pay (if anything) to board a subsequent flight.
If your passport or ID has expired, for example, this is down to you. The airline will probably let you re-schedule at a later date for a fee, plus any fare difference. Of course, obtaining a new passport or ID might mean you aren't able to leave until weeks later.
More common reasons for missing a flight include reading your ticket time/date wrong, or over sleeping. In such cases, you should head to the airport ready to go and explain everything to your airline's customer service representative. It's just possible they will rebook you onto the next available flight - perhaps free of charge or for a fee. However, some airlines will ask you to buy another ticket entirely. Being polite and patient will help you get the best outcome.
If you missed your flight for reasons outside your control, then you may have a better chance of being rebooked. You may have been delayed by an accident en route to the airport, for instance, or you may have been impacted by bad weather or strike action. Your airline may be sympathetic to your situation and speed you on to the next available flight.
The “two-hour” - or "flat tyre" rule*
The type of fare you purchased could also make a difference. The cheapest fares often come with terms that stipulate no refunds or free re-bookings whatsoever. That said, the story "on the ground" may be different - and you may still be placed on the next flight. There is anecdotal evidence that if you are less than two hours late, you have a better chance of getting placed on another flight.^
^Note that the “two hour missed flight rule” or the “flat tyre rule” is by no means guaranteed, and you may have to make a claim with your travel insurance provider if you miss your flight.
If it was your airline's fault
Being placed on standby
If you need to be somewhere fast
Not travelling with your luggage?
Be positive and polite
What about my travel insurance?
If you have travel insurance, you may be able to claim for the costs of rescheduling - as long as you meet the qualification criteria. If your flight was delayed or cancelled, there's a good chance your travel insurer will cover* the costs of reaching your final destination. Travel insurance policies differ - there are no hard and fast rules for all providers. Be sure you understand what is and is not covered by reading your policy document.
Most importantly, don’t forget to obtain a copy of the written statement from your airline, stating the duration of, and reason for, the delay.
Sometimes the easiest and quickest solution is provided by the carrier itself - since they have the power to put you on another flight, potentially without any additional charge.
Purchasing comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and offers peace of mind while overseas. Allianz Travel provides both Single Trip and Annual Multi-Trip policies for Singapore residents.