What To Do If You Miss Your Flight

No matter how organised you are, or how efficient your airline is, unexpected events or errors can cause you to miss your flight. If you find yourself in this position, don't panic - you have a number of options to get to your final destination
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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.

Your airline may try to get you on the next flight, so long as you arrive at the airport less than two hours after the original scheduled departure (this unofficial rule is unlikely to appear in your Ts & Cs). The “flat tyre” moniker of course relates to the reality that "things happen"; most carriers understand this. However, there's no guarantee you won’t be charged a rebooking fee. Budget airlines are unlikely to place you on another flight without charging you.

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.

Flight Delayed
If you miss a connecting flight because your first flight was delayed - and both flights were with the same airline - then your carrier should take responsibility and rebook you onto a later flight. The waters are muddied if the connecting flight is with a different carrier (or wasn't booked within the same airline alliance) - neither the first nor the connecting airline is likely to take responsibility. That said, it's always worth pleading your case to the connecting airline. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Most airlines will place you on standby for the next available flight. Make sure you know which flights are next and provide suggestions to staff if it might get your to your destination quicker.
If the next available flight isn't until next day, and that means missing an important event or meeting, then you may have to bite the bullet and purchase a ticket with another airline, or even consider combining flying and ground transport to reach your final destination. Be creative and try to stay calm.
Has your checked luggage ended up on a different flight? For example, this might happen if your luggage got transferred to a connecting flight - but you missed it. Get hold of your customer service representative as soon as possible. They will help you track your items and ensure you are reunited with them when you reach your destination. 
It’s worth re-iterating that a negative, grumpy attitude is unlikely to illicit the sympathies of ground staff - but an upbeat, polite one is.

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.

Blog Disclaimer
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The content of this blog neither makes representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, nor is construed as Allianz Travel's offering of travel insurance, unless explicitly stated. Details of benefits, limits, policy exclusions, terms and conditions of Allianz Travel insurance can be found under Allianz Travel Policy Wording.
*Subject to terms and conditions and exclusions outlined in Allianz Travel Policy Wording