What To Do If You Miss Your Flight (2024)

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.

The “two-hour” - or "flat tyre" rule*

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.

Fare type

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

What To Do If You Miss Your Flight (2)

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.

Being placed on standby

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 you need to be somewhere fast

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.

Not travelling with your luggage?

What To Do If You Miss Your Flight (3)

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.

Be positive and polite

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.

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.

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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 insurancecan be found under Allianz Travel Policy Wording.

*Subject to terms and conditions and exclusions outlined in Allianz Travel Policy Wording

What To Do If You Miss Your Flight (2024)


What To Do If You Miss Your Flight? ›

Talk to the airline agents ASAP

What would you do if you miss your flight? ›

Missed Your Flight? Here's What to Do Now
  1. Contact the airline immediately.
  2. Be aware of the flat tire rule.
  3. Don't just book a new one-way ticket.
  4. Address connecting flights.
  5. Notify your hotel.
  6. Check your insurance policy.
Feb 26, 2020

What do I do if I missed my connecting flight? ›

  1. Stay Calm and Assess the Situation from the airplane. Panicking won't solve the issue. ...
  2. Understand Your Rights and Options. ...
  3. Notify the Airline ASAP. ...
  4. Utilize Technology. ...
  5. Be Flexible with Alternatives. ...
  6. Check for Accommodation and Rebooking. ...
  7. Know Your Insurance Coverage. ...
  8. Stay Informed and Updated.
Dec 14, 2023

What happens if I miss my flight and I have no money? ›

You generally can't receive a refund on a missed flight. Depending on the circ*mstances of your situation and the terms of your fare, you may receive partial credit or free rebooking, but the only way you're likely to get a full refund is if the airline cancels your flight.

Do airlines reimburse for missed flight? ›

The airline must pay you compensation for your inconvenience if: the delay or cancellation is fully within the airline's control (NOT within the airline's control but required for safety or outside the airline's control)

Is it OK to miss a flight on purpose? ›

Though airlines don't like it, there's nothing illegal about skipping the last leg of your itinerary, and since you don't have any future flights on the itinerary, there's nothing to get canceled out (normally if you skip a leg, all subsequent legs are canceled).

Can you sue for a missed flight? ›

Generally, yes you can sue an airline in small claims court. The U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”), which is a federal agency that regulates airlines operating in the U.S, even publishes a Consumer's Guide to Small Claims Court.

Who pays if you miss a connecting flight? ›

Since the airline did not give you enough time to board your connecting flight, it is possible to claim compensation if you end up missing your connection. If your connecting flight is part of a separate ticket and not part of a single itinerary, then you may have to rebook your next flight yourself and pay the fee.

Is the airline responsible if I miss my connection? ›

Airline operators who provide a poor service are liable to pay compensation under the Act. The compensation claimable includes the cost of the ticket and other losses that you may have incurred due to the poor service. This could include costs that you have incurred because of a missed connection.

How long will a flight wait for connecting passengers? ›

Besides this, when you purchase a connecting flight ticket with your preferred airlines, then in such conditions, a general thumb rule says that; for domestic flights, the time is around 60-90 minutes, and suppose you have an international connecting flight ticket, then it will take approximately 2-3 hours, and it ...

What is no-show fee? ›

The no-show fee for airlines is a charge if you don't board your flight without canceling it in advance. If you miss your flight and haven't canceled, you'll likely have to pay a fee, and you may lose the value of your ticket. Always cancel if you can't make it to avoid this fee.

How to pay for a flight with no money? ›

Check out with either Affirm, Klarna, Zip, Afterpay, Clearpay, Postpay, Laybuy, Tabby, or one of our other options, and pay for your flights later. A Fly Now Pay Later plan is a convenient and easy way to buy flights that helps you manage your budget.

When can you claim for a missed flight? ›

Airlines must provide compensation for the inconvenience of flight cancellations and flight delays of 3 hours or more and if the disruption is within their control and not related to safety, and if the airline notified you of the disruption 14 days or less in advance.

What is the 2 hour rule for flight delay compensation? ›

Two hours' delay and compensation

Your replacement flight must get you to your end destination within two hours of the original arrival time, or the airline has to compensate you for loss of time.

What happens if you miss boarding time? ›

Passengers get into the aircraft after completing their check-in through websites, counters or kiosks. The difference between boarding and check-in is boarding is done vis-a-vis while check-in can be done through mobile phones. If you miss the boarding time, you should be aware that your ticket will be invalid.

Do I need to notify the airline if I'm not flying? ›

If you no longer want to take your flight in the agreed sequence, including missing out on a flight, you will need to contact the airline.

How much is a rebooking fee? ›

Every major U.S. airline (except Southwest Airlines) typically charges penalty fees to change or cancel an economy fare flight. The fees can vary from as low as $25 on a domestic flight to more than $400 on an international flight.

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