Planning and preparing for your vacation or business trip can be incredibly exciting and stressful all at the same time. However, with meticulous and thorough organisation, it can be smooth sailing until your first flight lands at the airport and you’re confronted with the horrendous reality that you’ve missed your connecting flight to next destination.
What should you do? First of all, DO NOT PANIC! From our research, we trust that these few tips will be a helpful guide on what to do.
VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE: there is no guarantee how each individual airlines will handle your situation. Airlines have their own policy regarding missing connecting flights and it is therefore critical that you ensure you are familiar with their policies.
Before establishing a plan of action, there are a few factors to consider.
TIP 1. WHOSE FAULT IS IT?
If the airline is responsible for you missing your connecting flight due to of a delayed flight or mechanical problems, then the airline will most likely rebook the next available flight for you. However, the airline is under no legal obligation to do this for you. As already stated, each circumstance will depend on which airline you are flying with and the airline’s policy for missed connecting flights.
Consider taking out comprehensive travel insurance which will cover major costs to you.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS UP TO YOU TO FIND YOUR NEXT FLIGHT. Once again, the airline is under no obligation to rebook you on the next flight. However, friendly and helpful airlines will do their best to assist with rebooking you another ticket. In order to accelerate the process in getting the next available flight, the following few tips should help:
Do some research: Be pro-active and do some thorough research to find alternative or better solutions. Online tools are available to find a faster, alternative routing. Your options will include either:
1. Buying a new flight ticket from another airline.
2. Fly out of a neighbouring airport.
3. Flying out on another day.
BE NICE TO THE AGENT ASSISTING YOU. Being rude or angry at the re-booking agent assisting you will not help your situation. Remain calm and solution minded by asking what your options are. In the event that the agent cannot help you, then ask to speak with a supervisor who will most likely know more about the different option or have the authorisation to override any flight restrictions.
TIP 2: TAKE OUT TRAVEL INSURANCE. This is a very necessary preventative measure to reduce stressful unforeseen circumstances because most travel insurance have flight cancellation insurance. It is a huge relief to know that any additional expenses are covered.
TIP 3: ADJUST YOUR ITINERARY AND ACCOMMODATION. Missing your connecting flight will most likely have an effect on your itinerary once you’ve landed at your intended destination. It is common courtesy to inform airport pick-ups that there is a change in schedules. You may also need to communicate with your hotel so that they are aware of arrival times. This may be very helpful to you in incurring extra or unnecessary charges.
TIP 4: WHAT TICKET ARE YOU FLYING WITH?
Ideally it is better to book your entire trip with one airline because the chances of them then booking you on the next available flight is much greater. Having multiple flights on one ticket, (one itinerary and one confirmation number) or the connection time was too short causing you to miss the second flight, it will be much easier for the airline to arrange for you to be on the next available flight, often, at no extra charge.
Putting together your own flight itinerary can work in your favour as it could lead to cheaper flights
! It is a good idea to allow ample time between flights because the time needed to get to your next flight will differ and depend on where you are transferring from.
So for example, if you’re arriving at one
airport and your next flight departs from another airport, you would need extra time to get to the airport and through the airport’s customs and security. The consequence of missing your connecting flight on a multi-ticket trip with multiple airlines can be complicated and you may need to purchase another costly ticket. Remember, it is not the airline’s responsibility to ensure that you arrive on time for another airline’s flight. Have a code-share agreement (“A codeshare agreement, also known as codeshare, is a business arrangement, common in the aviation industry, in which two or more airlines publish and market a flight under their own airline designator and flight number as part of their published timetable or schedule” – Wikipedia definition),or are part of the same alliance, will make rebooking a flight much easier for you.
TIP 5: HOW TO PREVENT MISSING YOUR CONNECTING FLIGHT
In ordr to make sure you reach your connecting flight without any hassle, you should always allow an interval of at least one to two hours for domestic flights and at least two to three hours for international flights. The following factors can affect you being on time for your connecting flight:
Depending on your route, you may be required to re-check your luggage before boarding your next flight. Make sure you factor this time in e.g. Waiting at the carousel and/or queuing at the check-in desk.
CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION
Always add additional time to your itinerary if you know that you have to go through customs. When flying international, gettingthrough customs and immigration can either take 5-10 minutes or several hours. It all depends on the airport, time of day and the month in, declaring items, and a possibly a few other factors unique to a particular airport.
Having to go through the security procedure is an unavoidable part of getting to the boarding gate. At busy airports such as Heathrow Airport
and Dubai International Airport
, the queues can be very long, so extra time also needs to be allocated.
SIZE OF AIRPORT SIZE:
Airport size will definitely affect the time it takes for you to get to your departure gate. Always give yourself enough time to get to the departure gate without having the added pressure of rushing! Airport staff are usually aware that travellers are rushing so do not be shy to ask someone to accompany you or help direct you to exactly where you need to be.
IMPORTANT NOTE: In the event that you are running late for your connecting flight, inform the airline staff as soon as possible so that they can get you into the priority queues for check-in and boarding.
Missing your connecting flight can cause an initial panic and anguish which could leave you in a fight or flight predicament – the biochemical reaction that we experience during intense stress or fear, e.g. increased heart rate, sweating palms, short of breath, increased anger or cannot think clearly. It is in your, and everyone else around you, best interests and sanity to realise that these things can happen, but it is not the end of the world. Consider the above tips if you find yourself in this situation. And remember: DON’T PANIC & THE JOURNEY IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE DESTINATION!