Steps to Take If You Couldn't Catch Your Flight

Steps to Take If You Couldn't Catch Your Flight

Travel Guide 2024-06-04

Airports can be captivating places where every person finds themselves in a transitional state, between their point of origin and their intended destination. However, many individuals struggle to view airports in a favorable manner, akin to expecting a toddler to meditate during an international flight – it's simply not a realistic expectation. Airports can be noisy, congested, stressful, and perplexing environments. While some may find love in the air, it's challenging to envision forging lifelong connections while sprinting between terminals, focused on catching a flight.

In moments when you're hauling your luggage through airport security, traversing miles of terminal, and racing towards plane doors that may have already closed, airports can feel like a source of pure frustration. Many have experienced the anguish of shredding tickets and struggling to regain composure after hearing the final boarding call. If, or when, you miss your flight, there are important things to keep in mind. So let's not waste time anymore and dive into all the crucial specifics right away!

1. Clarity is essential

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When you miss your flight, the most important thing is to communicate effectively. It's not always easy, but it's crucial.

While it can be tempting to assign blame for the missed flight, it's also extremely unproductive. You won't be able to resolve the situation if you're blaming yourself for a human mistake, and you also won't get on another flight if you're busy criticizing the airline and its staff for their policies and procedures (though a little venting in an airport bathroom can be good for the soul).

Be transparent and open with the airline and its employees about why you've missed your flight. Remember, these are people just trying to get through their days, and they may be willing to help you get out of the situation as long as you're friendly and appreciative. This may feel like a life-or-death situation to you, but to the airline staff, you're one client in a long list, and they don't have the capacity to be invested in every story.

Whether you've simply mixed up the days or times, had a pet perform an escape-artist act, or just learned of massive road repairs, let your airline agent know as soon as possible – otherwise, you may be stuck behind hundreds of other travelers all vying for those 2 open seats on the next flight.

2. When the situation is out of your hands

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Imagine you've just arrived from an international red-eye at an unfamiliar airport, and your connecting flight is scheduled to depart in an hour. Unfortunately, this timeframe is simply not enough to navigate through the airport, passport control, and another security checkpoint. Alternatively, your flight may have been delayed due to weather conditions or understaffed airports, causing you to miss your connecting flight entirely. These types of uncontrollable situations can often lead to missed flights, but the good news is that many airlines understand and expect such occurrences.

The "flat-tire" principle

Some airlines have an unwritten policy regarding uncontrollable situations that result in missed flights, such as a "flat-tire". In these cases, they may try to accommodate you on another same-day flight at no additional cost. However, this unofficial standard isn't always explicitly communicated by gate agents or phone representatives. If an airline doesn't have a specific "flat-tire" policy, they tend to handle each situation on a case-by-case basis. The key is to describe your situation clearly and politely, and you may find yourself rebooked on another flight before you know it.

You've taken all the right steps, but the airport hasn't cooperated

When airports are understaffed, such as on heavy travel days or during extreme weather conditions, many passengers may find themselves stranded as flights are delayed or canceled. If you do miss your flight in these scenarios, airlines are more likely to proactively rebook you on the earliest available flight. They may even cover the cost of your stay in the connecting city or offer a refund. If the airport is responsible for the disruption, they often work to get passengers on the next available flight and cover any additional expenses.

Ultimately, it comes down to being transparent and considerate about the circumstances, and clearly expressing your needs to airline agents or call centers. Traveling requires a certain degree of flexibility, even when all you want is to reach your destination as quickly as possible.

3. When the situation is within your control

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Eager travelers aren't the only ones who insist on arriving at the airport a full day before their departure. The common practice is to get to the airport at least 2 hours before your boarding time. This is because airlines are less likely to accommodate passengers who get stuck in long TSA lines or don't allow enough time to get through check-in, security, and reach their gate.

If you've missed your flight due to oversleeping, forgetting your passport or wallet, going to the wrong airport, or being stuck in traffic, the airline may not be able to do much to help. Airlines aren't incentivized to be lenient when passengers make mistakes. Even with a "flat-tire" rule, some mishaps may not qualify, but you'll still have a few options to salvage your vacation or find the cheapest and fastest way to get home.

Rebooking with a low-cost airline

Your flight may have left, but your vacation is still waiting. In many cases, airlines aren't required to provide you with a low-cost alternative ticket, even if they understand why you missed your boarding. However, some budget airlines like Spirit, EasyJet, and Ryanair may have affordable, same-day tickets available for purchase. These flights may not be the most luxurious, but they'll still get you to your desired destination.

Flying standby

If you can't get a confirmed seat on the next flight, you have the option of flying standby. Even full and oversold flights may have no-show passengers. Ask about being placed on a waitlist for the next flight and be prepared to be flexible if the gamble doesn't pay off.

Be adaptable

If your original plans don't work out, now might be the time to get creative and adapt. Can't get a flight home on time? Maybe you're close enough to your destination to rent a car instead. Or perhaps there's a cheaper airport nearby that you could take a car or subway to, with a more direct flight from there.

If you have to wait until the next day for your flight, the city you're in could have a food scene that you didn't know would end up being a highlight of your trip. Seeing a longer layover as an opportunity rather than a problem is all about your perspective. Discover an unexpected location, stay at a budget-friendly hotel, and turn your travel misfortune into an adventure.

Changes in travel plans can feel frustrating, but just like any unexpected life interruption, you have the power to make the best of it. Remember that you'll eventually get home, you'll have another vacation, and you'll get through this. With any luck, airports will once again become happy, stress-free places for you.

4. COVID-related travel challenges

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a new and more complex landscape when it comes to travel. Gone are the days when you could simply pack your bags and jet off without a care. Today, it's essential for passengers to stay informed and aware of the ever-evolving protocols in place.

As you prepare for your next adventure, keep in mind that the requirements can vary greatly from one country to the next. The fine print in those pre-flight emails might not paint the complete picture, so it's crucial to do your research thoroughly.

In addition to the usual travel planning, such as booking activities and purchasing new vacation attire, you may also need to factor in COVID-19 testing requirements. For instance, the United States now mandates that all travelers, even those who are fully vaccinated, present a negative test result taken within 24 hours of their departure. If you find yourself at the airport and realize you haven't met this requirement, don't fret – there's a good chance you'll find a testing center nearby or even within the terminal itself.

5. Remember: everything will work out!

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Missing a flight can be a stressful and frustrating experience, but it's important to keep in mind that it's a common occurrence that many travelers have faced. In the long run, you'll likely be able to look back on the situation and see it as a memorable part of your journey.

It's crucial to maintain a kind and compassionate attitude, not only towards yourself but also towards the people you interact with during this process. This approach can actually help you get to your destination faster and make the overall experience much more positive.

Your trusted partner for hassle-free airport parking –!

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You might be surprised about this fact because most people are confident that on-site parking is the best choice when you're traveling by air. But, actually, it's not true, and we'll explain why.

People who prefer to get to the airport by car think that it's the most convenient option since on-site parking is the nearest place to the airport where it's possible to park a vehicle safely for the period of a trip. However, they make a huge mistake, as there is a big chance to face many following difficulties:

  • You will need to find a spot in a crowded lot,
  • You will need to carry the luggage all the way through the parking lot,
  • You must pay expensive fees without great service, and much more.

Sounds not so good, right? But there is one great solution in this situation – an off-site parking option!

The off-site parking service has many advantages, which will definitely convince you to change your choice during the next trip:

  • First of all, it's much cheaper. On-site parking can become too costly for you, as the price for such a parking type might equal half the value of the whole trip. The cost of the off-site parking, in turn, will be not so high, offering alongside free shuttles going back and forth between the parking lot and the airport.
  • Secondly, it's much faster. By choosing an on-site parking option, you'll be needed to find a free spot in a crowded lot, which takes a lot of time. However, by selecting an off-site parking option, you'll be able to drive directly to the entrance, where staff members will help you to pull your luggage out of your vehicle and load it into the shuttle, as well as park your car securely for you. Finally, a free shuttle will bring you and your bags to the airport.
  • Thirdly, it's much more convenient. No more worries about being late to the airport and your flight – the off-site parking is a hassle-free option that is usually faster. Since you use the services of a private company, people want to be sure you're satisfied with the quality and comfort of the services provided, so you don't need to wrack your brain about the quick path to the airport anymore.

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As for the companies that provide the best off-site parking services, we've prepared an ideal option for you. Our booking platform,, built excellent relationships with many parking lot operators to leave customers satisfied and their cars – safe. Furthermore, it doesn't matter what the airport you're flying from is – on our easy-to-navigate website,, you'll find the best deals for all the major airports and cruise ports in the United States and Canada.

To understand it better, we can give you an example. Let's imagine that you live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and plan to visit NYC, New York, USA. Then, you can use the services of cheap parking near Calgary Airport. If you're flying from New York City, the situation is the same – choose affordable LaGuardia off-site parking. So, as you can understand, everything works simply.

By the way, on our website, you can find all the required information about the advantages of off-site parking, airport parking deals, and others. So travel profitably and enjoy your following trip together with us!