Missing a flight can be an incredibly stressful experience and it can happen for a variety of reasons. No matter how prepared you are for your trip, even the slightest issue could have you missing your flight, from a flat tire on the freeway to accidentally misplacing your passport. Regardless of the reason, airlines will often not look kindly on these events and they will usually charge you for the missed flight, as well as for another ticket to make your vacation.
For those who are used to rushing to the airport for a flight, the chances of missing your plane are even higher and so you likely want to make sure you know how to rebook your flight or free in the event that this should happen. You simply need to read our handy guide of questions and answers preventing you from spending a small fortune on your next trip.
What Do I Do If I Know I’m Running Late?
Don’t wait until you’ve missed your plane to take action – the moment you know that you are going to be late, start making preparations to ensure you don’t have to pay for a missed flight. In this instance, it’s best to call the airline directly and let them know that you are running late.
While some airlines will not be able to accommodate you in any way, others will actually book you onto another flight entirely free of charge. This is certainly not a hard and fast rule – rather it is at the discretion of the airline agent so it’s always worth a try.
Will I Have To Fly Standby?
If you’re running late and you’ve made the airline away of this, they could have you fly on standby – this basically means you’ll be on the next available flight out, wherever there tends to be space. This might mean that you need to hang around at the airport for a time so that you can be ready to jump onto a plane at a moment’s notice.
Can I Have The Airport Page The Gate Agent?
Before they close the cabin doors, the pilot and the gate agent will work together to decide when this needs to be done.
If you are running late, you have the option of calling the airport, rather than contacting the airline, and ask them to direct you to the gate agent. If you know what gate you’ll be departing from, this will make your job much simpler. Gate agents will usually give a seat away around 15 minutes before the plane leaves, but if they know you are on your way, they might hold your seat for you.
Can I Ask For A Later Flight?
In some instances, you might be able to call the ticket agent once you have missed your flight and ask for them to book you on a later flight. In some instances, they might not charge, while in other cases, they might charge a small fee, it depends on their policies, as well as the flexibility allowed to the agent. Southwest, for example, is one of the airlines that don’t charge for same-day flight changes, while Delta and Jet Blue will.
How Should I Talk To The Agent?
When you’re asking the airline for a favor – in this case, to book you onto a later flight or even hold the gate open for you – it’s important that you are as gracious as possible. It’s never a good idea to be rude or to use threats. Being kind and courteous will get you a lot further.
For What Sorts Of Reasons Do Airlines Rebook Tickets For Free?
Many ticket agents will understand that accidents happen and that sometimes, you can’t prepare for everything. Issues such as a flat tire or a car breaking down will usually be enough for ticket agents to rebook your flight for free in the event that you miss it by a narrow margin and call them in time.
Am I Guaranteed to get a Flight Rebooked for Free?
No, this will depend entirely on the airline and their policies. Some airlines are much stricter than others, so you might want to read these policies beforehand.
What Benefits Are Offered By Travel Insurance?
One of the ways that you can rest assured you’ll have your ticket rebooked for free is if you have travel insurance that will cover you missing your flight. You’ll need to opt for this when you make your booking – and ensure that you know exactly what sorts of events are covered under the insurance.
The last thing you’ll want is to opt for a policy that won’t pay out in the event that you miss your flight because you overslept. Travel insurance might cost a little more, but it can really save a trip that’s derailed due to unforeseen circumstances.