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Missed flight or cancellation – what to do

by on January 8, 2020
 

There are many reasons you may have had to suffer the consequences of a missed flight, either due to your own fault or those of others. We’ve checked out many ways this can happen, including  some from personal experience and those of friends. Missing a flight (or any travel connection) and be expensive and stressful, whether the trip is business, leisure or necessity. Hopefully our experiences and suggestions will give some useful tips or warn you of the issues to beware of.

Missed flight

  • Problems at check-in,
    • Wrong visa
      • Check with the embassy/consulate of the country you’re visiting
        • Allow time for processing, some countries may take a month to do this.
        • Do a quick check if you may need a visa here
    • Expired passport/travel documents
      • Check all your documents well in advance as getting a new passport/travel document takes time.
    • Wrong flight date
      • Check the time carefully, it’s easier if it’s written with a 24hr clock
      • Flights around midnight can be a problem
    • Check-in queue too long, refused check-in
      • don’t stay in the queue, see below
    • Refused boarding
      • late arrival at boarding gate
      • detained at security check/immigration
    • Missed connection
      • As part of the same booking, airline should provide next available flight
      • For separate booking, you will need to purchase a new flight
missed flight

Bali – long queues to enter security area.

  • Illness preventing your trip
    • communicable diseases (chicken pox etc)
    • non-communicable, but can’t travel
  • Sudden illness on your journey
    • Serious illness cutting the trip short
    • illness that prevents you from catching an onward or return flight
  • Family/personal emergency
    • This is a serious emergency that prevents or delays your travel
    • Contact the airline immediately
  • Strikes of airport or airline staff
    • The airline should contact you with alternatives
  • civil unrest, riots, terrorist attacks, natural disasters
    • Follow the instructions of the authorities
    • Contact your family/embassy if possible
  • Other factors, including
    • Over-sized baggage
      • e.g. surfboards, golf clubs
      • You may have to take this to the Oversize counter yourself
      • This would be after dropping other luggage
    • Bags needing wrapping
      • be prepared for long queues
    • Assistance required
      • arrange this with your airline before reaching the airport
  • Travelling alone
KLIA

Over-sized baggage drop

Cancelled flight

  • If the cancellation has been announced in advanced
    • check the airline website for alternatives
    • Many airlines will contact you
      • Make sure they have your contact details
    • decide if you want an alternative flight/refund
  • If you are at the airport, go straight to the service counter,
    • don’t stay and argue with check-in staff
  • Call the customer service, even if you are at the airport, in a queue,
    • they can help you with re-booking straight away

Some other suggested remedies

  • Check-in as early as you can
    • This is especially important during holidays, peak travel periods and certain times of the day
  • Use online check-in where this is available
  • Use self-service kiosks and bag drop counters at the airport

Running Late

  • If you are running late, look for the airline’s service counter,
    • It’s usually near the check-in rows
    • They should be able to take your bags if you’ve already done a self check-in
    • Make sure you are still within the check-in cut off time
  • If you have missed the flight because you were late (i.e. it is your fault)
    • Go straight to the Service Counter
    • Ask to be put on the next flight
    • Make sure you are credited for the taxes you have paid and pay only the fare difference
    • Be as calm and polite as possible, it’s stressful!
    • If you’re travelling low-cost, make sure as many add-ons as possible are included for no extra payment
      • e.g. baggage, pre-purchased duty-free items
    • You may not be able to have seat selection or food choices, due to availability and insufficient time.
  • Travel HLO if possible (Hand Luggage Only)
    • This will cut the queues and you can generally head straight for the departure gate

Other reasons

  • Illness before or during the journey
    • See the doctor and get a letter confirming your fitness for travel/nature of the illness (if a communicable disease)
    • Some airlines will be agreeable to changing your flight, or give you a credit note
    • If you have travel insurance, contact the company immediately
    • Most insurers require you to declare any pre-existing conditions. These will not be covered.
  • Buy travel insurance
    • This may not be available on your itinerary
    • This is common for domestic flights or other exclusions
    • Insurance cover usually needs to be bought a certain time before your flight
    • Check the insurance cover offered as a bundle with your ticket
    • Decide if the cost of the insurance is worth the outlay.
    • Read the details in your policy carefully
    • Most policies do not cover a missed flight if it is your own fault.
      • check the wording and call the company to confirm if this is covered as there are different categories.
    • Policies will only pay for items and expenses not already reimbursed by your airline/agent
  • Travelling alone
    • As you won’t have anyone to help you to check on alternatives, Be Early!
missed flight,Brisbane International Departures

Counter or machine?

images©ET

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