If there’s a flight problem that is not your fault, such as bad weather delays or mechanical problems, the airline will take care of you. You will need to get in contact with your airline immediately. Contact the airline or speak with a representative as soon as possible.
There are also some options if you miss your flight because of personal reasons.
What to Do if You Missed Your Flight
Be Pro-Active Beforehand: If you know you will miss your flight or even think you might, the first and most important step is to talk to the airline. Rules regarding late passengers vary for carriers around the world but here are some general guidelines from several U.S. airlines.
1. Contact the Airline Immediately
- If You Know You’ll be Late or Will Not Show Pp: Call the airline immediately or you will likely forfeit the entire cost of the ticket or whatever remains, if you’ve already flown part of the trip. A call will usually keep your ticket valid but you may have to pay a change fee which can be up to $200 for U.S. domestic flights and any additional costs if the fare has gone up. A call salvages something; not calling forfeits everything.
- If Flying Southwest: Southwest is the only U.S. airline with no change fee but you still have to call ten minutes before departure or you’ll fall under Southwest’s No Show Policy and lose the remaining value of the ticket.
- If You’re Not Sure You’ll Make the Flight: Call the airline anyway and explain the situation. If you get to the airport in the nick of time, or just a few minutes past, employees may be able to ease your way on board. This is a long shot but you won’t know ’til you try.
2. Talk to a Gate Agent
- After You’ve Made Initial Contact with the Airline: Get in line to talk to a gate agent. You may be put on stand-by for another flight or they may find you a seat on another airline’s plane but this is another long shot. Ask about waiving the change fee – especially if the circumstances of a missed flight are particularly dire – but such requests are rarely granted for non-refundable tickets.
For more information: More information about delayed, cancelled, or missed flights can be found on the FareCompare Blog.