What Happens If You Miss Your Flight?

What happens if you miss your flight? If you find yourself left on the ground after your flights has taken off, find someone to help you immediately. You may have timed everything perfectly, arrived early...

You may have timed everything perfectly, arrived early to the airport, and done everything requested of you. Despite your best efforts, it is still possible you may miss your flight. An airport is usually efficient and on time, but delayed flights and mechanical problems do happen.

If you find yourself left on the ground after your flights has taken off, find someone to help you immediately.

"Talk to the people at the airport, let them know you missed your flight and ask for an alternative," says Milena Garita, Reservations Representative with Continental Airlines. "They may put you on the next available flight. If there isn't one until the next day, they will set you up for the first flight the next day."

If you leave the airport before speaking with someone, you may run into more delays.

"It's always a good idea to remain in the airport until you get things in order," says Garita. "Make sure you get your itinerary sheet that clearly shows the flight assigned to you before you leave, especially if your new flight is not until the next day."

Keep in mind you may be charged if you miss the flight and it's clearly your fault. This isn't a clear-cut rule though.

"It all depends, sometimes they will go ahead and give you a new flight," says Garita. "If it is clearly your fault they may ask you to pay a penalty on your new ticket. They are normally happy to help you out and re-accommodate you."

Most often you will be put on the next available flight on the same airline. There are exceptions to this rule though.

"If it's a connecting city, and the reason is the airlines fault, more often then not the airline will accommodate you with the next flight on a different airline. This is done to help you catch your connecting flight," explains Garita. "Most airlines are willing to work with each other and extend professional courtesy."

What happens when weather delays a flight?

"If it's a weather delay, it's up to the airline because they cannot control the weather," says Garita.

There are times when the airline causes you to miss a flight.

"If it's mechanical, they may assist you with finding a hotel room," says Garita. "On rare occasions, they may put you up and give you meal vouchers if you are going to be significantly delayed."

What happens to your luggage if you miss a connecting flight?

"There is the possibility, if you have missed a connecting flight, your luggage will go on with out you," says Garita.

If you have missed boarding a flight, but the plane is not in the air yet, there is a chance you may be able to retrieve your luggage.

"They may be able to get your stuff, but most likely they won't," says Garita. "If your connecting flight is about to leave, go up to the ticket counter and ask for your bags if they are still there."

Most likely, if you have missed the flight, your bags have gone on without you.

"This is why it is recommended that you take a change of clothes and important items in your carry-on," says Garita.

It's never fun when your miss your flight, but rest assured, the airline will do everything they can to assist you in reaching your destination.

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