Missed Flight Connections Happen: Be Prepared So You Don’t Panic.

13 Steps to get you on your way after you miss your flight.

It can happen to the best of us. You followed all the rules, arrived early at the airport, and patiently waited in the terminal when that voice came over the loudspeaker: your flight was delayed. Or worse still, you’ve left on time, but unforeseen circumstances keep you circling up in the air or waiting on the tarmac to taxi to the gate. Either scenario leads to the unthinkable: you’ve missed your connecting flight and you’re stranded at the airport. 

No matter how it happens, flight delays are stressful, and when they occur late at night as airports are closing, they can be downright scary. We reached out to the founder of Expert Flyer, Chris Lopinto, to find out what you should do if your airline lets you down. 

13 Steps to Follow to Get you Back in the Air. 

  1. Regardless of how long the line is at the nearest ticket counter, get in it as soon as you can. 

  1. While you are in line, call the airline’s toll-free reservations number. There will be a lot of people calling, so expect to be on hold.

  1. Have your current flight number and frequent flier number handy (a printout is a good idea since you will need to reference this information while communicating on the phone with an airline representative).

  1. If a ticket agent answers your call before you reach the counter, stay in line while speaking with the agent on the phone (especially necessary if you are stranded at an airport to inquire about overnight accommodations).

  1. While it may be difficult, maintain a pleasant demeanor with the agent. The delay is no fault of theirs, and they want to get you on your way. Not to mention, more than likely, they have been dealing with many angry passengers before you. 

  1. Weigh all the options the agent presents to you, including the possibility of traveling to another city with a connecting flight to your destination. However, if the weather condition or issue is with your destination city, do not book a flight through a connecting city.

  1. Ask the ticket agent for advice. While they typically will not “guarantee” what they say, they are a source for “inside information.” If they feel you should book an early flight the next day, give it serious consideration.

  1. Should you finalize your travel changes with the agent by phone, stay in line so you can confirm everything with the agent at the counter. Conversely, if you get to the ticket counter before an agent answers your call, hang up the phone and work directly with the counter agent.

  1. Do not leave the counter until you are satisfied with the presented options and you have solidified your new plan.

  1. Get a printed document from the ticket agent verifying your plans (new flight with seat assignment, for example) and ask them to email that document to you.

  1. Contact your information source (friend or family member) and let them know your amended travel plans.

  1. Secure any services needed based on your travel decision. Should you be required to stay overnight, ask for hotel and food vouchers, often provided free of charge by the airline for your inconvenience. 

  1. Above all else, maintain your composure and be as pleasant and understanding with the agent as possible. 

Flying the friendly skies is usually the quickest way to get from point A to point B. Should you find yourself in a pickle with a missed connection, you’ll get through it with less stress when you’re prepared, and you keep your cool.

Now that you know how to prepare for your next flight, all you need is a place to go. You can find travel inspiration right here, on VacationistUSA.com. Happy traveling!