Home TIPS When Missed Flight Isn’t Your Fault: How To Cope
When Missed Flight Isn’t Your Fault: How To Cope PDF Print E-mail

Unfortunately, this is the time of year when it often happens. The best way to avoid missing a flight because of clogged traffic is to anticipate clogged traffic. The best way to avoid a slow security line is to anticipate a slow security line.

Everyone who buys an airline ticket is warned many times to arrive at the airport one hour before a domestic flight and two hours before an overseas flight. That means precisely that you should be entering the security line at those times, not dashing through the airport parking lot nor fuming in a taxi stuck in drive-time traffic. You should clearly understand that the responsibility is yours to meet those arrival times. Smart fliers, always aware of the volatility of today’s air travel, will get to the airport even earlier than the required time. They also factor in that the ever more complex requirements of passing through security will create more delays than ever before.

However, even those who follow the rules and get to the airport in plenty of time, may find very long, slow security lines and also be forced to submit to special, time-consuming personal inspections. If that happens, you may be able to avoid missing your flight by telling the security guards your flight is departing soon, and ask them to process you quickly.

If that doesn’t work, and you miss your flight specifically because of a slow security line, there are ways to get the airline to help and/or compensate you.

1. If you've clearly asked for quicker security check and it was refused, write down the names of the employees who were involved. Ask to speak to the security line supervisor and report the facts, also getting that person’s name and rank. Do it efficiently, without angry words, and your chances of making your point are good.

2. Ask to speak to a reservations supervisor immediately to find out if you can be booked as quickly as possible on another flight of that airline or other airline going to the same destination within a reasonable time. If you have checked luggage, be sure it will go to the correct destination.

3. Ask for the airline company’s customer service manager’s phone number or Email address. Call and give the information on what has happened, and report that you expect to be on the next available flight to your destination.

4. If, despite all efforts, your next available flight is the next day, demand a hotel room, at least one meal allowance and taxi fare back and forth to the airport. In many such situations, where the missed flight is not the fault of the passenger, airlines will also offer a free round-trip future flight or cash equivalent.

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