Some people make it their mission to be the early bird for every important deadline, while others never seem to get out the door on time. There’s no doubt that one of the worst times to be late in life is when you have a flight to catch!
Think it will never happen to you? What if your Uber runs into unexpected traffic en route to the airport? What if there’s a delay at security that you hadn’t banked on? Whether your first instinct is to panic or go into full denial mode; there’s really nothing you can do if the pilot has decided the plane is leaving. So if you are left waiting in departures, what should you do next? And do you have any rights? Here are a few nuggets of wisdom so that you’re prepared – just in case.
Inside the airport
You’ve checked in, bought yourself a croissant and had a browse round the shops when suddenly you realise you’ve misjudged your timings and the flight has left without you. You will most likely be referred to an intercom system or phone to contact your airline because, as you are inside the airport, you need to be officially ‘decontrolled’. This involves security measures being put in place to escort you through to arrivals (as if you had just flown into the airport) where any duty-free purchases you may have made will need to be declared to customs. You will also need to collect any checked-in luggage, which will have been removed from the plane. Hopefully.
Head to the ticket desk
Once you’ve been decontrolled, it’s time to assess your options. Head straight for the airline ticket desks to relay your story to the staff there. This is your first port of call if you didn’t make it through the check-in process to begin with and simply arrived at the airline too late to make your flight. The staff at the desk will be in the best position to check on the next available flights and whether they can squeeze you in or put you on a reserve list.
However, it is wholly dependent on the policy of your airline as to whether you will need to buy a brand new ticket. Some airlines might offer a discounted rate – Easyjet offers a ‘rescue fee’ of £80 for passengers that arrive at the desk within two hours of a missed flight and Ryanair charges a 100 euro (£79) fee to board a new plane. Unfortunately, not all airlines are as accommodating. British Airways state that if you miss your flight, you simply need to book an alternative.
It’s not my fault
The only time you can expect compensation for missing your flight is if it genuinely isn’t your fault. This might mean that a flight was delayed, causing you to miss a connection, or a cancellation occurred. Although traffic is unlikely to be covered, a breakdown could well be.
The bottom line is that to put yourself in the best chance of getting your money back; you need to book travel insurance that covers missed flights. This is why it’s important to read the small print of your policy and choose your plan with care. NOW travel insurance offers a range of policies that give you the cover you need without breaking the bank. Why not get a quote online today?