What Do You Do If You Miss Your Flight?

Two people known to me have missed their flight within the last couple of days. What happens if the ticketed passengers did not boarded the aircraft before the doors closed? It is known as a “No Show”

1. The airline is not obligated to refund your ticket if you are not at the gate at the time of boarding. You might have to buy a new ticket, or if seats are available on a later flight, they could put you on that flight.

2. If you have purchased travel insurance, and “missed flights” are listed on the policy, you should contact the 24 hour number to get the insurance company to handle the problem. The insurance company will require proof of what caused the delay (traffic accident, road closure etc.)

3. A “no show” could affect any of your connecting flights, including your return ticket being cancelled. Two years back I was flying to JFK from LAX, where I would connect on Etihad to South Africa. I had purchased two different tickets, and had purposely left a comfortable 8 hours in transit should my flight be delayed into JFK. The United flight was delayed by almost 7 hours, making the connection to the international flight almost impossible. I called Etihad for a solution, and their answer was that since we had bought two separate tickets, they were not responsible if I was a “No show”, and would have to purchase a new ticket if I did not make the flight. We were lucky…we made it to the gate 10 minutes before boarding commenced.

4. Check your flight time carefully by making sure your 0015 hours flights is at 1:15 am, and not pm. You will be surprised by how many people get their am and pm’s mixed up. It will not only inconvenience you, but cost you dearly with a hefty fine for a “No Show” and re-ticketing.

4. If you think it was the fault of the airline (wrong boarding gate posted, gate change that you never saw) do NOT hand in your boarding pass without taking a photo of it. You should also take a photo of the “wrong gate” or the “wrong flight” posted. Get the name of the agent or supervisor you spoke with. Request for compensation from the airline by e-mailing or via snail mail, and include your photos as proof. If compensation is received, it will be in the form of a travel voucher or miles credited to your frequent flyer account.

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