Have you ever missed your connecting flight? You would think a root canal would be more painful and lengthier but you would be wrong! Missing your connecting flight has to be one of the most inconveniencing things in the world of flying. Period! Well, except maybe sitting next to a wailing baby whose mother has completely checked out of this life on a 16-hour long flight…that is worse than missing your layover!
In many cases, layovers can actually save you a bit of money. We actually have a list of things you can do to make them a bit more palatable. So you get to save money and have a little fun while you are at it. What happens, though, when you miss that connecting flight even after doing everything we mentioned in the above article? Do you just lay down and cry or are there a few things you can do to make your life a little easier?
What to do if you do miss that connecting flight
Although you do not want to miss that connection, it is probably going to happen at some point in your flying days. Before we look at what to do to make sure that you do not miss the connecting flight, let’s look at some things that you can do once you do miss it (as we said, it is going to happen at some point so you might as well be prepared for it!)
- Be nice to the people in charge: They have had a long day too and your yelling at them won’t make it any better. Be nice and they might just make you their good deed for the day and get you sorted out quickly.
- Avoid the long lines: Everybody is going to want to rebook as quickly as possible; don’t be one of them. If you have a high-end credit card, then there is probably a reserved number that you can call in cases of inconvenience. Do that instead and you will get served faster.
- Buy the right kind of travel insurance: The best kind of insurance keeps you safe from things like missing your flight. Once you have this, you can sit back and relax knowing that whatever you spend will be refunded at some point.
- Use a travel agent: While booking yourself online can be very cost effective, it does come with some risk such as missing your connecting flight. Using a travel agent almost always mitigates those risks.
While this is very practical advice that could save you a whole lot of pain, the best course of action would be to ensure that you do not miss that connecting flight in the first place. Here are some tips on how to manage that:
How to make sure you never miss your connecting flight again
This has to be the most foolproof way to make a smooth connection. By booking a nonstop flight or one that stops but continue on without you having to change planes, you will reduce your chances of missing your connection to near zero.
Try to stay away from the last flights of the day
It only takes a single thing going wrong for your flight to be delayed or even cancelled. Whether it is mechanical failure or strange and unfavourable weather, if you are booked on the last flight of the day and it gets cancelled or delayed, it means that you are probably going to have to spend another night at your current location (for cancellations) or that you are going to miss your connecting flight (for delays). Either way, your trip is ruined and you are massively inconvenienced.
Always book an aisle seat at the front of the plane
Sometimes you miss your connection by a matter of minutes. This is the time that you probably wasted waiting for people to slowly disembark from your last flight. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen to you is to book an aisle seat near the front of the plane. You can easily do this with smart apps such as Flapp or you could ask the gate agent to help you make a seat change.
Try not to make tight connections
Most people do not like the long hours they spend at the airport during their layover. They, therefore, try to minimize this time by booking connecting flights that are like 30 minutes apart. This is a mistake. You should not make such a tight booking because there really is no way of knowing what will happen with any of your flights. One could get delayed due to passing weather and that means you miss your 30-minute window. Try giving it something like an hour so you have enough time to disembark from your previous flight and change terminals if you have to.
Try not to book flights on separate airlines
While booking flights on separate airlines could save you money, it could also end up costing you your connection which in turn could end up costing you more money. The best way is to make sure you use the same airline for your connecting flights. Booking flights on separate airlines mean that your fate is dependent on a number of factors including delays or cancellations on any of the other airlines you are using. This effectively multiplies your risk.
You should also always check and re-check flight schedules to ensure that you have the right times. Also, keep an eye on the time differences. If you can, always try to carry your own luggage. It is not unheard of for connections to force passengers to check into other terminals which means that if you have to wait for your luggage, those minutes you waste doing so could cost you your connection.
Do you have any tips and tricks you use to make sure that you never miss your connecting flights? Share them with us in the comments section below.