There are few feelings worse than missing your connection and finding yourself stranded in the airport with no clear way to get to your destination. So, what should you do if you’ve missed your connecting flight whilst you’re travelling for business? Don’t panic, we’ve put together this handy guide so you can avoid missing your flight in the first place – and so you’ll know exactly what to do if you do miss it.
Before you even book your flights, you can make it less likely that you will miss your connection by ensuring you have enough time between non-direct flights. For European transfers, most airports have a minimum time of just 45 minutes. It is better, however, to have at least an hour between flights, to allow enough time to find the correct terminal.
Bear in mind that long haul flight connections will take a little longer, so try to leave an additional half hour for these. If you are changing airlines, and especially if you are changing terminals, it could take up to twice as long. Be sensible, even a world class sprinter can’t pick up their baggage, find the next terminal and make their flight, all in 30 minutes.
Flight delays usually aren’t in your control, but you can take certain precautions to minimize your chance of being delayed. Early morning flights are much less likely to be delayed, as they are less likely to be held up by incidents that have happened on previous flights. An earlier flight also means you are unlikely to have to endure an overnight stay if you are delayed.
Single Airline Flights
Another good tip when you’re booking your flights is to try and get connecting flights with the same airline, or in the same Airline Group. If both of your flights are with the same airline, you will have a single ticket, which saves a lot of hassle. Also, if you do miss your flight it is likely that you will simply be put on the next flight, free of charge. If you are changing airlines, your seat could be cancelled if you miss your connection, meaning you will have to purchase a new ticket. Overall, flying with a single ticket helps to streamline your changeover, as well as giving you peace of mind if anything goes wrong.
Find Your Terminal
If you do end up needing to change terminals, make sure that you do so immediately and don’t stray too far from it once you’ve found it. Whilst the food outlets in another terminal might be a lot more tempting, no sandwich is good enough to justify missing your connection. Find your terminal and do all your duty-free shopping nearby.
Inform a Staff Member
Whilst there are ways you can minimize your chance of missing your flight, accidents still happen and it’s important to know what to do if things go wrong. First things first, inform a member of staff at the terminal that you have missed your flight so they can direct you what to do next.
Find the Ticketing Desk
Once you’ve gone back through arrivals you’ll need to go to the ticketing desk of the airline you were supposed to be flying with and tell them you’ve missed your flight. A member of staff should be able to help you find any other flights going to your destination that day. Depending on which airline you’re flying with, they may be able to find you a replacement flight for a small fee. If they don’t have any that day you can ask to be put on the reserve list for a specific flight, in case a seat becomes available. Otherwise, you’ll have to start looking for other airlines that have flights going to your destination.
Travel Insurance Coverage
As long as your company has decent travel insurance, it is likely that the cost of a missed flight will be covered, provided it isn’t your fault. You will probably need supporting evidence to a make a claim, so keep track of any receipts, telephone numbers, tickets, and other information your company may need.