Justice Nkeonye Maya of The Federal High Court sitting in
Travel can be exciting and all smooth flying until your first flight lands at the airport and you’re confronted with the reality of things, that you’ve missed your connecting flight. There’s no need to panic when such things happen, just follow our helpful guide to on what to do at the airport to fix this issue.
The first step, is to determine the factors involved
1. Delayed flight or mechanical problems
Delayed flight or mechanical problems from the airline could be responsible for you missing your connecting flight, then rest assured the airline will rebook you on the next available flight.
Make sure you’re always covered by taking out comprehensive travel insurance to refund any major costs, in case of unforeseeable events such as the weather.
If you missed your flight due to personal reasons:
Essentially, it is up to you to find your next flight, also very likely that the Airline will assist with rebooking you a ticket. Follow these steps to accelerate the process of getting on the next available flight:
- Do some research: Use online tools to find a faster, alternative routing. Your options are to either buy a new flight ticket from another airline, fly out of a neighbouring airport, or perhaps fly out on a different day.
- Be nice to the agent in charge: Ask what options are available to you. If the agent cannot help, ask to speak with the supervisor who will most likely have the ability to override flight restrictions.
- Buy travel insurance: A great preventative measure to make a missed connection less stressful is buying flight cancellation insurance. It’s a big relief to know that you have insurance to cover the costs.
- Adjust your itinerary and accommodation: In the case of airport pick-ups, it is common courtesy to let the person know that you’re running off schedule. Communicate with your hotel that you’ve missed your connecting flight. This might prevent you from incurring extra charges.
How to prevent missing your connecting flight
Always allow an interval of at least one hour for domestic flights and at least two to three hours for international flights. The following factors can affect you being on time for your connecting flight:
- Baggage claim – depending on your route, you may be required to re-check your luggage before boarding your next flight. Make sure you factor this time in – from waiting at the carousel to queuing at the check-in desk.
- Customs and immigration – you should know that getting through customs and immigration can either take 5-10 minutes or several hours, all depending on the airport, time of day and the month you travel in, including many other factors. Add additional time to your itinerary if you know that you have to go through customs.
- Security screenings – this security procedure is an unavoidable part of getting to your boarding gate. Queues can be very long, especially at busy airports like Heathrow Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport.
- Airport size – the airport size will affect the time it takes for you to get to the departure gate. Allow yourself enough time to get to the departure gate without having to rush! Don’t be shy to ask the airport staff to accompany you or help direct you to exactly where you need to be.