Before taking the plunge and taking my first solo trip, one of the biggest things I worried about was what would happen if I missed a flight. And guess what happened? Yep, I missed my connecting flight from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur after my flight from Barcelona to Dubai was delayed*.
*I say delayed, but really all the passengers (myself included) were forced to sit on the plane for 5 hours (!!) while engineers tried to fix a malfunctioning door. Gotta love an extra 5 hours sitting on the plane before a 7 hour flight!
So, what actually happens if you miss a flight?
Onward Travel/New Flights
In my case, the airline didn’t tell us anything about what would happen until we actually landed. I assume that if you already know you will miss a flight before boarding the plane (which happens in most cases) the airline would try and sort out arrangements for your onward travel before.
If it’s the airlines fault for you having missed a flight, it’s their responsibility to arrange new flights for you (and cover the cost). In my case, I was handed a new boarding pass when I got off the plane. If this doesn’t happen, make your was to a service desk or call the airline for help.
Accommodation & Food
The airline is also responsible for any costs you incur if you miss a flight. Airlines don’t always hand out vouchers for hotels or food unless you ask, so again it’s definitely worth going to a service desk to see what options they have. I was given a (really nice) hotel for the night in Dubai, along with free visa, transport and breakfast.
My biggest worry was that my luggage would be lost in transit. But, airlines have systems in place to make sure your baggage follows you. I wasn’t able to collect my baggage for the nigh in Dubai, but it met me in Kuala Lumpur with no problems. It’s worth noting here that if for some reason you do lose your luggage, the airline is also responsible for giving you vouchers to buy new clothing until you get your luggage back.
I can promise that if you miss a flight, it isn’t as scary as you may have thought! It happens fairly regularly, so airlines know exactly what to do. At worst it’s a pain and delays your travels, and at best you get to (briefly) see a new destination!
Nervous about travelling for the first time? Read this post on how to navigate airports for the first time.
Have you missed a flight before? Le me know in the comments!