Here’s The First Thing You Should Do If You Miss Your Flight

All the preparation in the world won’t save you from an unexpected traffic jam or broken alarm clock. Missing a flight can make you feel like the world is ending, but all is not actually lost.

The first thing you should do when you start to suspect you might miss your flight is to call your airline.

Not only will this allow standby passengers to board in your place, but showing good manners ups your chances of being rebooked on the next flight out.

Different airlines have different rebooking policies. Some will try to get you on the next flight out (space permitting) for no additional money, while others will charge you a rebooking fee.

Even if the airline doesn’t charge a rebooking fee, you might have to cover the fare difference between flights. For example, if your original flight cost $100 and a ticket for the next available flight costs $150, be prepared to fork over that $50.

Some airlines have a “flat tire” rule that may save you some cash. If you can arrive at the airport within two hours of your original departure time and can prove (or at least convince the airline staff) that you were late because of a flat tire, accident or other incident that was out of your control, you could avoid being charged to rebook. Weather-related tardiness is usually not covered by this rule.

If you arrive at the airport and think that you’ve missed your flight, check the flight board for possible delays – your plane could still be sitting on the tarmac.

Of course, you should still try to make it to the gate even if you’re running late. Some gates don’t close until the very last minute, so a sprint through the airport might actually mean the difference between catching your plane and rebooking.