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What to do if you running out of time for a flight

Leisure and Travel
 What to do when running late for a flight (Photo: iStock)

One of every traveller's nightmares is missing a flight. This is considering all the time and amount spent to prepare for a trip. It is even more nightmarish to miss a flight while on a scheduled business, conference, or meeting. 

Sometimes even if you have planned according to the reporting three hours before your scheduled flight, it might happen that a last-minute unforeseen circumstance(s) such as an accident blocking the highway causing heavy traffic may interfere with your planned timing. 

However, you do not have to have panic attacks, as there are things you can do to ensure that you do not miss the flight as you race against time. Here are the measures to take if you are running late to catch a flight. 

Check-in on the way to the airport

If you are sure and confident that you will make it to the airport within the stipulated time of departure, but are just running later than you had anticipated, you can check in online. The advancement in technology allows you to do that. Checking in online will save you from possible queues and those crucial minutes to boarding time. 

The risk of booking online is that if you miss your flight, it may be difficult to get a refund on your fare. On the other hand, if you miss your flight without having booked, you could argue your case and get booked on the next available flight to your destination or get a refund on your ticket. 

If you know that you will not make it to the airport in time for the flight, call the airline, or visit one of the offices if you are near one and let them know your situation. The secret is, they are in a better position to let you know every possible trick for going through the gate as quickly as possible. Sometimes, an official from the airline will accompany you through the checking-in process to the staircase of the aeroplane. 

If the flight has already taken off, they are better placed to let you know what your options are. 

Priority check-ins

Have you ever wondered what the multiple different lines each airline has when you are checking n for a flight? There is that usually long queue (economy), and there is another labelled “Priority”. The priority queue is usually not a long one and provides services for Business Class travellers and for special clearance for those running late. 

If you arrive and find out that the announcement for the last call for passengers to board, or your name being called out rush to the Priority counter, or “flight closing”, but if you think time is running out do not be embarrassed about running to the First Class counter if you see one that is free. The point is, to identify yourself to the airline staff as quickly and politely as possible to draw their attention to your case. 

Listen to the announcements

It is the obligation of the airline to ensure as much as possible that a client does not miss the flight. That is why announcements of flights are made to let everyone know when their flights are boarding, gates to the aeroplane, or airport transport among other flight details. 

Listen to the gate announcement because you do not want to miss the boarding gate now that you are already chasing time. Listen also for that dreaded passenger announcement where the airline calls out the names of the late passengers. If this is the case, go up to anyone operating your airline even at a different gate. They are in a position to contact the cabin crew to tell them that you are coming, which could stop them from closing the doors. 

Learn a lesson

Whether you make it for your flight or not, this experience should be a lesson for your future travels. Now you have learnt why some people opt to be at the airport as early as 6 am for a 1 pm flight. Being early never hurt anyone especially when it comes to flights. Besides, there so are restaurants and lounges that can keep you busy. 

Always from now, remember that the earlier you get to the airport, the less the chance of missing out on your flight or that embarrassing experience of your name being called out as “the last call for passenger Jayne Rose Gacheri” and then facing the glaring faces of anger from your fellow passengers.

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