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What happens if I no-show for my flight?

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What happens if I 'no-show'?

All you need to know about the no-show policy, and what it could mean if you don't show up for your flight!

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What does 'no-show' mean?

For many airlines, a ticket will only be valid for travel from the departure airport to the final destination airport, including any stopovers, in the agreed sequence. ‘No-show’ policies mean that if someone does not travel on their outbound flight, then all other connecting or return flights associated with the booking will be automatically cancelled. New tickets will need to be purchased for returning or connecting flights, if travel on these flights is still intended.

It is important to note that someone who no-shows may not be eligible for a refund or be able to re-book if no seats are available on other flights. As stated in the airline's Contract of Carriage, many fares becomes non-changeable on the day of departure.

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How can I avoid being a no-show?

We encourage passengers to arrive at the airport and check-in with plenty of time to spare. If you need to change your plans, the best option is to contact the airline to discuss your options. As soon as you know you are not going to be able to make it to the airport, always contact the airline, or the travel agency you have booked through. If you have made a booking through Alternative Airlines, call or contact us to advise us if your plans have changed; our expert customer service team will help you change your plans and offer further advice. Please be aware that if you wish to change your booking, airline change and service fees may be applicable, depending on the terms and conditions of your ticket fare.

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No-show FAQs

What if I want to change my flight?

If you no longer want to take your flight in the agreed sequence, including missing out on a flight, you will need to contact the airline. If you have made a booking through Alternative Airlines, you can contact our customer support team. To maximise options, it is recommended that you contact the airline or your agent as soon as possible in advance of your journey. Your options will depend on your ticket type and applicable Tariff. Depending on your ticket, you may not be able to change your booking, or you may need to pay a change fee and/or the difference between the price already paid and the price of the changed sequence. The change fee will depend on the Tariff and ticket type, which is explained at the time of purchase, in the terms and conditions of the ticket.

I’ve missed my flight! Does this make me a no-show?

The answer depends on whether you arrive at the airport: if you do not arrive at the airport then you are a 'no-show'.

We recommend reading the terms and conditions of your airline, known as the Terms of Carriage, before flying, so that you know your rights just in case you miss your flight. If you genuinely miss your flight, and have a good reason, but still arrive at the airport, this will change how the airline will help; in fact, many airlines will help get you on the next available flight, often without charge.

Many of the big names in aviation have a “flat tire” rule, which is an unofficial rule, whereby if you show up for your flight within 2-hours of the flight’s departure, you’ll be put on standby for the next available flight. It is advised to call your airline or travel agency as soon as you know you are going to miss your flight. If you have booked through Alternative Airlines, contact us soon as you know you're going to be late. But please be aware, you may still be charged a change fee by the airline to re-book your ticket.

Find out what to do if you missed your flight here at Alternative Airlines.

Do airlines ever make exceptions to the no-show policy?

It is important to be aware that many airlines will not waive the no-show policy. There might be an exception made if there is a death in the immediate family of one of the travellers; if this is the case, it is important to get in contact with the airline or your travel agency as soon as possible. Some airlines will allow changes to be made, as long as this is done in advance of the outbound flight. For example, Virgin Atlantic states that if you are unable to take your flights in the agreed sequence because of a change in circumstances and you contact the airline in advance, they will honour any onward or return journey (without any additional fees), provided that you can produce proof (to our reasonable satisfaction) of the chance in circumstance. Again, this may depend on your ticket fare.

Why do airlines have a no-show policy?

Airlines aim to prevent what is known as “tariff abuse”. This involves passengers buying a ticket with the intention of not completing the whole itinerary. There are many commercial and tax related reasons that can mean airlines often sell connecting flights for less than the cost of one individual flight component.