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What To Do If You Miss Your Flight

Missing a Flight

Find out what you should do if you've missed your flight.

What to do if I miss my flight?

If you've missed your flight, don't panic. Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to get some money back. And, if you've made a reservation with Alternative Airlines and contact us, we'll always assist you in getting on the next available flight. 


If you're already airside, before trying to buy another flight, the first thing you should do when you've missed your flight is tell a member of staff at the airport. When a person has missed a flight, the terminal manager and security must be notified and that person must be escorted back through passport control and to the arrivals hall. The name for this process is 'decontrolled'. Any passenger that misses a flight and is airside at the airport must be decontrolled before doing anything else.

Check the fare rules

Once you're in a position to, you should check the fare rules of your ticket. If you've booked a flight with Alternative Airlines, contact us and we'll tell you the fare rules of your ticket. If you haven't booked a flight with us, you can speak to the airline at the airport. 

Booking you on the next available flight

If you're at fault for missing the flight and the airline allows changes after a departure or no show, we'll calculate the cost of changing your flight and book your another flight if you're happy with the applicable fees. If you haven't booked with us, you can do this process with the airline at the airport.

Refunding your ticket

If you've purchased a refundable ticket that allows you to make cancellations and changes past the date that of travel, you should be entitled to a refund of your ticket. The amount you're refunded will depend on how much/if the airline charges any fees for cancelling your ticket. If the airline doesn't charge to cancel a ticket, you'll be entitled to a full refund.

When am I not at fault for missing my flight?

There might be instances when you're not at fault for missing your flight, in which case, you're much more likely to receive some kind of compensation from the airline or have a stronger case to a refund.

Missing a connecting flight

One of the most common reasons for missing a flight is if you have a connecting flight and a delay with the first flight causes you to miss your second flight. In this case, your flight is protected by the airline and they'll put you on the next flight and supply you with any necessary accommodation or catering free of charge.

Please note: Connecting flights are only protected if the same airline is providing the connection or if the two airlines providing connections have an interline agreement (a pre-agreement to handle the same passengers and their baggage on both flights). If you book a flight on Alternative Airlines where the connection is from two different airlines, you can be sure that these airlines have an interline agreement. The only time you might have booked a connecting flight without an interline agreement is if you book two separate flights independently.

Flat tire rule

This isn't a rule that is publicly documented but the 'flat tire rule' is an unofficial rule that an airline might apply on a case-by-case basis. The flat tire rule means that airlines will assist in putting you on the next available flight for free or a small fee, as long as you can provide proof that the reason for your delay was beyond your control and you arrive at the airport within two hours of your flight leaving.

The rule name 'flat tire' comes from the idea that flat tire is a valid reason for missing a flight beyond your control. If, for example, you can provide a receipt of your breakdown cover, the airline would most likely apply the flat tire rule. As the flat tire rule is unofficial, the leniency will differ from airline to airline. But, it's more common with US carriers, such as Delta, Southwest, American Airlines and United.

If you've checked-in

This is another unofficial rule that will differ from airline to airline but if you have checked-in for your flight, the airline might be a bit more lenient with helping you out, especially if you've checked-in in good time and you were delayed due to something at the airport, such as long security lines. 

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