Whether it’s your fault, the airlines’ fault, or Mother Nature’s fault… Nobody likes missing their flights. But instead of getting worked up and letting it ruin your vacation, follow our guide to learn what you can do to help your situation.
First things first…
If you missed your flight because of a slow taxi driver or a morning stomach upset (read: not the airlines’ fault), then nobody is obligated to compensate you. It’s your responsibility to get to the airport in time to clear all the security checks and formalities. Aside from setting aside enough buffer time and reaching early, here are some steps you can consider:
- Take public transport
In some countries (like Japan), the subway is way more reliable than the roads. It’s extremely punctual, and follows a strict schedule right down to the minute! This way, you can save money and avoid all the traffic jams.
- Checking real time maps for the traffic conditions
If you must drive or take a car, wake up early and check the real-time traffic conditions for a gauge on what time to leave.
- Be near the airport
We suggest planning your last day or activity as near the airport as you can. The shorter the distance, the better.
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What if it’s the airline’s fault?
#1 Before anything… Read the Fine Print
Before you even fly off, the onus is on you to know the terms and conditions of your tickets. If you bought a flights on sale, or at a discount, it’s highly likely that you have non-refundable and no-cancellation tickets. Some airlines will still compensate you if the cancellation is on their part, but if they won’t, it should be stated in those tiny fine prints.
#2 Check the next flight timing and call the Airline
Yes, wait in line like everyone else. But since it’s going to be a long wait, you might as well get on the phone with someone who could potentially help you. You can also check the upcoming flights so when you get in touch with the call center, you can immediately tell them which one suits your schedule. The staff should be trained to know the standard procedures for cancelled flights, and should be able to help you book your next flight or process a refund.
#3 Be firm, but don’t be rude.
Maybe the airline staff is new, or maybe he doesn’t know the airline policy. Whatever the case, if they are refusing to help you don’t take no for an answer. As long as the cancellation is not your fault, they should be helping you to resolve the matter.
However, they have a long line of customers who need help. You are not helping by throwing a tantrum and being rude. Remember, it’s not her fault the flight got cancelled either. If you’re polite and firm in your request, they have no reason not to help you.
#4 Take cues from others around you.
#5 If it’s urgent, just book the next flight that suits you.
#6 For connecting flights, book with the same airline.
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Bonus tip: Don’t check in your bag!
If you’ve already checked your luggage and your flight gets cancelled, you’ll have to wait to retrieve your bags before doing anything else. Yup, that means even it’ll be risky to book the next flight because you won’t know how long you’ll take to get your luggage.
What if it’s neither the airlines’ nor your fault?
Sometimes, we are forced by circumstances to cancel our travel plans. In these cases, the only way you may get some compensation is if you purchased travel insurance. Most plans will cover you from things like serious injury and/or illness occurring to you or your family. However, do read your policy’s fine print carefully–there are no “cancel as you please” plans, and coverage varies from provider to provider.
HyfeAssure, a travel insurance by Changi Recommends, provides compensation for unavoidable trip cancellations which include the above-mentioned. In addition, we also cover adverse weather conditions, and issuance of travel alerts for the planned destination. (Of course, these must not have been made known to you beforehand.) Most importantly, HyfeAssure offers instant cash claims (up to $200) at Changi Airport. This means that if you have any small claims, you can settle them immediately upon return to Singapore, and get your cash right at our booths (located across all terminals). (Read also: 7 Expensive Travel Mistakes You Must Avoid (Solutions Included!), and Travel #Adulting: Must I Really Buy Travel Insurance?)
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is meant as a reference to guide travellers interested in purchasing travel insurance. It is by no means a binding agreement or contract. For more details and the full terms and conditions, please contact HyfeAssure for a quotation.
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