How to ensure you’re not miss your flight
How to ensure you’re not miss your flight?
Today, billions of people travel by air all around the world. Air transportation has become the most popular mode of transport despite the cost, from short-haul commuter to long-haul intercontinental flights. With such a busy activities in the airport and in the plane boarding, the potential risk of passengers missed their flight are the real nightmare. Passengers may miss their travel time date, or even miss their important meeting if they miss their flight and they may have to rebook the flight if the airlines is not taking responsibility for the passenger no-show or the passenger did not have the strong reason on why he fail to show up on time for the flight. So to prevent this nightmare prior to your boarding from happening to you, here are these important steps you must take:
a) Arrive at airport early
This is the first golden rule for all airline passengers, arrive at the airport early, latest 1 hour or more than 3 hours (for international flights), depending on the size of the airport and the custom procedure to be gone through later. The very first priority is to ensure you’re have your luggage, if you have any, to be checked by security officer immediately because in some airport, luggage screening may not only be x-ray screening but also hand searching, which can add additional delay prior to boarding. Then, there is check-in at the counter. All airlines had the strict regulations on the latest time to check-in prior to boarding time. So it is vital for passengers to check-in their luggage and obtain boarding pass before the check-in counter closed (unless you’re travelling without luggage). Next is the custom clearance and finding the correct boarding gate which will be discussed later segments.
b) Clear your immigration clearance early
In all airports, for all flights, domestic and international, security are the main concern at the airports. Therefore, passengers are often scrutinized meticulously for banned items, travel documents, and criminal records (no-fly list, blacklist for financial default). These masses of security features can take a long time depends on the nature of the security. In most international flights, it is advisable for passengers to arrive at the airport 3 hours early for the luggage checks, check-in, and immigration clearance, plus finding the boarding gate (to be discussed later) which normally takes 3 hours in most major international airports. Be aware of the security procedures to be gone through and prepare for it. Surrender all the banned items to the customs officer, and prepare all your travel documents in advanced to be checked by the immigration officer, and be aware of the rules to be followed during the immigration checks later so you’ll not get into hassle later which can delay your boarding or worst, missed the boarding. There are cases also when passengers were detained for brief scanning or questioning by the officers for some circumstances so it is critical to understand the security process prior to security and immigration clearance.
c) Inform airline representative of potential delay
If you had arrived at the airport and there is potential delay in the airline check-in system or the potential delay on the immigration clearance, it is better to inform airline representative nearby immediately as a precaution. This is to ensure the airline understands the real trouble passengers at the airport prior to boarding for certain particular flight and to take immediate action for it. The airlines can either delay the departure time depends on the availability or reschedule the stranded passengers for another flight on the alternate day if available. Let the airline informed of the issues that may cause many passengers to miss their boarding schedule due to technical glitches in the check-in or immigration procedure. This rule is applicable for all airlines, whether it is full service or low-cost airline
d) Plan your time ahead to wait at boarding gate
After clearing your luggage and the security checks, the next important steps is to proceed to the boarding gate before the boarding time. Know your gate location to wait to board your flight. This information is always shown in the airport flight information display system (FIDS) which updates regularly. Also be aware from the airport announcement of gate changes so that you can proceed to the new gate on time prior to the boarding. If you’re lost on the way to the designed boarding gate, ask any airport staff immediately for direction. They can lead the correct direction to the gate or better still, having a small mobile transport to ferry passengers to the designated gate (This rule is vital for new passengers’ transit at airport he is not familiar with)
e) Rules for transit passengers
Transit passengers who had stopovers at an airport before continuing on to the next destinations are most likely missed their next flight for several reasons, either their first flight departed late or the passengers get confused while finding the gate, which quite often happened for passengers new to the airport. If the passenger missed their connecting flights due to first flight delay, there are three cases here:
i. Transit on same two airline.
If the transit passenger missed the flight while transit on the same airline, then the passenger had the right to book seats on another flight free of charge while at the same time, the passengers can be compensated with stay in the hotel until the day of the flight. For example, Mr. Wright travels from London to Kuala Lumpur using Emirates that transits at Dubai which is delayed by 2 hours at Heathrow due to runway congestion, therefore he missed the connection to Kuala Lumpur. However, Mr. Wright deserve to get the alternate seats on another Emirates flight which departs for Kuala Lumpur at morning the next day and the stay at transit hotel because he was travelling on the same airline and the airline was liable for passengers trouble.
ii. Transit on different but codeshared airline
If the transit passenger missed the flight while transit on the different but codeshared airline, then the passenger had the right to book seats on another flight on the second airline free of charge, provided he informed the airline of the delay for the next course of action. While at the same time, the passengers can be compensated with stay in the hotel until the day of the flight by the airline who supposed to take the passengers to the final destination. For example, Mr. Chen travels from Paris to Guangzhou using Air France that transits at Paris before continuing for China Southern Airlines flight to Guangzhou three hours later. Unfortunately his flight from New York-JFK was delayed by 3 hours due to runway congestion, therefore he missed the connection to Guangzhou. However because Air France codeshares with China Southern for the Paris-Guangzhou route, Mr. Chen deserve to get the alternate seats on the China Southern flight which departs at evening the next day and the stay at transit hotel in Paris because he was travelling on the different airline with codeshare and both airlines (Air France and China Southern) was liable for passengers trouble.
iii. Transit on different but not code-shared airline
If the transit passenger missed the flight while transit on the different but not code-shared airline, then the passenger had no choice but to book seats on another flight on another airline, because neither then airline could take responsibility for the passenger transit delay since he is travelling on different airline and worst, both airline had no codeshare . This is the real trouble for passengers for he had to book another flight with fare other than no compensation for his delay. For example, Mr. Atwal travels from Birmingham to Mumbai using Emirates that transits at Dubai before continuing for Air India flight to Mumbai three hours later. Unfortunately his flight from Birmingham was delayed by 3 hours due to plane mechanical problems, therefore he missed the connection to Mumbai via Air India. Unfortunately because Emirates did not have codeshares with Air India for the Dubai-Mumbai route, Mr. Atwal will not be entitled for alternate flight free of charge or complimentary hotel stay because both airlines did not codeshare and did not responsible for the passenger delay. So Mr. Atwal had no choice but to book another flight on other airline by fare.
For transit passengers, it is important to have some information on the location of the gate for boarding your connecting flights, or better still ask the airport staff for assistance. They can either shows the direction or mobilize a small vehicle for bringing the transit passengers to the designated gate on time in most major international airports.
f) Airport shopping and boarding time
The most common mistakes the passengers make while awaiting their flights after they had cleared the check-in and immigration clearance are excessive airport shopping. With most major airport had airport shops selling duty free goods and irresistible shopping deals, this is the main temptation which could cause passengers to miss their flights, more so on transit flights. Even you still have the ample time after check-in and immigration clearance, do not spent too much time shopping as you may unable to find the boarding gate on time prior to boarding time. Keep your shopping in moderation and put your priority on preparing your flight to board.