Traveling is one enriching activity I highly enjoy. If I could be a professional traveler, I would. However traveling sometimes means you have to fly, and flying can be very stressful at times.
A few weeks ago, my friend Emilie and I had a layover in Amsterdam on our way to Florence. Because of bad weather, our plane couldn’t land in Amsterdam but landed in Brussels instead, where we waited for the go signal to head back to Amsterdam. As a result, we missed our connecting flight to Florence.
Below are a few things to do when you miss your flight:
1. Keep calm.
There is a reason for everything. Missing your flight is not the end of the world. Always remain calm and know that it’s the airline’s responsibility to help you find another flight to get to your final destination. Also, be grateful that you are safe.
2. Go to the Airport Information or look for an airline staff to ask what to do next.
When we got off the plane, I was expecting a help desk to be just outside the gate to assist passengers like us. However, we found none. So we went to the airport Information and explained what had happened. We were told to go to T2 Help Desk.
3. Know which queue you should be in.
When we first got there, we thought it was just one long queue. Good thing a KLM staff told us there were two lines. There we waited for 3 1/2 hours.
4. Don’t lose your cool.
When it was finally our turn, we spoke to the KLM staff calmly and gave her our boarding passes which had been given to us at the Manila Airport. She told us we had two options: Fly from Amsterdam to Rome, and then Rome to Florence (we would arrive very late at night), or fly directly to Florence but we would have to spend the night in Amsterdam. We chose the latter because we were just so tired.
5. Make sure you have all the necessary documents (e.g. boarding pass, meal and hotel vouchers) before leaving the counter.
The KLM staff member gave us our airport meal vouchers worth 15 Euros which entitled us to free food and drink at participating airport restaurants. She also gave us our new boarding passes and already checked us in for our flight the next day. She could not contact the airport staff that would book our hotel room for us so she gave us instructions on how to get to the Hotel Desk, which was near the Baggage Claim area.
It was easy enough to find, and when we got there, we were given our hotel vouchers right away.
6. Go to the Hotel Bus stand and catch the free shuttle to your hotel.
If you miss your flight, your airline will book you in a hotel near the airport so it will be easier for you to come back the next day. Hotels provide free shuttles that leave every so often. So don’t fret if you miss the bus. Another one will come soon after.
7. Know the exact name of your hotel.
We were told we would be staying at Hotel Ibis and we thought knowing that was enough. We didn’t know there were three different kinds of Hotel Ibis which the same shuttle services. Good thing majority of the passengers on the bus were passengers who had missed their flights. We just got off where they did.
8. Get your hotel meal vouchers when you check in.
At the airport, we were only given meal vouchers for airport restaurants. You are also entitled to free meals during your stay at the hotel. Make sure you ask for these meal vouchers while checking in. Also ask what time they start serving breakfast. This is necessary information especially for people who need to be at the airport early.
9. Relax and enjoy your free night at the hotel.
Eat a juicy burger, have a bath, and watch a movie on your computer. Turn in early if you have an early flight. It’s best to be at the airport hours before the flight because queues at the security tend to be long.