Get to the airport and let the procedures they have in place work to your advantage. If you are on hold with the call center, you may be missing valid opportunities in the airport.
1. Stop blaming yourself. There is plenty of time to blame yourself later. Walk away from the stress of shoulda, coulda, woulda. Clear minds produce solutions to your problem.
2. Be nice to the gate agents. The agents are happy to help you. Most airline employees are hired because they are great with people and have analytical skills. In a missed flight situation, they will help you move mountains.
3. Check available flights. If you have a full fare tickets the easiest solution is rebooking on a new flight and asking to be on the standby list for an earlier flight. Use your phone app to find any deals and available seats.
4. Get on the standby list. This is critical. Hopefully, you aren't the only one missing a flight today! Get on a list and be prepared to split up your party if you need to. Your friends can help you manage coordinating a pick up.
5. Be flexible. If you can't fly into your original city, check nearby locations. You can always rent a car and drop it off in a different location. Use a phone app! Don't do this at a counter if you want to save money.
6. Stay in the boarding area of your standby flight and listen. After a missed flight and the Hail Mary pass.... You don't want to miss any gate change announcements. Stick around the area and listen to what is going on.
7. Write down your options. Write down the top 4-6 options to solve your travel issues. The number of solutions depends on how many you need to get all of the passengers on your itinerary home.
8. Consider taking a credit and flying another airline. What's done is done. Take your money and go to another airline to get home.
9. Understand the costs involved. If you have to delay your travel plans for a day or more, how is that going to affect your life? You should know how missing work can impact your career.
10. Make confirmed plans. Flights sell out quickly, confirm seats on an alternate flight before you leave the airport! So you know you will get home... Even if it's a day or two later.
Thank you for reading the tips that got me out of San Diego this weekend! I ended up using Option B.
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