Flying can be very stressful. There is a lot to think about and regulations over what you can pack have been tightened up in recent years, so packing a carry-on is a bit of a minefield. Then there is always the risk that your flight is canceled at the last minute for reasons outside of your control.
If this does happen to you and you booked tickets via United Airlines, you can claim United Airlines compensation. Sites like AirHelp walk you through the steps you need to take to claim compensation from airlines. Bookmark this one in case it happens to you!
Luckily, airlines try not to cancel or delay their flights, as it costs them too much money and creates a lot of knock-on effects. In most cases, missing a flight is mostly down to bad luck and poor organization on our part. To prevent the worst from happening to you, check out the following tips to help you make sure you don’t miss your next flight.
Have the Right Documents Ready
This may sound obvious, but there are always people who arrive at the check-in desk with their documents, only to discover that they left something important at home or their passport or ID is out of date or invalid. If you are catching an international flight, make sure you have at least six months left on your passport. Find out in advance whether you need a visa to travel. If you do, apply in good time. If the check-in staff find any issues with your paperwork, they will not let you fly.
Check the Flight Times and Terminal
Check and double-check your flight times so you are confident you haven’t got the wrong times or dates in your head. It is a good idea to download the airline’s app so that you are notified of any changes to departure times. This will help to avoid any last-minute panic attacks on the day of departure.
Check which terminal you are flying from. Being dropped at one terminal, only to find out that you are flying from a different terminal is not great, especially if the two terminals are miles apart and you are already late for your flight.
Plan Your Route to the Airport
Plan your route to the airport if you are driving there. Roads to the airport are often congested during peak times, so bear this in mind. Decide whether it would be easier to catch a train to the airport. Sometimes, trains drop you right at the terminal, so it can be easier and quicker to leave the car at home. If you do decide to drive, book airport parking in advance, so you are guaranteed a parking spot and there are no headaches upon arrival.
Be Ready to Go
Have your bags packed and all your documents in place so you are ready to leave on the day of departure. Do not leave your packing until the last minute, as that is the easiest way to forget something vital.
Set Your Alarm
Are you departing on an early morning flight? Don’t rely on your internal body clock to wake you up. Set at least two different alarms, one on your phone and the other a traditional wind-up alarm clock, just in case you sleep through one or it doesn’t work. Missing your flight because you slept in is not a valid excuse.
It is often easier to book a night in an airport hotel if you have an early morning flight. You can catch an extra hour in bed because it takes very little time to travel to the airport and an airport shuttle is often included in the cost of the room. However, make sure you set that alarm or ask for an early morning wakeup call!
Have a Contingency Plan
Always have a contingency plan in place in case something goes wrong. Examples include the car not starting or bad weather striking overnight. Try to plan for every eventuality. The more organized you are, the less stressful your trip will be.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Give yourself plenty of time to reach the airport so you are not rushing like a maniac. The gate usually closes around 30 minutes before a flight departs, so make sure you have time to get through check-in and airport security. There are times when it is exceptionally busy, and it can take more than 30 minutes to get through the security lines. The flight won’t wait for you if you are stuck in a queue.
Pay attention to the information boards when you are in the terminal. Keep an eye out for when your gate is announced. It would be embarrassing to miss your flight because you were too busy shopping in the duty-free area.
Lastly, don’t panic. Our brain shuts down when we panic, and we tend to make poor decisions. Don’t be that person!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I might receive a small commission if
you make a purchase using an affiliate link.
What To Take When Traveling
Finding Transportation After Landing
Travel Series: As a Solo Traveler 6 Essential Tips For Planning Your Successful Trip