September 12 2019

Mom, I missed my flight! What do I do now?

If you’ve missed your connecting flight, don’t panic! Here’s what you should do.

The quickest solution is to call the airline’s representative at the airport.

You can often find the contact details on the airport website or get them from the information desk.  

If you don’t have a phone, go to the desk of the airline you arrived on.

All legs of your journey were booked under one booking reference

The airline won’t leave you stranded if you miss your onward flight because your previous flight was delayed or if the connection time is too short.

The airline must find you a seat on another (often the next) flight, at its own expense. It must also pay for accommodation and meals if you missed your flight due to the carrier’s fault (Canada only).

However, there is nothing stopping you from doing your own research to find an alternative itinerary. Once you have all the flight numbers, discuss your solution with the airline.

If the weather disrupts your travel plans

For safety reasons, airline companies can delay or simply cancel flights due to adverse weather conditions.

Since airlines cannot predict the whims of Mother Nature, they are not obliged to compensate you if you miss your connecting flight due to bad weather.

No hotel accommodation or meals will be paid for if your delay is weather related.  

All that the airline will do is find you an available seat on the next flight.

If you purchased separate tickets

Booking separate tickets for different legs of the journey can be more risky since it is up to you to show up on time for each flight.

If you miss a connection, it is up to you to find another flight—and pay for a new ticket.

The airline can, of course, help you search for a replacement flight, but don’t count on it.

It is possible to get on a flight at the last minute, on condition that you buy the ticket two hours before departure.  

All is not entirely lost …

Your ticket is not refundable if you miss a connecting flight, but the taxes are. Among others, these include:

  • The airport tax
  • Airport improvement fees
  • Air travellers security charge

To have these taxes reimbursed, you must file a claim with the airline company by mail or online.  

What about travel insurance?

It is always better to play safe and take out trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

However, you should check the missed flight conditions that the insurance covers. Generally speaking, the insurance company will cover you if you must miss a flight due to circumstances beyond your control.

Do not expect any compensation if it’s your own fault you missed your connection.

If you purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance through, you could be covered if the airline changes the flight time and causes you to miss your connection or if the flight is delayed due to bad weather.

Leave enough time to change planes

Avoiding flight delays or cancellations is impossible. Seasoned travellers know that these things happen fairly frequently… and take precautions to avoid missing onward flights.  

Why not give yourself at least a day between flights? Not only will this give you time to enjoy a few of the sights in your stopover city, but it will give you extra leeway (and reduce your stress level) if your flight doesn’t leave on time.

Note : Cet article vous est présenté à titre informatif seulement. En aucun cas, il ne doit être considéré comme un conseil financier ou une opinion juridique ou fiscale. Pour des conseils selon votre situation personnelle, parlez-en à votre conseiller. Jamais ne peut être tenu responsable d’une décision prise à la suite de la lecture de cet article.

Note: This blog post is provided for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional legal, financial or fiscal advice. For advice specific to your personal situation, always speak with your financial advisor. cannot be held responsible for any decision made as a result of reading this blog post.


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