What Happens if You Don’t Show Up For a Flight?

Punctuality may be a lost virtue in today’s world, but it’s an essential one that airline passengers need to have. Unfortunately, mishaps can happen on the way to the airport, which can lead to passengers not showing up for a flight. Or, they simply changed their mind and did not get on the plane when they had to. Whatever the reason, these types of passengers are considered a “no-show”, and airlines have certain policies to counteract these instances once they happen.

A “no-show” for a flight

All passengers have to sign a contract of carriage that explicitly states all the terms and conditions necessary when buying a ticket. This legal document states that no-shows may not be qualified for a refund and any consecutive flights included on the itinerary will be cancelled.

Fees typically apply if you cancel your flight before your schedule, but this doesn’t apply to no-shows. At the same time, you will not receive any refund if you miss your flight regardless of the reason. In order to travel again, you will need to purchase new tickets and be rebooked on another flight. Some airlines charge a change fee, depending on the reason for the initial cancellation, including making a mistake on the booking form – it happens more often than you’d think!

If you genuinely miss your flight, there are certain steps you can take, so instead of worrying and becoming stressed, relax and talk to the airline.

Cancelling a flight VS not showing up

Choosing between cancelling a flight and not showing up at all differs from one passenger to another. If you already have a feeling that you won’t make it to the scheduled flight on time, it’s best for you to contact the airline as soon as possible and cancel the flight rather than be a no-show. This is because flight cancellations may make you eligible for a partial or full credit for the ticket, which can be used for future travel. Although most airlines provide partial credit, it’s a significantly better option than no eligibility at all just because you didn’t show up.

In case a passenger is simply late for a flight, some airlines provide a window of opportunity and wait for the passenger for a little while, particularly if it’s the last scheduled flight for the day and if multiple passengers experiencing the same thing have reached out to the airline.

How to avoid being a no-show

As previously mentioned, punctuality is extremely important in these cases. All passengers are highly encouraged to arrive and check-in at the airport with a lot of time to spare. It’s better to wait at the airport for a few minutes or hours instead of taking a risk by being late. If you think you might not make it at all or you have changed your plans, contact the airline or the travel agency where you booked your flight and discuss the available options for you. Early communication is key if you don’t want to lose the value of your ticket at all.

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