The missed flight experiences

It’s hard for me to guess how many flights I’ve taken over the years on my travels. But easy to count on one hand how many missed flight experiences I’ve had over the past few years.

Swiss plane in flight

My most recent missed flight was on my return from Australia in June this year. I made the flight from Sydney to Singapore with plenty of time to spare, and the same for the connecting flight to get me to London Heathrow in England. But that wasn’t my final destination.

I arrived in to terminal 5 and had to make my way back to Terminal 1 which took a bit of time, but still not an issue as I got there with an hour to spare. The problem came when I realised that the gate was miles from the BA lounge and there were no announcements in the lounge, not great for visually impaired travellers.

I left the lounge a few minutes before the gate was due to close and ran to gate 79. As I got there 2 people approached the door and closed it telling me I had missed the flight and they would offload my baggage. I was furious. But there was nothing I could do about it. I managed to persuade the ticket desk not to charge me an extra £60 to change my flight to a later one. Then it was a trip back to the lounge to wait. I made sure I was at the gate in plenty of time to catch my flight to Belfast.

Not the ideal way to return from a long journey.

I mention this because just last week I went to the wrong terminal at Heathrow.  I had been taking flight from London to Belfast with BA, and BMI before them, for about 15 years. But on this day I got to the check-in desk only to be told that the route had relocated to Terminal 5 a month or so earlier. If only I had rad the details. Luckily I got to terminal 5 and on my flight with plenty of time to spare.

Previous to these occasions I can only remember 3 other times when I missed a flight, sort of almost missed a flight and purposely missed a flight.

The missed flight was another BA one where I was given incorrect information. I covered that in this blog a while back on a flight to Bucharest.

I had booked what I though was a direct return flight to Geneva with Swiss while in mid conversation with a colleague at work. When I printed my confirmation it had an airport code that was simply (LON). I thought this was a bit strange, but I was sure that I had booked both legs of the journey from and to Heathrow.

I arrived at the check-in desk to be informed that I was booked on a flight from London City Airport. Oops I though when I realised my error. I pointed out the LON code on the booking. Luckily for me I had a very nice and helpful member of staff who transferred me to a flight from Heathrow to Zurich with a connection to Geneva. I would be late, but I would get there. This error had an unexpected upside. On arrival in Zurich I was told my connecting flight was very busy and I would be upgraded to business class. So a very good outcome in the end.

The flight I missed intentionally was in Australia back in 2010. I was having such a great time in Cairns at Travellers Oasis that I completely forgot that I had booked a flight to Brisbane. I lost my $180, but I though it was well worth it for the experience I was having.

Have you ever missed a flight? Share your travel experiences with the Blindly Going readers. Any tips on how to avoid missing a flight, apart from the obviosu ones?

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