So you’re headed out of town on a work trip, and you’re already running on emotions. You’re excited to get a break from the daily grind, but nervous about making sure it all runs smoothly.
Then boom, your nightmare happens. You’re running late yourself, or your plane is delayed and you won’t be on time for your connection. And somehow, you’ve missed your flight.
The first thing you need to do is not stress. The more adrenaline your body produces, the harder it will be to think clearly.
Once you get past the initial shock, follow these steps to get your plans back on track as quickly as possible.
1. Call the Airline Directly
When it comes down to rescheduling your flight, every minute matters. The sooner you contact someone at the airline, the faster they can find you the next plane to your destination.
Keep in mind that airline agents do this every day. What you consider an emergency, they see as a regular part of their job. Let them help you turn your potential devastation into a minor irritation.
If there’s a gate agent on-site that you can talk to right away, they should be able to help, too. Sometimes, the line is too long or there’s no agent on duty. A phone call (even if you’re on hold a little while) is your best bet.
2. Contact Your Boss or Client
Your first instinct might be to call your boss or client and let them know about the delay. But until you have a solution, this just adds extra stress and uncertainty on you and them.
If there’s no major change, there’s no need to bother anyone. Your agent could have you on the next plane out in thirty minutes, with barely a ruffle in your schedule.
Keep Calm and Pick Up Your Phone
On the other hand, a massive change means it’s time to contact everyone who might be impacted by your new itinerary. There’s a method to doing this the right way to keep your professionalism intact, though.
Once you’re composed and you have your ducks in a row, call everyone on a need-to-know basis. Only tell them the essentials. For instance, if someone is picking you up at the airport, let them know you’re running late and when they should be there instead.
Your boss should be advised of all the changes. They’re the one who should be paying your way, and for your safety and security, they should know where you are at all times.
3. Review Your Itinerary
You did the “hurry up” part; now, it’s time to “wait.” You’re either in the airport at your new gate, or at a hotel waiting for the next flight out. Instead of wasting this unexpected gift of quiet time, use it productively.
Now that you’re not running on adrenaline, look over your itinerary and the agenda for the next few days. If you forgot to do this part, here’s your chance! Hotel Engine breaks down the essentials of business trip planning in this article.
With your new flight agenda, some things may have to shift. Make an updated plan with the adjustments in place.
Is there anyone that you forgot to contact that needs to know you’ll be late? Are there any details you didn’t have time to take care of before you left that you can work on now?
This is your chance to make the adjustments as needed. And if everything is already in place, you can relax or do some more prep for your meeting.
Also, Read: Technical Skills You Need in Your Business
Ultimately, if you’ve already missed your flight, there’s nothing you can do to get on that plane. It’s up in the air, and you’re not. No amount of crying, yelling, or stressing is going to change that.
So your next steps rely on you being cool, calm, and collected. The more polite you are, the faster you will find a solution to get you where you need to be.
Remember, the airline agent can only get you on a plane that is already scheduled. Otherwise, it’s out of their hands. However, with a friendly tone and a professional approach, the next steps after a missed flight will go much smoother. You might even enjoy the unexpected downtime with your new perspective!