Stranded in Miami: What to do if your flight leaves without you

Our hotel in Miami
Our hotel in Miami

On Friday, June 9, my journey to Buenos Aires, Argentina began. My flight was scheduled to leave from Tampa International Airport at 7:35 p.m., however, there were difficulties boarding the flight due to technical errors in American Airline’s system. My group and I waited on the plane for almost an hour until the captain announced another delay, we were unable to take off because President Obama was in our airspace and any planes taking off would be a security risk. After waiting another half an hour, we were finally able to take off around 9 p.m.

We arrived at Miami International Airport at 10 p.m., and the gate to our connecting flight to Buenos Aires was closing at 10:10 p.m. My group and I sprinted toward the gate; however, by the time we arrived the gate was already closed. Luckily, our program leader was with us.

While it’s unlikely that President Obama will be in your flight space, hampering your arrival to your destination, it’s still important to know how to react when you miss a flight to any destination. Here are my tips on what to do if you miss your connection:

1. Don’t panic

  •  While it may be scary being stranded in an unfamiliar place, especially if you’re alone, panicking will only make the situation worse. Take a drink of water, breathe, and relax.

2. Find your airline’s counter

  • This is the place where you’ll be able to exchange your boarding pass for a new flight.

3. Explain the situation, switch out your ticket for a new one

  • Sometimes it may be the airline’s fault, like it was with the computer glitch that American Airlines had. If this is the case, American Airlines may be able to provide vouchers for a hotel and food. If you missed your flight at the fault of the airline, make sure they are held accountable.

4. Head back in the morning for your flight!

  • Whether you end up camping out in the airport or finding a hotel, make sure you’re at the airport in time for your new flight!

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