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How to Avoid Missing Your Flight

SmarterTravel

If you’ve ever missed a flight, you know how stressful it can be to make alternate arrangements. These days, planes are fuller than ever and airlines have cut hundreds of flights from their schedules. It’s so important to catch your scheduled flight, as you could have to wait for hours (or days) before space opens up on a new one. Here are a few tips on how to do it.

Of course, the easiest way to prevent missing your flight is to arrive at the airport early. By getting to the airport at least an hour and a half before your scheduled departure time, you’ll be able to navigate any delays (e.g., check-in snafus or long [[ Airport Security | security lines ]]) with time to spare. Arriving early is particularly important if you’re traveling during a peak time, such as a holiday weekend, or departing from a high-traffic airport.

The situation becomes more complicated when you miss a connection due to a delayed incoming flight. Since flight delays are beyond your control (and sometimes, even beyond the airlines’ control), there isn’t much you can do, other than schedule at least an hour layover. You may want to plan for even more time if you’re connecting at a large, busy airport such as [[ Atlanta Hartsfield Airport – ATL | Atlanta ]], [[ Chicago O’Hare – ORD | Chicago (O’Hare) ]], [[ Los Angeles Airport – LAX | LAX ]], or any of the New York City airports.

You can keep informed about possible delays and airline schedule changes by signing up for your airline’s email or text message alerts service. If your scheduled flight time changes in advance, your airline will notify you, and you can plan accordingly.

Spend a little extra time at the airport and prepare for changes, and you’ll be sure to make your flight every time.

Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

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