It’s bright day in France but still, the cold is yet to leave us. From the Eiffel tower tour to the hotel, I knew within seconds after boarding the train to the airport that I’d missed my flight which was funny because I had prepared three hours earlier for this return trip from Cambronne to Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) where I was due to fly.
Nevertheless, as I looked ready for my flight from Paris to Accra, the train stops rapidly dawned on me – I may have been ahead of time but that’s little use when you’re on the wrong train. Wheew!
However, all was not lost. For my very first time missing a flight, I learned a lot. For me it was another time to explore all the spots I didn’t get the chance to in less than 24 hours.
There really is no good reason why a person who travels as much as me should do something so painfully stupid, but the reality is that sometimes it happens – in the same way that people who regularly drive can run out of fuel, commuters can miss trains – frequent flyers can miss flights.
Here are my 5 tips to help you do more when you miss your flight.
1. Don’t panic
Keeping calm can be hard when you miss a flight or are about to, but freaking out: Will. Not. Help.
Whether you’ve been stuck in slow train, traffic or whatever the situation could be no amount of panicking is going to improve the situation. The circumstances really requires logical problem solving skills and only a frame of mind that is calmed can best achieve this. When you’re calm, you direct all of your bright brain cells towards fixing the situation.
2. Early acceptance is the best tool
Because my flight from Paris to Accra had not actually left, I had to fight my natural instinct to focus all energy (and money) on rectifying that problem. I called the airport to explain my delay. My travel agent was not spared in this chaos. In fact, I borrowed a phone from a good Samaritan to call my travel agent to help fix this even before I arrived at the airport. Funny enough, I was on the borrowed phone when the good Samaritan reached his destination and had to alight! Even if travel hasn’t taught me to check my train before travelling, I’m better at accepting a bad situation when it has happened. As much as I would have liked to have raced against the clock, the chance of making the flight was so unlikely I needed to accept the situation, recriminations and self-loathing parked until a more productive time, and I set to work on Plan B.
If your flight has gone, it has gone. Taking your frustration out on the ground staff or spending half an hour pleading with them to do the impossible, just burns time and energy. Move on and grab some McDonalds like me!
3. Ask the ground staff about your options
The lovely ground staff at Air France welcomed me with smiles, but my two traveling partners were still not calmed. I asked for the best help till the good news calmed them. The staff checked availability of the next flight and simply popped me the 400 euros per person cost, more harm done, more cost incurred. If you have a flexible ticket, simply catching the next flight can be your best option, so do ask.
I was flying with a restrictive ticket, which meant I couldn’t change my flight so the booking agency had to be involved. Corporate Travel Agency in Canada did some quick checks to reach a deal for me to fly the next day.
By all means, ask, just don’t be alarmed when they laugh out loud at your request, especially the ground staff. I was preview to a lot of things just by asking.
4. See it as an opportunity
When you suddenly find yourself in a country with no flight-out, it can induce panic, but the reality is that you suddenly have more options than you did when you thought you were going to catch your scheduled flight.
In my case, I had plans back in Paris. My unfinished tour. Food and learning some French. Now I had my tickets sorted out. The next thing was to look for a meal, hideout and hangout areas for the rest of the day till the next day’s flight. Sometimes exploring unknown regions in situations like mine can be very fun.
5. The search for a new hotel
For frequent flyers flying from anywhere to Ghana, I will recommend the Accra Marriott Hotel in the West African country to avoid missing your returned flight. Even if you’re looking for a premium business hotel for your stay in Accra, Marriott Accra Hotel has a lush green landscape and scenic views.
Accra Marriott Hotel is located in the heart of the Airport City. With 208 well-appointed rooms, 3 enticing dining venues, meeting space, a pool and a fully equipped fitness center. Just about 3 minutes drive from the Kotoka International Airport.
The hotel’s Red Red restaurant offers a la carte menu, and brunch on Friday and Saturday.
Even though I spent my night well in Paris after missing my flight, I still checked in to the Accra Marriott hotel for two days before heading home. I arrived late at 6 pm and it was just a perfect timing to enjoy the elegant bedding in the Deluxe King Guest room at the hotel.
Using tripadviser (my favourite online hotel checker) to check for the available hotels can be helpful too. For future trips always try as much as possible to check in at hotels closer to the airport while exploring your surrounding.
It may be that the next available hotel is way over-priced or not affordable for your budget so plan ahead when next you intend to travel. For Marriott hotels booking, the Marriott app also allows you to receive alerts when your room is ready, chat with your hotel, redeem points and do more. A missed flight opens up options, which can come with different prices attached to them, so it’s worth exploring.
View this post on Instagram
Missed a flight from Paris to Ghana few days ago so my new year resolution includes staying closer to the Airport. 😊😊 @marriottaccrahotel solves all these travel puzzles in West Africa. Early to bed... 😴😴😴 #TravelBrilliantly #VisitAccraMarriott #AccraMarriott #travelblogger #travel
Staying in the location for a few extra days until you can find a cheaper flight combined with a late-room deal can be cheaper (if your schedule permits – no starving cats or kids at home). For a brand like Marriott, if you’re 62 years or older, you can save at least 15% on your room rate at Marriott hotels.
You can also enjoy instant benefits like Best Rate Guarantee, Mobile Check-In, Free Wi-Fi and earn free nights only when you book directly on Marriott.com.
View this post on Instagram
Missed my initial birth-date but some cool people fixed a buffet @marriottaccrahotel to remind me of how I love eat.😋😋😋 I brought my A-game to dinner mahn!😄😄 Enjoyed every bone at #AccraMarriott #VisitAccraMarriott #TravelBrilliantly #Accra #ghana #westafrica #travelblogger #travel