16 Most Common Reasons Travelers Miss Flights (7 Not-So-Common)

The routine of flying from one place to another can see many variables come into play. Every airline tries to offer the best experience for travelers making a trip. One common thing offered on most flights is the option to pay a small percentage of the flight as an extra fee for those fearing a potential cancellation. This is due to many people missing their flights due to many different reasons. A flight being such a time sensitive thing makes it understandable how someone can miss their time. Airports and airlines suggest people show up two hours early to the airport to ensure everyone can get to their flight on time.

There are quite a few common reasons for travelers missing their flights. Understandable variables can cause someone to show up late or just not show up to the airport. There are also some bizarre reasons out there that have caused travelers to miss their flight in ways no one could have predicted. Either way, there are many stories of people failing to get to their destination as expected when purchasing a ticket. We will look at both sides of the issue with the sixteen most common reasons travelers miss their flights, along with seven not-so-common reasons.

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23 Common: Waking up too late


The beginning of the first Home Alone movie featured the family oversleeping and rushing to make their flight. It leads to the parents forgetting their young son at home and leaving him on his own. Luckily, parents don’t typically forget their kids at home these days, but the oversleeping part is definitely a common reason for missing flights.

Many people forget to set their alarms and will wake up too late. The delayed transit makes it a tough route to get to the airport in time and check in for the flight. Quite a few travelers have suffered this unfortunate mistake leading to them having to take the next available flight.

22 Not-so-common: Eating bad food at airport


One of the least fun ways to miss a flight at the airport comes from deciding to have a meal before your flight. Most airports offer quite a few dining experiences, from upscale restaurants to chain restaurants to snacks offered. Unfortunately, there is the rare case of travelers getting sick after eating a meal at the airport.

Food poisoning has been an issue to cause a few people to miss their flights. Eating the wrong meal can make you instantly sick right before having to sit on a plane for many hours. A few people have admitted to getting food poisoning and being forced to miss the flight due to a bad airport meal.

21 Common: Forgetting something at home


Packing before a big trip is among the most important parts of preparation. Most airline experts suggest packing a few days in advance of your departure date to ensure everything is ready to go. Forgetting something important at home is among the most common reasons for missing flights.

Many people will leave their ID, passport or important possessions needed for the trip. The route back home before heading back to the airport could easily cause one to miss their flight time. Putting together a list of everything needed before packing and getting your luggage set a few days before is the best way to avoid missing your flight due to a silly mistake.

20 Common: Summer school


Many trip plans will see families take summer trips once their children get out of school. Vacation plans sometimes change with the news of a child having to attend summer school. Quite a few kids must attend a few more classes during the summer time before starting the next school year.

Parents are forced to make a big decision regarding their vacation plans when this happens. Most instances of this occasion will see the family decide to skip their flight and postpone the trip for another time. Summer school is one of the more common reasons trips get changed that people don’t take into account.

19 Common: Long TSA lines


Security is the one aspect of flying that no one can skip. TSA has many rules set that travelers must follow to get through that part of the airport. Most other things are easy to get done in a timely fashion. The security line is something no one in line can control.

One problem with someone in your line could force you to wait longer than expected. TSA agents are required to ignore anyone complaining about missing their flight if someone in the line may be a threat risk. The unpredictable nature of the security check point has forced many people to miss their flights.

18 Not-so-common: Mixing up AM and PM


A surprising reason a select few people have missed their flight is rather embarrassing. There have been a short list people willing to admit they misread their flight information while confusing the AM and PM.

Some people travel a lot and buy their tickets on little sleep. It still is not a great excuse, but we have to give some credit to our fellow humans. Regardless of how much you want to judge it, mixing up AM and PM hours is a rare reason a few unfortunate folks have missed their flights.

17 Common: Issue with destination host


There are many reasons why people miss their flights. Most of them discussed here are instances of them not wanting to miss it, but some occasions do feature people no longer wanting to make the trip. The last-minute decision of not showing up for a flight is sometimes due to things coming up.

Many people are making a trip to visit someone in another state or country. If something forces that person to change their schedule, it will lead to quite a few people opting to ditch their flight and cancel the trip altogether. It is an easy way to avoid further issues.

16 Common: Lost boarding pass


One of the most common excuses said to people at airlines is that someone lost their boarding pass. This used to be the most popular one years ago when a literal pass was needed to get on the plane. It is very easy to lose a piece of paper when traveling to the airport and getting through the process.

Today, boarding passes are more convenient with mobile passes and printable kiosks offered to get on the plane. Some people still rely on having a physical boarding pass and lose it before the boarding process. Always be sure you have your boarding pass ready before flight time.

15 Common: Wants a refund


Some people flat out regret planning their trip and want to cancel before it’s too late. The option to pay an extra fee to get a refund if missing your flight is clutch for those people that have something coming up. It leads to some folks deciding to skip showing up to the airport altogether.

The decision shows up as a missed flight, but travelers with the option can get their refund once they request it. Airlines offering the insurance policy to cancel is a great tool for anyone that happens to have many variables in their life that can cause something like this to occur.

14 Not-so-common: Getting drunk at airport bar


Bars have become a fixture in various airports all over the world. Many people love to have a drink or two at the bars or restaurants closest to their terminal. It often helps to get a bit more relaxed before flying on a long flight.

A few people decided to have too much fun at the bar and drank a little bit more than planned before their flight. It led to them being too inebriated to make their flight. Having a few drinks before the flight is not discouraged but getting drunk before flying is a horrible idea that has caused lots of people to miss their flights.

13 Common: Car issues


The trip to the airport is an underrated part of taking a trip. Everyone must plan to get to the airport early enough to get through the process before their flight. Some people like to skip the suggested timeline of getting there two hours early.

Unfortunately, it has led to many travelers missing their flight due to car troubles. Things like accidents, a flat tire or the car breaking down have caused people to get to the airport too late. It is an even bigger risk to drive your own car and expect to park it at the airport. The popular move is to get a friend or a driver to drop you off to avoid any issues like this.

12 Common: Holiday plan changes

via:Global Atlanta

The most common time for flights is usually around the holiday season. People tend to make big trips to see friends or family towards the end of the year. It is supposed to be a special time to celebrate the good things in your life which leads to flying out.

However, the busy time is also when the most people miss their flights or flat out cancel it. An overall busier element of all the other problems can lead to folks getting to the terminal too late. Other stories see people decide to change plans due to families no longer being able to host them or different relatives wanting them to visit.

11 Not-so-common: Photo doesn't match ID

via:The Away Mission

One of the more frustrating reasons for missing a flight has seen people that made drastic transformations to their looks getting delayed. Many changes to one’s look can make them unrecognizable.

A few people have revealed they missed their flight due to the security agents at an airport not believing their photo ID was accurate. They were turned away and had to go back home as their IDs were considered fake due to the photo looking so different from the person. It is always a good idea to update your ID if you look significantly different from the picture.

10 Common: Delayed first flight before connecting flight


Connecting flights are among the trickiest things when it comes to flying to a destination. Some places are impossible to get to when taking one single flight. There’s typically a layover with a connecting flight needed to get to the ideal airport.

Most people try to schedule the connecting flight relatively quickly into their landing time. The idea of two long waits before each flight is a headache. Unfortunately, many people miss their flights due to delays on the first one. The long wait on the first flight forces quite a few people to miss their connecting flight. Some worst-case scenarios see them having to wait a full day for another flight.

9 Common: Changed mind at last minute


Human nature will see us often regret making a decision too far in advance. Things come up to cause a change in desire for a trip to a different place. Many people opt to just cancel the trip altogether by not showing up to the airport before the flight.

The last-minute decision will usually see anyone get a refund if they opted for the insurance policy. No one wants to take a trip when not feeling the same excitement that was made when planning it. Most no-shows happen at the last minute and open up seats for those on stand-by that appreciate your cancellation.

8 Common: Refusing to give up banned items


The rules for TSA agents are very important to follow. No one will be able to talk their way out of getting a banned item from the list. Every airline will give a disclaimer requesting travelers read up on the TSA rules before getting prepared for their flight.

Some people refuse to read the guidelines and show up with something banned. The agents will not allow anyone past the security check-point with such items. There have been many cases of folks refusing to give up the item and instead just opting to miss their flight. They view the items as too important to throw away.

7 Not-so-common: Loud hand dryer in bathroom


A very specific instance of someone missing their flight featured someone not hearing the announcement for the boarding. One person claimed they missed their flight due to having to use the restroom minutes before the boarding time.

Upon drying their hands, the sound of the loud hand dryer overshadowed the announcement by the terminal that the final boarding process was taking place. This person showed up right when the doors closed, and the airline employees refused to open it back. The loud hand dryer in the restroom forced the person here to wait on the next flight (likely in complete frustration).

6 Common: Not realizing flight change


It is very important to pay attention to all updated flight information leading up to it. Various issues will cause delays or changes in the flight time, terminal information or any other small thing that can become more important.

Most travelers should get up-to-the-minute updates on their phone via text messages or emails. Not everyone checks those things or remembers to update their number if getting a new one before the flight. This has led to quite a few people getting confused when showing up at the wrong time or going to the wrong part of the airport to miss their flight.

5 Not-so-common: Wrong terminal


The airport can be overwhelming for someone not used to flying all the time. One of the most important things about getting to your flight is finding the right terminal. Someone entering the wrong terminal can set them back by a long time.

Security is usually the place where the person is alerted they are in the wrong terminal. It leads to them having to find a way to the right terminal which often requires a bus. The time wasted has forced a few people into missing their flights due to all the time spent going around the airport.

4 Common: Bad weather


Bad weather is the most frequent reason for airline flight delays, but it is also a big reason that many travelers miss their flight. Rain or snow can slow down a travel time when it comes to driving to the airport or finding a way to get there.

Many people get to the airport too late due to the poor weather and are forced to miss their flight. Other folks will flat out refuse to fly out due to the bad weather and choose to skip the flight altogether. A bad weather day can cause one to miss a flight.

3 Common: Traffic


Traffic is always a terrible issue for those that live in busy cities. Even smaller areas will have their annoying times of traffic causing a drive to take much longer than expected. The worst possible time for traffic is heading to the airport for a flight.

Airports require travelers to show up two hours before a flight mainly due to knowing how much time is required to get there. However, the traffic being a problem is a reason they don’t want people slacking when it comes to getting there too late. It doesn’t always work out as traffic frequently causes folks to show up late and miss the flight.

2 Not-so-common: Support animal turned away

via:Lonely Planet

Airlines are having a tough time trying to decide how to deal with support animals. Some people require their support animal to travel with them for their well-being when landing in the new destination. Almost all airlines will allow a dog, cat or other common pets.

Many other animals like pigs, turkeys and panda bears have been animals argued as service animals by travelers. Airlines will step in to shut down certain folks trying to bring their support animals on the flight. Those getting turned down will opt to miss their flight to make sure their service animal is taken care of.

1 Common: Getting sick


The most common reason for someone missing a flight is getting sick shortly before the day of their flight. Everyone wants to be comfortable when spending many hours on a plane in the air. Someone getting sick makes the idea of flying with an illness a nerve-racking concept.

Most people will try to see just how bad they are feeling the day of the flight. Those travelers feeling too sick to fly out will likely opt to avoid the annoying time on the plane. Many people miss their flight each year due to sickness.

References: Flight Centre, Thrillist, The Vacation Times

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