If you've already made a plan to go home for Thanksgiving, booked your flights and organized your itinerary, you're probably feel pretty secure and settled — thinking about what to do if you miss your flight for Thanksgiving is probably far from your mind. I mean, you did everything there is to do, so if everything goes according to plan, you'll be home, on your way to your family, as soon as your flight takes off. The only problem is, there are a lot of variables that are nearly impossible to account for when your plans involve a flight — particularly a flight that departs a major city on a national holiday.
Not to be a Negative Nancy, but there's a solid chance you'll miss your fight. Whether your Uber is late, or there's traffic on the way to the airport, or the lines at security are too long or a combination of delays and uneven layovers, there's a good chance your perfect plan will be forced to be reimagined.
And when you're rushing home for a holiday that cannot be delayed to accommodate your arrival, there isn't a lot of leeway. Alas, people miss flights all the time, so if it happens to you, there's no reason to have a mental breakdown in the airport — though I wouldn't blame you if you had a *mini* breakdown. Here's what to do if you miss your fight on Thanksgiving:
Plan On Missing Your Flight
Go into the holiday weekend knowing that there's a chance things won't go according to plan. Remind your family that you're traveling on a chaotic day, one bound to be riddled with traffic and unforeseen issues, and let them know that if you're unable to make it, to go ahead and eat and be merry without you. Also, consider a plan B. Think of a back up plan so that if you do miss your flight, you don't lose your sh*t.
Don't Check A Bag
This just minimizes the risk of losing your baggage. You might have to take a different flight with stop-overs or you might have to jump on a train or a bus, so you should pack as lightly as possible. You don't want to be weighed down by your luggage.
Let The Airport Know You're Running Late
As soon as your realize you're about to be late, call the airline and let them know. The sooner you touch base with them, the easier it will be for you to try to get on an other flight without fees and extra charges.
Head To Customer Services
Once you actually get to the airport and realize you've missed your flight, get in line for customer services. They'll help you figure out if there's another flight you can get on, if you can get an airline credit or if there are any other transportation options. If they're not helpful, tweet the airline your troubles — seriously, it works.
Consider Your Options
Maybe they offer you a later flight that will get you in after dinner — you'll have to decide if it's still worth it to show up late. Perhaps you can take a roundabout flight that will require various layovers, complicating and extending the traveling time, and you'll have to decide if the hassle is worth it. Perhaps you can get flight credit and put it towards a trip at a later date. Think about all of your options and talk it through with your family.
If you've come to determine that your plans to go home are ruined, know when to stop fighting it. Know when to give up, accept that your holidays are not going to go how you wanted them to. Accept that this happens to people all the time. And if you've tried everything in your power to amend the issue, accept that you've tried your best and it is what it is.
Default To Plan B
GTFO of that airport and get ready for plan B. Maybe it's dinner with friends, maybe it's taking yourself out to eat at a fancy restaurant, maybe it's going straight home to get into sweatpants to watch Lifetime for 12 hours. Whatever it is, force yourself to hop over into plan B mode. The sooner you accept the changes, the sooner you can adjust your attitude and find a way to enjoy them.
Find Something To Be Grateful For
Though in the moment it might feel like a monumental loss, you might feel like you've let your family down and you might be really disappointed with yourself. But rather than wallowing in it, try to accept it and shift your mindset. Find the time to think about things that you're grateful for. Give your family a ring on the phone and let them know how much you love them and give everyone a special message if you feel up for it. You can still be a part of their holiday from where you are, just the same as they can still be a part of yours.