Missing a Connecting Flight: Preventative Steps You Should Take

You might be thinking, “Isn’t Missing a Connecting Flight Rare?”

Not as rare as I wish!

Missing a connecting flight is not the end of the world, but it’s definitely inconvenient. Just like flight delays, only worse! As I write this, I’m sitting on my flight from Charlotte to Atlanta. Huffing and puffing, I’m trying to catch my breath.

Yes. I almost missed my connecting flight. But hey… At least I recorded myself and another guy sprinting through the airport to make it to Atlanta (you should probably check out my Snapchat story if you’re not already following me: LouieLevey).

I Thought I Was a Seasoned Veteran…

This Isn’t My First Rodeo. I know what to do and I thought I was prepared. I was wrong.

Why should you take my advice?

They say the best advice one can give to others is the advice that is seldom followed. Unfortunately, I’m stubborn and don’t take my own advice. But at least I can admit it, right? Learn from my mistakes. I’ll inform you how to avoid missing a connecting flight.

But at least I can admit it, right? Learn from my mistakes. I’ll inform you how to avoid missing a connecting flight.

Learn from my mistakes. I’ll inform you how to avoid missing a connecting flight.

Simple (and not so simple) Ways to Avoid Missing a Connecting Flight


1. Cardio – Do cardio whenever you can! Hit the gym like Mike Tyson. Pump iron like Arnold. Hum the Rocky Balboa theme song as you run around the neighborhood you grew up in. They say a body in motion stays in motion and it’s the truth! When you’re on the verge of missing a connecting flight, you’ll thank me for this tidbit! I’m by no means slim (265lbs, 5 foot 7, and stocky), but my years as a wrestler come in handy. I wrestled in high school and all of that cardio taught me to block out the pain.

Lungs on fire? No biggie. Cardio sucks, but getting stranded in an airport is worse.

No biggie. Cardio sucks, but getting stranded in an airport is worse.

Cardio sucks, but getting stranded in an airport is worse.

2. Wear Shoes You Can Speed-Walk, Jog, or Run In – Believe it or not, your shoes will make that much of a difference. Have you tried running in flip-flops?


You may only need a brisk pace to make your flight and your footwear can make all the difference! Just say “no” to heels at the airport. I’m talking to you, ladies!

3. Underwear Matters Choosing the proper underwear is beyond necessary. Running in cotton briefs is not a good time and the after-effects are gruesome. Try moisture-wicking undergarments. They keep you fly and dry when you’re flying high (after running to catch your flight)! You’ll appreciate this tip when you have to run to catch a connecting flight.

Airline Employees Can Really Help!

4. Talk to a Stewardess – Look at your watch and if you know you’re cutting it close, ask for help. Your flight attendants might have a way to expedite getting you off and onto your connecting flight. Make sure to thank them fast!

missing a connecting flight
PHOTO Stock Unlimited

5. Speaking of Time, Know How Long You Have To Make Your Connecting Flight – Keep track of time. It doesn’t matter how; just do it!

Wear a watch.

Check your phone.

Carry a sundial (the sundial won’t work, but you get the point).

Checking the time you have left ensures you’ll know if you need to leg it once you exit the plane. Stay aware of how long you have and you’ll lessen the likelihood of missing a connecting flight.

6. Book Your Flight With Time to Spare – Check over your itinerary prior to finalizing it. If you see that you only have 30 minutes between flights, try changing it. Missing a connecting fight is sometimes the airline’s fault, but it’s worth it to check their plans for you.

Don’t trust them!

I just ran across Charlotte’s airport and almost knocked over a group of children and a nun in the process. I’m moderately drenched in my sweat at the moment. The only saving grace is I have a row of seats to myself so no one has to sit near me.

You cannot, I repeat, CANNOT, trust the airlines to plan your itinerary!

Swallowing Your Pride Can Make a World of Difference!

7. Ask for Directions – If you don’t know where the gate is and time is running short, ask for directions! Avoiding missing a connecting flight is sometimes as easy as swallowing your pride and asking.

Don’t hesitate; act fast.

Ask the first airport staff member you see to find out where you need to go. This can also work in your favor if you miss your flight due to faulty directions.

At Denver International Airport, my brother and I were given the wrong directions by an airport staff member. We missed our flight, but they put us on standby after hearing what happened.

8. Book Direct Flights Whenever Possible – This is the only sure-fire way to avoid missing a connecting flight; don’t book one!

After so many times finding myself on the verge of missing my connecting flight, I’m against them. They really, really, really suck.

Flying is stressful enough; why not make it easier on myself?

I know I’ll probably book another connecting flight someday; I don’t take my own advice no matter how good it is. For now, I vow to avoid them at (almost) all costs. But honestly, if it means saving $50 and avoiding an overnight stay in some random city, you’ll likely see a large bearded man running across the airport yet again.

Louie Levey

Louie is a writer, entrepreneur, and digital nomad who is constantly traveling in search of new experiences. He is a firm believer in few things being better than good conversation.

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