When you miss your flight…

Have you ever missed a flight?  Not because of a delayed flight connection but just because … maybe you got the time wrong, maybe you were in a traffic jam, maybe you had to backtrack home for your passport.   There are a million different reasons you could get to the gate late for your flight but once you get there and the gate is closed, that is it buddy.  You are sunk!

Now there are tons of articles online you can read about the why’s and wherefore’s of being denied boarding because you are too late.  The European Union has very strict rules and work hard to protect the consumer.  BUT … how many times have you sat on a plane while waiting for someone to board whose luggage is already on the flight?  Frustrating isn’t it?

Now if they didn’t have checked luggage the flight could just go without them – and tough.  But because they have checked luggage it means that the luggage has to be offloaded while everyone else who was there on time has to sit and worry about their connecting flight

Of course we know that life happens.  People I booked flying into Gatwick had to take the bus to Heathrow.  I left them lots of time to make the connection – in fact I even thought maybe a bit too long of a connection.  But there was a traffic accident on the highway and of course everything was backed up to Kingdom Come.  They missed their flight but they did have travel insurance (smart people)!  So their additional costs were covered.

Today with more intense security checks at airports it is essential to plan ahead and give yourself hours … and hours …. to make sure you get to the gate in time.  In fact it has become so much of a pain that if I travel within Europe I prefer to go by train – it works out to the same by the time you factor in travelling to the airport, going through security and then having to travel from some outlying airport to the centre of town.

Unfortunately we can’t always do that – so you pack your ipad or your novel, get there early and hunker down.

Unlike Patrick Kehoe who was told the gate was closed for his flight from Dublin to Amsterdam.  No way Jose!  He was going to get on that flight no matter what.  He barged through the doors and ran out onto the tarmac waving at the slowly taxi-ing plane.  Of course the pilot didn’t stop to pick him up.  But airport security did.


He was really fed up.  Shame, he is only 23 and I guess he had a way to drive to get to his flight as it seems he comes from a little village south of Dublin called Raheenaskeagh, Gorey in County Wexford.  Now you try saying that!  I checked on the map and it is about one and a half hours from Dublin airport and I do think that the flight from Dublin to Amsterdam was an early morning flight.  So .. a certain amount of sympathy for Patrick (good Irish name).  He got really mad though when being questioned by reporters and finally lost it in this enduring image which I am sure he will want erased from the internet at some stage in the future.

Patrick Kehoe

There’s an old Irish saying that my mom taught me – póg mo thóin …. you look it up!


By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. We recently missed our flight out of a small Canadian Airport. We had 1 checked back but missed getting it on the plane by 12 minutes (got stuck in traffic on Vancouver Island). The plane was still on the tarmac and boarding was in 35 minutes. The lady at check-in was very nice and contacted the fellows loading the luggage, but they denied our bag. If we would have just had carry-on we would have been okay. So, there we sat, staring at our plane, watching everyone walk across the tarmac and boarding, and we had to wait 6 hours for another flight! Oh, and it wasn’t a non-stop as our original flight was. We had option of leaving our checked bag behind …… uh no ….. how do we get it home? A long day!!! (and lesson learned).


    1. Oh Lea, what a pain! How awful to have to sit there and watch the plane just sitting on the tarmac and people still boarding. Makes me wonder. Why didn’t they take your bag. Very often they will take bags that people are wanting to carry on and then check it at the last minute so why no help in that situation. You have to wonder – is it the person on duty at the time or how does this work. Any airport workers out there – please chime in and help us understand this.


  2. Yes, you have to wonder! We’ve seen that happen before in the boarding lounge – the option of a carry-on being checked last minute. We weren’t given that option. We also had to pay and additional $75 per person to change our flight! Ugh!


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