Late to the departing or connecting flight.

Daria Dubois
3 min readNov 14, 2022


Cannot stretch the time, cannot scream “wait for me!”. How to increase chances of getting to the flight you are late to? Read below.

I spent today some great time researching this topic while flying from Lisbon to Vienna where I had a transfer to Abu Dhabi. The transfer was only an hour. Even though it was clearly mission impossible I decided to find all possible ways to do all I can. Several things went wrong. Airlines did not transfer the luggage so I realized I will need to pick up luggage and then check in again going through all customs. I still didn’t freak out. First things first, I checked how much were new tickets from Vienna to Abu Dhabi — $600 =/.

Ok.. Would be great not to spend this money.

What about travel credit card insurance, right? That’s what I thought too! However, apparently Bank of America travel credit card doesn’t provide insurance.

Then I checked the average time of arrival and departure of the same flights in the past by their number. I noticed that flights from Lisbon tend to arrive earlier to Vienna when flights from Vienna to Abu Dhabi are usually delayed. That’s gave me hope!

But! The check in time for luggage usually closes about 40 mins before the scheduled departure time of the flight, no matter if the flight is delayed or not. And the average time of luggage unloading in Vienna is 20–40mins from the moment of parking of the plane.

So if my first flight is scheduled to arrive at 11:35am, the earliest time I would get my checked bag would be 11:55am and check if the next flight would already close at the same time.

There are a few tricks for check-in that I found if you are running late, like I was!

  1. If at the registration desk they cannot take you bags anymore, ask for a supervisor or baggage GA they could unlock computers to make an exception to take your bags into check in. If you see them on the floor go straight to them and ask for help!
  2. The most important thing is to get the sticky tag for your bag. What I found is that there are special services such as Conseirge or Meet and Greet that can meet you at the check in with an already printed boarding pass and baggage tags. Not every Assistance service provides that. Please clarify with the company you want to hire and also make sure they operate at the airport you need.

If bags are successfully checked in or if you don’t need to check in bags and running late between flights, definitely worth getting Fast Track (in Europe) for 10€ and this will allow you to skip the long lines for security check or a priority service from airport to be met at the gate and escorted to the connecting flight.

A couple of other things to consider. Consider getting additional insurance from the airline you are missing the flight with. It might cost you 20€ and pay back up to 200€.

Also if you are on your first plane getting ready for a short transfer, ask the flight attendant to seat you closer to the exit before the landing in order to save some extra time.

I think that’s it,

Good luck!