Missed Flight Due to Gate Change

I don't need any help - just an unfortunate situation I thought I'd share with you guys - because you love this sort of thing.

My father needed to take a domestic flight from Melbourne to Mildura recently, his first flight in over 40 years.
He received an SMS the day before flying advising that he could print-at-home his boarding pass, so he did, and got to the airport 4 hours early just to be sure everything would go smoothly.
After having a wander around he settled into a chair at the gate listed on his boarding pass to wait for the flight.

Shortly before his flight time he was concerned there was nobody else around. He asked at a desk and found out his flight's gate had been changed. He arrived at the new gate in time to see the plane being pushed back.
The airline said that he should have monitored the screens which list flight details. He ended up paying $600 for a seat on the next available flight.

I was pretty pissed off at the airline. I really felt if they could SMS him about a boarding pass then they could SMS him about a gate change. Also it would seem a common courtesy to send someone to the initial gate to check for any less-aware people.

Comments

      • +1 vote

        I am. My back hurts and I like to stretch.

        Also I like to make sure no one gets off out of order! :P

  • +1 vote

    lol who gets to the airport 4 hours before a domestic flight

    1.5 hours is enough

    30 minutes to check bags
    30 minutes for security check
    30 minutes to enjoy the view from your boarding gate and double-check the boarding screens

    •  

      why 4hrs? sounds like it was more convenient for you to drop them off that early and let them deal with it.

      was this at Melbourne airport? or Avalon? what time was the flight must have left sometime before that to get the airport.

      • +1 vote

        You sound like you want to start an argument, but here's the answers anyway:

        He caught a transfer/shuttle bus to the airport. I guess he chose the time considering the times available and when he wanted to be there. Tullamarine.

        • +1 vote

          We, often, get to the airport a few hours early, even for Domestic flights. All you need is a bad accident on the freeway and your “lead time” disappears. Sitting at the airport, playing on my technology, checking the boards to confirm no gate change, isn’t a bad way to pass the time. Particularly if you are lucky enough to have lounge access. My main quibble, with the OPs Dad, was why didn’t he wonder where everyone else on the flight was earlier? But, we all do daft things at time so I’m not one to judge.

    • +2 votes

      Honestly, my mum's like that. If she had her choice she would be there 8 hours early even for a domestic flight. It's only because we drop her at the airport that she gets there an hour before hand. Even then, she's sitting at the front door with her bags ready for around an hour or two before we pick her up :)

  • +1 vote

    Step one. Look at gate and flight no on Ticket
    Step two. Match gate and flight no on flight board at airport.
    Step three. Go to gate 30 min before said time on ticket and flight board, and make sure the flight no is showing on the screen
    Step Four. Make sure dad stops playing solitaire or words with friends, and looks around next time. :)

    •  

      I don't think there was a screen at the gate, but LOL at the solitaire

      •  

        There is at Tullamarine.

  • +1 vote

    I'm guessing this was a budget ticket issue with a very budget brand. My mums virgin flight missed under similar "sleep" circumstances in the terminal didn't result in any fee just another flight in a few hours or next day.

  •  

    It is what it is

  • +7 votes

    If you're sitting at the gate 30 mins before departure and no one else there, then this is a pretty good clue and you should go find out why.

  •  

    Watch out for those that have connecting flights at Changi airport in Singapore.

    Leaving Perth international airport noticed my wife noticed on a very small board at departure gate that the arrival termainal in Changi had been changed.
    &
    This meant my family had to leg it on arrival from one terminal to another to be at the next departure gate on time that nearly gave me a dam heart attack )having to rush around like that (heart patient).

    Murphys law only then to have that flights departure delayed….ffs.

    •  

      Was it from the same ticket? Changi is usually pretty good at rushing people for their connecting flights, I just had a first hand experience recently, one of our bags didn't make it though but it got delivered in the end. I'm pretty sure they'd pick you up right after you land if it's urgent.

      Sorry that you didn't have time to enjoy the airport though, I love that place!

  •  

    You should know that the universe would try anything to make you miss a flight. These days I'm very paranoid when it comes to travelling, but only after underestimating the universe power twice… sigh

  • +2 votes

    You need a certain level of literacy to function in this world
    * Travel literacy
    * Digital literacy
    * Financial literacy
    * Health literacy
    etc

    Your dad (and mine) might be lacking in airline literacy.
    I work in health where 60% of Australians don't have the knowledge or skills to be able to navigate the health care system for themselves (source: Aust government).

    •  

      Sounds right

  • +1 vote

    You sure your dad didnt doze off? Elderly people are usually more paranoid when they realized they are the only person at the gate.

    I remembered when I was visiting my parents and my dad ask me to check my flight details several times a few days before the departure date. Unfortunately I didnt listen and was certain the time and date of my departure that my wife told off my head and yeah I missed my flight as my wife misread the am/pm and told me the time 12 hrs after the departure time. I have to rebook the next flight for $700 for my mistake.

    Morale of the story.
    Always check, double check and triple check to be sure.

    •  

      Snoozing - doubt it.
      I've never considered him 'elderly' before. What's the cutoff for 'elderly'?

      • +1 vote

        Last plane ride 40 years ago and father of someone who has been on Ozbargain since 2010 would probably be an indicator of elderly status.

        Sucks for your dad. You don't seem to be seeking opinions or complaining so not here to put you down.

        Life is getting more an more complicated and there is so much assumed knowledge that it can be hard for older people to keep up. Even for young people with below average intelligence it must be a struggle!

        •  

          Cheers.
          I kinda feel elderly is when you live in a retirement village, use a walking frame, or can't drive any more.
          He's in the recently retired grey nomad phase.

          • +1 vote

            @bmerigan: 70 is the new 60.

          •  

            @bmerigan:

            He's in the recently retired grey nomad phase.

            the adorable ones with a dadbod, sitting down reading a book with glasses on (that sit so far down their nose)

  •  

    Sorry to hear that. Better luck next time!

  •  

    600 bucks.. wow

  • +1 vote

    Looks like you were right - 'we' in Ozbargain love this sort of thing. Ha ha.

  •  

    If your dad is ever in NSW, he is going to have so much fun catching a train here…

  •  

    From the comfort of your home (or on your phone) you can monitor the relevant airport’s “Departures/Arrivals” page for updates.
    Then if there’s any changes, delays, gate changes etc you can phone the new info to your family.
    Another thing I do when booking for my parents is to tick the hearing impaired, assistance required to put some responsibility into the airline to assist them, although they’re quite capable but you never know as in OPs case.

  •  

    I've arrived at a gate only to have it change on me a few hours after a long international flight. It was Virgin who did the change. My only way of knowing was checking the board. I was paranoid something like that might happen and it did. I think there was a call over the PA system because the change was super sudden but the board let me know. Nothing like sprinting across from one side to the other in a super sleepy state 😂

  • +1 vote

    That's happened to me once. I made it in time but I've been paranoid since.

    It doesn't help that I like to lie on the floor and catch up on micro sleep when I get those cheap early morning flights. I rely on hearing my mobile phone's alarm…

  •  

    As a person, great with technology and such, this thing similarly happened to me to my first flight ever flying domestic and I only flew once when I was like 10 yrs old. I was flying jetstar from SYD to MELB.

    I booked my seat online, checked online and printed a boarding pass the morning of the flight from home. I didn't know a link can be sent by sms which shows real time data. Anyways, I didn't have luggage to check in, just carry on under 7kgs.

    I went to my gate which is roughly 40 minutes before flight which stated on my print out. I looked at the monitor and my flight wasn't there, so I looked at the big screen hanging with all the flights and my gate had changed.

    This wasn't a big deal, but it was my first time and I just walked to that gate and got my flight.

    I flew a 2nd time to adelaide with Jetstar and got the SMS link and my gate changed again, but it updated on the SMS link boarding pass. I don't print boarding passes.

    But I can really empathise with 1st time flyers trying to do the right thing, even when the notification stated he can print his boarding pass.

  • +1 vote

    Melbourne Airport is one of the better ones worldwide. Recently Hong Kong dropped a lot. Flying to Cairns at the time seemed so insignificant to them that by the time one finally gets a gate allocation we were more than exhausted to make it in the last split second. No emotions just long faces.
    Delhi'd international is perhaps the master in stuffing one around. Kept getting messages about flight changes and never got a straight answer from anyone there. Being shuttled around for 18 hours in dismal conditions, no chairs just hard ground or overpriced establishments. Re-booking was free because they had stuffed up but later dealing with "monkeys" in Abu Dhabi wo were less than understanding that they had to do lots of extra work. They initially wanted money or torture so we wanted to know: Not paying meant going 3 times thru security with every time some small cheap item like free toothpaste being confiscated just to prove they did a job. Even Miami dropped to the point of pay what the touters ask for or wait and wait. Australia still has real humans to ask and the elderly usually gets friendly instructions.

    •  

      Oh the semi-frequent last minute gate changes in Hong Kong D:

      For connecting planes via Hong Kong, mum (prior to her knee surgery) would just go straight to gate and sit for duration. When time to board, everyone informed of gate change. Each time the gate changed to almost other end of airport; slowly walk to new gate, cant locate staff as late night for possible assistance, lose the other faster passengers, arrive last, then boarded as per usual.

      The anxiety she developed for Hong Kong airport..

      Ehhh :/ :)

      • +1 vote

        Walking slowly worked well in the past but HK has pretty well lost patience. I never got to see the old airport but when the new one opened it did have superior service. Taking a train at 160km/h or a bus at 100 with great views was just wonderful. Later the bus got slowed down to 80 to make the train more attractive and of course also dearer. Amazing the freeway speed went from 80 to 120 ! One official told me the e-tag reader for using a road tunnel to the island got tested in a Lotus and could read well past 250km/h. Airport service and motivation is a sad story. Been there over 20 times but long immigration lines with staff protesting with digital cameras to document the mess is no joy if one is about to miss a flight. Still less BS than Delhi. Heathrow went from a total mess so something of a good show off port. Even getting a second train downtown.
        The laughing stock of a capital city must be Berlin. So many attempts so many failures. Perhaps Amsterdam is one of the able airports to serve the client who wants to get in and out without too much fuss. Oh forgot to mention Osaka Kansai. Getting from downtown to the airport one can choose a ticket from 7 different vending machines each having a different price. Bought the cheapest ticket and mistakenly got into the second cheapest train. The conductor spoke little English but had a series of translation cards was hyper friendly and patiently collected the very small fare difference. You got to love the Japanese!

  • +4 votes
    • just an unfortunate situation I thought I'd share with you guys - because you love this sort of thing.

    Oh how wrong you are
    If my recent forum posting experience proves anything it's that there are certain members in the community who love to point out every single fault you've ever made in a particular situation and how it could not possibly be anyone elses doing

    • +2 votes

      Oh I think they love 'this sort of thing' - I don't think they love 'me'.

      In any group discussion there will be a variety of view points. Some will be there to stir trouble, some will play devil's advocate, and some will be sympathetic. This is the internet. There's lots of people here.

      • +1 vote

        The single best bargain I've gotten here is Thicker skin, for free. (Or at the expense of my feelings)

        • +2 votes

          Sticks and stones will brake some bones but OzBargainers will try to strike you down a notch or 20.

  •  

    The ozmoron brigade will have zero sympathy for you, as in their perfect bubble worlds, they would sit and spend the entire 4 hours staring at the terminal, anticipating a gate change.

    •  

      Whilst I wouldn't sit for four hours at a gate for a domestic flight, I don't see how people are morons for keeping an eye out to ensure they are at the right gate.

      I travel semi frequently domestically and it really is common sense to a) ensure that there are other people waiting at the gate for the same flight and b) do whatever you can to make sure you can get on the plane. That could also involve holding in a shit if it means you will miss the plane. It also means checking the boards to keep up to date with which gate you should be at for your flight. It can also mean not blaring music into your ears or only using one earphone if it means you won't hear any last call announcements.

  •  

    This reminded me of the situation in Manchester, UK taking a flight to Dublin. Me and my friends were checking the board every 15 minutes and we were advised of a two hour delay. 1 hour later we checked the board (while checking it every 15 mins) and it displayed FINAL CALL! We went into panic mode and rushed to the gate. At the gate, other passengers had a similar predicament as us and we’re not aware of the final call! Some airlines have a lack of communication, if we missed that flight we would’ve paid a lot more.

  •  

    yep, fell asleep. I work in Customer Service, Customers LIE big time, that's life!