Gourmet restaurant inside an airplane

When does an airline hold the flight for the people connecting to that flight?

Ever since the early beginnings of air travel, passengers have pondered about why they cannot board the plane after the boarding process ends, but the plane still stands on the runway for 15-30 minutes more.

Plenty of people who use connection flights wonder the same thing when they arrive a bit too late to their mid-way stop and the boarding door slams shut in their faces. If that was ever your case, you surely wondered when an airline holds the flight for the people connecting to that flight, and when they decide to just be rude about it.

When the airline holds the flight for late people

Airlines do not always choose to leave without the passengers that are late for their connecting flights. Sometimes they decide to keep the plane on the runway, and the boarding doors wide open a little more time. And it is all because their winnings are at stake.

That’s right! The airline will not wait if you are the only passenger left behind. However, they will wait for you with a red carpet leading to the door of the plane IF you are part of a large group of late passengers. It is only when the company’s profit suffers that your suffering is taken into account.

Why the plane leaves without you

Most people miss their connecting flights because of delays and cancellations or other circumstances that they cannot control. Still, the airlines choose to depart without them for different reasons that do not necessarily include their profit. Some of these reasons include:

The Domino effect

If a plane decides to delay its departure with 5-10 minutes, then the airplane scheduled to depart in its succession will also have to delay taking off for the same interval of time. On a large, busy airport this kind of unexpected but voluntary delay can create a domino effect that will disrupt the schedule of hundreds of flights.

The last aircraft to depart can end up having hours or even a full day of delay because of one plane decided to wait for five minutes for a late passenger.

Airport Crew schedule

Airports are working places for thousands of people. You might think that the only people responsible for your flight are the pilot, the stewardesses, and the air traffic control officer, but in fact, tens of workers ensure that you depart in the best and safest conditions.

The airport crew has a well-defined schedule by which they operate. They have to clear the runway, oversee luggage control and maintain security. A 5-minute delay also disrupts their program, which can lead to significant logistics and management issues for the airport.

What to do if you the airline leaves you behind

If the airline does not wait for you to board your connecting flight, you can try to claim some sort of compensation. In this case, you should contact expert services on the matter like airclaim.com and use their professional assistance to receive reimbursement for your inconvenience.