The Art of Missing a Flight

I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear about someone missing their flight, I’m always a bit shocked. How did they manage it? Growing up with a Mum who made me arrive about 7 hours before my flight was due to depart, I knew airports like the back of my hand. Thus, when I woke up on September 27th at 6am with a flight leaving for Japan at 10am I figured my friend and I had plenty of time.

We didn’t.

We missed our flight.


Here is a recipe in case you also feel like experiencing the thrill of missing a flight:

N.B. Follow it precisely to ensure the most dramatic day.


  • A sneaky, impatient, incompetent taxi driver
  • Suspicious border control officers
  • A pro-democracy protest happening across the border
  • China
  • Hong Kong Express airlines small print
  • 1 drama queen
  • Tears
  • Money (for new flight, and for bribery)
  • A traffic jam


1. Wake up on the wrong side of bed. Proceed to curse the universe.

2. Wait on an empty street for a taxi for 10 mins. Sprinkle a dash of panic for extra dramatic effect.

3. After 5 mins of driving, arrive at the China-Hong Kong border. Take note of all the taxis and swear loudly.

4. Widen your eyes as the taxi driver decides to leave the line you’ve been waiting in for over 20 mins, only to immediately try and cut back in.

5. Shake your head in disbelief as 2 border control officers pull your taxi aside for inspection in a dusty office.

6. Throw in some dramatic hand movements, a quivering lip and be sure to tell the driver how you HAVE ALREADY MISSED THE FLIGHT while waving your ticket in front of his face.

7. Text everyone you know to tell them you’ve missed your flight, your life is over, your dream of Japan will never happen. Universe, WHY ME?!

8. Cry and sulk the entire traffic-jammed journey to the airport, which is a totally pointless journey because you HAVE ALREADY MISSED THE FLIGHT. Give the driver one last evil glance before running like a maniac to the Hong Kong Express check-in desk.

9. Panting like someone who’s just run a marathon, skip the line and throw your bag onto the weighing conveyer belt thingy and declare loudly to everyone “I’M HERE!”

10. Gasp as the check in lady sweetly announces that you won’t be getting on the flight that you spent all your money on to go to Japan which you seriously spent a whole month planning because “Sweetie, check-in closed 20 mins ago, and you won’t be getting on the next flight free of charge because we are Hong Kong Express and you clearly didn’t read our small print and we offer no refunds. Oh, and one more thing…you can’t use your return flight either. It’s all cancelled. All of it. Both tickets. Now please kindly remove your bag. Thank you and have a niceeeee day la.”

11. Throw in ALL the tears and mix in some anger and swear words for good measure.

12. Be careful what you say in this moment. This is a crucial part of the recipe. You don’t want the airline to turn agai…TOO LATE. Scream about how shitty Hong Kong Express airlines are, about how you will tell ALL your friends never to fly with them again, and how you didn’t want to fly with them anyway, and who on this earth ever reads the small print?! Seriously?! What kind of shitty rule is that? Cancel my whole flight…I’ll cancel you!!

13. Run to closest coffee shop to sit and weep.

14. Realise you don’t have enough money for a new ticket seeing as you chose one of the most expensive places in the world to travel to and need every penny for sushi and bullet trains. Contemplate other destinations. “Excuse me Sir, how much would it cost to go to South Africa? Oh, I see. You’re telling me it’s cheaper to fly halfway across the world than it is to go to Japan from Hong Kong? I see…”

15. Books new ticket to Japan anyway. You will not give up on your dream of stalking Geishas, sumo wrestlers and Haruki Murakami. While booking, try and bribe the airport staff so that you don’t have to buy a WHOLE NEW FLIGHT. Try and slip them dollars over the desk. Try ANYTHING. Blackmail them. Eventually, give up and hand over the moola.

16. Realise your new ONE WAY ticket (you can’t afford to come back, might as well stay in Japan forever) is actually flying into Nagoya.

17. Check map. Realise Nagoya is not in Osaka and you will then need to take an expensive bullet train to the hostel you’ve booked for that night. Say goodbye to your money and savings and your life for the months post-Japan. You will be in debt FOREVER.

18. Run around the airport frantically trying to change money, buy water and find a plug point to charge your dead phone (due to texting everyone you know to ask them if you should book a whole new ticket to Japan, or should you go to Australia, or Brazil or Iceland?!).

19. Realise your new flight departs in 20 mins.

20. Almost miss your second flight of the day.


And that just about sums up the art of missing a flight.

I’d ask you to comment below and let me know how your recipe turns out, but actually this recipe doesn’t taste so good. I don’t recommend it. Infact, I’m still surviving on lentils, rice and mint leaves that I steal from the plant in my office, because missing a flight is NOT CHEAP. And nor is Japan. (BUT JAPAN IS BEAUTIFUL, and worth every penny!)

p.s Don’t fly Hong Kong Express!

p.p.s Nobody was hurt in this recipe, and yes, I did go back and apologise to everyone at Hong Kong Express that I shouted at, but I still firmly believe that your no-refund rule is absolute crap!

Thanks for reading!




Image by Alessandro Gottardo

2 Comments on “The Art of Missing a Flight

  • grace
    November 21, 2014 at 10:40 pm


  • lunafinula
    November 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    謝謝老師! 🙂

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