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What You Need to Know About No-Show in Air Travel

There are times when you commit a meeting schedule with another person or a travel schedule to a destination, however, for some reason, you fail to show up. If such a thing happens with us, we usually say that it’s a “no-show”. Thus, this is a similar condition or occurrence in airlines as well.

In this blog, we are going to take a detailed look at what is a no-show in airlines, how it affects passengers, and what are things you should know about no-shows in your future travels.

What is a No-show in Air Travel?

In simple words, a no-show in airlines can be defined as an event in which a passenger, despite having purchased flight ticket, fails to show up at the airport for his/her flight that is scheduled for departure (also called outbound flight).

Bear in mind that a no-show only refers to passengers that do not show up at the airport at all. If, however, you arrive at the airport but unintentionally miss your departure flight, then this will not be considered a no-show.

No-shows in the aviation industry are quite rare and can only be accounted for if a ticketed passenger has an emergency or other viable reasons to miss his/her departure flight at the airport. Know what will happen when you no-show for a flight.

What Happens if You Do Not Show Up to Board Your Flight?

Airlines have strict travel policies with regard to no-show passengers. For instance, some airline carriers may legally cancel the flight, including all connecting flights and return flights of the passenger that does not show up for their flight scheduled for departure. Also, no refunds are applicable, if such a situation occurs.

If you have genuine reasons for having missed your flight at the airport, the airline carrier can help you with a change in booking to another flight that flies the same route to your destination of travel. Some airlines may also charge you fees for this, whereas others may not.

On the other hand, if the airline does not agree to your reasons being genuine, they have rights to take legal actions, such as imposing fines etc. To book cheap air tickets, visit the best online travel websites.

Useful Tips on No-show in Airlines

Here are a couple of things you will need to consider, if you ever happen to find yourself in such a situation – a no-show.

Valid No-shows

As per the contract of carriage of any given airline carrier, there are certain exceptions when a passenger is a no-show. For example, a few valid reasons may include the following:

  • the passenger arrives late at the airport to board the flight.
  • the passenger could not show up due to a medical emergency, either of the passenger or a member in the family.
  • the passenger could not make it to the airport on time due to a sudden death of someone in the immediate family.

On the contrary, if a passenger misses his/her flight intentionally, then it will not be considered a valid reason, and the airline carrier can take legal action. For example, some passengers may have the habit of purposely missing their flights or a connecting flight, in which case, the airliner legally reserves the right to cancel all flights of such passengers, including their return flights as well.

No-show Charges

Although most airlines may not charge you if you had unintentionally missed your outbound flight, however, you will still lose the value of your ticket.

On the other hand, some airline carriers may charge fees, in case you miss your flight or any legs, purposely, in particular. This is a common practice, where passengers do it intentionally just to get a cheaper fare.

No Refunds

If you missed your outbound flight as a no-show, the airline carrier may not offer you a refund. Instead, the airline carrier may try to book you on a different flight on the same itinerary. However, there may be change fees applicable for booking another flight en route to your destination.

Cancel your Flight instead of a No-show

Another very important and useful tip is to better cancel your entire trip rather than missing your flight and becoming a no-show. Airlines carriers can refund your ticket fare when you cancel your flight at least 24 hours after booking.

However, if you feel the need to change your flight at the last moment – just minutes before your flight’s scheduled departure, some airlines may allow this, but will also charge you a certain fee.

Arrive at the Airport on Time to Avoid No-show

This is a very important tip for travelers that have, in the past, experienced a “no-show” situation. Thus, the best way to avoid this is to simply arrive on time or a few minutes early. This will give you some time to pass through check-in and board your flight without the fear of missing it.

Contact the Airline

Last, but not least, you should contact the airline carrier you are traveling to book you on another flight if you think you are going to miss your flight. The airliner’s customer service representatives will be of great help to you.

Also, keep in mind that if you plan on changing your flight because you are going to miss your current flight, the airliner may charge service and change fees for booking another flight on the same itinerary.


As we can see from above, the term “no-show” basically refers to a particular clause of an airline’s terms and conditions, also called the contract of carriage. These terms and conditions deem a passenger a no-show, if the person does not show up at the airport or arrives at the airport when the check-in procedure has closed.

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