When it comes to planning a cruise, there are a lot of mistakes that you can make. However, there is one mistake that every passenger tries their best to avoid: missing the ship.
Unfortunately, this is a scenario that influencer Heidi May Yeager recently learned.
Yeager and her family were on their way to catch their Salt Lake City to Miami flight when unforeseen events prevented them from making it to embarkation day.
Instead of a seven-night Royal Caribbean cruise onboard Oasis of the Seas, the family was left looking for ways to get to Florida.
Salt Lake City to Miami
The original plan was to fly from Salt Lake City at 11:57 p.m., arrive in Miami at 6:30 a.m., and have plenty of time before the cruise left at 3:30 p.m.
However, the flight was delayed until after 2 a.m. because of severe weather around the country. Yeager calculated they would still have enough time to board the ship despite the setback.
They arrived at the airport 2 hours early, giving them enough time to park, take a shuttle, and drop their baggage off. They didn’t know that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoint closes at 1 a.m. in SLC. The family of 5 arrived at security five minutes after 1. Surprised to find the TSA closed, they immediately raised their concern to American Airlines (AA) whose response was less than reassuring.
American Airlines didn’t know that the TSA had closed either.
However, the Salt Lake City (SLC) airport website indicates, “The main TSA security screening checkpoint is located on level two of the terminal at Salt Lake City International Airport. The checkpoint is open from 3:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.”
The family eventually decided to fly to Dallas the next day and wait for a connecting flight, but no last-minute seats opened up. After spending the day in Dallas, they had no choice but to fly back home.
Yeager used her Instagram reel to share her experience. “Because of the disconnect between American Airlines and the TSA in Salt Lake, we missed our flight which meant we actually missed our cruise. It was very, very heartbreaking… American Airlines and the TSA should have communicated and made sure that they still kept it open since there was a delayed flight and we should have been able to get on,” she said.
Was there anything Yeager could have done to avoid or minimize the impact of such an unfortunate chain of events?
Here’s what we recommend:
- Arriving at least one full day before the cruise leaves for an extra time buffer
- Purchase travel insurance. While travel insurance wouldn’t have prevented the missed connection, it would have significantly mitigated the financial and emotional impact.
- Checking what time airport security closes, especially if you have a red-eye flight
- Booking flights through the cruise line (in the event of delays, the cruise operator will make arrangements so you can join the voyage at its first port of call)
Yeager has booked another cruise for her family, scheduled to leave next month. We contacted the influencer for more details but have not heard back.
Featured photo via IG/@everydayismagic