What Do Dreams of Missing a Plane Mean?

6 Min Read | By Nicholas Barber

Last Modified 14 February 2024   First Added 10 November 2022

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

What Does it Mean to Dream of Missing a Plane?

Dreaming about the stress-inducing experience of missing a plane flight is said to indicate either that you’ve missed an important opportunity in your waking life, or that you’re worried about doing so.

Dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg says dreaming of missing a flight is a relatively common dream, and particularly so among certain professionals and during certain times of year. If you have a flight booked in reality and the time to fly is approaching then it’s more likely you’ll experience this dream as you’re subconsciously afraid of it happening. However, it could also be a result of stress caused by important changes, or new plans in your life.

“Planes, as far as dreams go, tend to represent something in your life that you’re hoping will take off and reach new heights, whether that’s a project, a career, or a relationship,” says Loewenberg.

In this article we look in detail at what dreaming of missing a flight could mean to your waking life.

The dream:

It’s finally the morning of your holiday. You’re flying off to Brazil, a country you’ve been dying to visit for years. And with all your luggage packed, making the flight should be a doddle. A few minutes after the 6am alarm you and your partner are already on the way to the airport. Now you just need to locate the long-stay carpark, which you’ve cleverly booked in advance – what well prepared travellers!

But when you arrive (with a little time to spare) you realise finding the right carpark won’t be easy – driving round and around the outskirts of the airport in increasing desperation. It takes so long to locate a parking spot that you’re now running late. Dashing to the departure gate, you’re told that luggage check in closed five minutes ago and you won’t be allowed on the flight. You fight back the tears as your dream holiday is now going to be just that – a dream.

Then you wake up. It was all just a horrible nightmare. But just what could it mean?

Common meanings behind voodoo dreams

There are all sorts of different kinds of dreams about missing a flight that may, or may not, involve being unable to get your seat in time or a desperate argument with the gate agent.

The variations of this dream include clear depictions of possible events and those which may be seen to provide you with guidance. Your dream might include a message for your life or you may see yourself making a choice that relates to a choice you need to make in reality. Here we explore more precise meanings of each of these variations.

1. Dreams about missing a flight

Missing a flight is first and foremost an anxiety dream. If you’re unlucky enough to experience this dream it’s likely you have a fear of losing something very important to you, whether that’s a person, a thing or an opportunity. The dream could be useful, however, as it may reveal an anxiety about something that’s buried in your subconscious and it could enable you to work on putting it right. According to Journey into Dreams, “The airplane in the dream can quite possibly be a symbol for someone or something in your life that is absent. Is there someone in your life who you miss?” If you have this dream it could be worth considering why you might miss this person, especially at this present time.

2. Dreams about missing a flight because you forgot something

If you’ve ever dreamed of forgetting an important document at home – your passport perhaps – which forced you to run back home from the airport, causing you to miss your flight, it is a reflection of your overly chaotic life. According to Dreaming and Sleeping, “You don’t have time for yourself and plan things well in advance, forcing you to do most of the tasks last minute and without any proper plan. It would be best if you could take a break and chare your mental, emotional, and physical battery.”

3. Dreams about racing to catch a flight

If you’ve ever dreamed of running in a mad panic to catch a flight the dream is said to indicate that  you wish your problems will be solved. As a result, it could be time to finally take action. Don’t listen to other people’s advice and what’s best for you, instead ask yourself what you really want to achieve from life.

4. Dreams about losing your plane ticket

There’s nothing more anxiety-raising and deeply frustrating than losing a plane ticket just when you need it to fly. As such, these dreams are said to represent chaos and confusion in your waking life. According to Dream About Meaning, “You need to express your frustrations and negative feelings in a safe and constructive way.”

Answering the dream:

Although this is one of the most anxiety inducing of dreams, the best advice from the experts is not to worry if you regularly have this dream. It’s quite common, many people have it, and it’s especially normal to experience if you deal with lots of deadlines in your waking life. This dream can be a reflection of the things we miss out on. Perhaps it’s not being able to tell someon our feelings for them. It could also be about not being able to quit a job on time, or having trouble moving on.

To respond to this dream, it would be really beneficial for you to work on your time management skills to reduce your stress levels. On the other hand, if your time management is already hunky dory, perhaps you’re simply being too hard on yourself.

If you really want to avoid having this dream again, it’s worth listening to Lauri Loewenberg, “Once you are able to connect the dream to the issue that your subconscious is trying to help you with, and then you start working to correct that issue, the dream stops,” she says.

Notable appearances in popular culture:

The comedy potential of a cocky but brave little boy being the only member of his family to miss a plane flight produced two of the biggest Christmas films ever made – Home Alone, the 1990 comedy, and its sequel. Home Alone (renamed Mum, I Missed the Plane in France), grossed $476.7 million worldwide, becoming the highest ever grossing live action comedy.

Home Alone follows Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), who is forced to defend his home from burglars after his family accidentally leaves him behind on their Christmas vacation to Paris. It’s widely considered to be one of the best Christmas films.

The sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is again based on Kevin being separated from his family, but this time in New York City. The sequel also smashed it at the box office grossing over $359 million worldwide.

About the author

More from the Sleep Matters Club