Proper etiquette if a controller forgets about you?

Proper etiquette or response if controller forgets about you at a busy airport?


If they don’t respond for 3 minutes then just request it again. If they don’t respond again then wait for a few minutes cause the airport is most likely really busy.

1 Like

Assess the traffic and see if they have actually forgotten about you or can they foresee a conflict that may occur?

Are you holding short waiting for take off? If so, what does the final look like?

Waiting for pushback? Are you near a runway exit or is there an aircraft taxiing in your vicinity?

If none of those and it looks like a genuine case of being forgotten - it happens especially at busy airports - then you won’t be penalised for a polite request again. You may even get an I’m Sorry from the controller.


If it is busy to the point where they are not letting departures out, I would spawn somewhere else. Adding to the chaos is not always a great idea. However, if they just seem to have forgot about you, send another request. Most likely, they have truly forgotten about your request. We do our best to remember all pilots, but in certain situations, requests just slip our mind. :)

If a controller does forget about you, and it is clear that they have done so, feel free to say your intentions again. Try to be aware of your surroundings, likely reasons why the controller may not be issuing you instructions at the time, and what they may be dealing with elsewhere which could result in a delayed response time.

I believe the key item to consider here is whether or not the respective controller actually forgot about you. For instance, at busy airports, controllers may not respond to your request until 1 minute afterward. Or maybe you’re trying to pushback but there’s an aircraft behind you. Then there are other scenarios where an instruction might not need follow-up communication, like a “continue as filed”, giving you authority over your flight. Present and future instructions are usually initiated by the controller in such circumstances (e.g. vectors, clearance, etc).


Was making approach and once close enough I asked for vectors. I got the proceed on course. Didn’t get anything after that until I could tell I was going to get to close and fail the approach. I asked for altitude change to get their attention and got the, please read the forum for proper use… I ended the flight and just figured they were overwhelmed.

Which type of approach were you instructed to fly and at what point during the approach did you request an altitude change? Do you possibly know the controller’s name? If you have the replay, I’m sure they’d be happy to explain what occured.

Mind you this happens way earlier in the day, and just thought about it again. I don’t blame the controller and don’t care to make a case. I was only curious as to the proper response.

I’m afraid it’s quite difficult to come to a conclusion on what you should have done here without any more information. The best thing you can do is contact the controller. It wouldn’t exactly be “making a case”, it’s reaching out to someone for an explanation on what you could have and should have done as a pilot.

1 Like

For this situation I personally agree that controllers should be as professional as possible. When requesting again, or trying to get the controllers attention because they simply forgot about you, or just straight up not doing there jobs properly (No hate on the controllers) it’s annoying to get a “Check tutorials on the forum”.

But the truth is controllers on infinite flight are busy, and sometimes it gets annoying, but everyone learns and gets better! Have an amazing day.


One time I was forgotten about by approach at ATL pre-Center and I was sent so far south I was half way to Florida from ATL I flipped a 180 and just requested again. This case is extreme and we all know how busy ATL can be but they said “I’m Sorry” I landed and nothing was wrong. We are all human and if you are genuinely forgot about just request again.
Also to back off @preston IRL most of these airports have multiple approaches multiple grounds and multiple departure frequencies and about half the traffic that IF gives one airport like ATL. It’s ok and IFATC do expert server a great service.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.