Apologize For Missing or Being Late to a Meeting or Appointment - Letters

Example Letter #1

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All I can do is offer my sincere apologies for missing our appointment this afternoon. Of all this year's meetings, this was the one I wanted and needed to attend. I had no idea we would be held up in the holiday traffic for so long. I have resisted buying a cellular phone, but today's frustration has convinced me that I must get one. I hope I can still have a chance to present my proposal to you and Mr. Doe. My sincere thanks for your patience and consideration.

Example Letter #2

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Please forgive me for missing our Tuesday appointment. I realize that you had to rearrange your schedule only to be frustrated. Ever since we agreed to hold the meeting, I have looked forward to exchanging ideas and deciding on a plan of action. Somehow, I thought the meeting was at 11 a.m. so I spent the time in my office preparing a presentation. From now on, I will check my calendar first thing in the morning. Can we reschedule? I am still very interested in meeting with you. And again, please forgive my temporary absent-mindedness.

Example Letter #3

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I apologize for coming late to the division meeting this morning. One of my staff came to my office with a serious personal problem and I had to make a choice. I stayed to talk with him. I realize that I missed an opportunity to give my report. I hope I can still give it in our next meeting. I know it must be frustrating for you to not have my information at the outset. I fully support the division's initiatives and want to do my best to contribute to them.

Example Letter #4

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I am sorry I missed our appointment yesterday. I had been looking forward to our meeting today, but when I rechecked my calendar I discovered that the meeting was, in fact, scheduled for yesterday.

I realize how busy you are and that your time is valuable, but I hope this oversight will not prevent us from rescheduling our appointment. Meeting with you means a great deal to me, and I assure you, this will not happen again.

Letter-Writing Tips

Write this letter as soon as possible after the incident. Don't apologize unless you plan to take full responsibility, and don't blame anyone.

Step-by-Step Guide

1 Begin with a straightforward apology.

Sentences
  • I am sorry I missed our appointment Friday. I know it was an important one.
  • John, I would like to apologize for missing the staff meeting today.
  • I apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused by being late to this morning's staff meeting.
  • I am sorry that conflicting schedules kept me from keeping our appointment yesterday.
  • I apologize that I made people wait for me to deliver my presentation.
  • Jane, I am sorry I was late for the training session this morning.
  • John, I am sorry that I was late for our lunch last Friday.
  • Jane, I apologize that I had to be absent from this morning's meeting.
Phrases
  • apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused by being late
  • apologize for missing
  • express regret for not being able to attend
  • extend my apologies
  • forgive me for missing our lunch
  • missed my appointment
  • hope you will accept my apology
  • last minute change of plans
  • made the mistake of
  • made people wait for me
  • no excuse could possibly convey my regret
  • oversight caused
  • please accept my apology for not meeting you
  • sincerest apologies
  • regretfully, I was out of the office when you called
  • sorry I missed our appointment on
  • sorry that other commitments
  • understand your concern with my being late
  • was absent from this morning's meeting
  • was late for the training session

2 Indicate that you understand the seriousness of your absence and that you value your relationship with the reader. You may want to explain your lateness, but don't blame anyone.

Sentences
  • I was very disappointed that I had to miss our appointment because of other commitments.
  • Being late for this meeting was the last thing I wanted to happen. Of all the mornings to find the interstate highway closed! Please accept my sincerest apologies.
  • I understand that I missed an important meeting this morning. I apologize that I let you and the company down.
  • Our meeting is still a priority with me. Please contact my secretary and make another appointment. I look forward to getting together.
  • I am especially embarrassed about this because I value our friendship so much. Please forgive me.
  • I value punctuality and assure you this will not happen again.
  • I was wrong. I have no excuse. I assure you this will not happen again.
  • I didn't know that this morning's meeting was a formal meeting meant to convene at exactly 10:00 a.m. I was under the impression that it was an informal discussion group. I was late because I was working on the project discussed, and I wanted to be ready to share the latest developments. I assure you that I am still firmly committed to the Doe contract and apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused.
Phrases
  • all flights were canceled out of
  • am especially embarrassed about this
  • am very disappointed that
  • an accident on the freeway kept me from
  • anxious to talk with you about
  • apologize that I
  • ask for your understanding
  • assure you that
  • didn't realize that the meeting was
  • feel bad about forgetting to
  • had to miss our appointment because
  • had to forsake several obligations
  • had been informed that
  • have briefed me on concerns
  • look forward to our getting together
  • missed an important meeting
  • problem required my presence
  • really have no excuse
  • still a priority
  • still firmly committed to
  • the last thing I wanted to happen
  • value our friendship
  • wanted to be ready to share my ideas on
  • was working on the
  • was under the impression that

3 Acknowledge your reader's frustration, if appropriate, and end with a positive statement.

Sentences
  • I assure you this will not happen again. I will be prepared and on time for tomorrow's meeting.
  • I intend to stay in town the night before our next meeting so neither of us need be concerned with delays in traffic.
  • I am very excited to do my part in our weekly planning sessions and am eager for the next one on Wednesday.
  • I know missing a meeting could appear to be a lack of commitment, but I missed the meeting because I was preparing graphs for the Doe proposal.
  • I know what it is like to be stood up for an important appointment, so I sincerely appreciate your patience and ask your forgiveness.
  • I appreciate the professional manner in which you handled the incident this morning. I apologize if my tardiness put you in an awkward position with the manager.
  • I understand that such inconveniences can be very frustrating.
  • If you are willing, I would like to reschedule for Wednesday. This time please let me pay for lunch.
Phrases
  • am as disappointed as you are that
  • appreciate your support
  • could we reschedule our meeting for
  • enjoy a leisurely lunch
  • get to together at your convenience
  • have learned from this mistake
  • hope to make it up to you
  • know I caused you frustration
  • know missing a meeting can make it look like
  • let us reschedule for
  • sincerely appreciate your patience with
  • sorry my tardiness put you on the spot
  • sorry my tardiness embarrassed
  • such inconveniences can be very frustrating
  • thank you for the professional manner
  • thanks for your understanding
  • will be prepared and on time at

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