The most effective way to apologize for being late is to take responsibility for the mistake and express sorrow in a sincere and direct way according to UMass Amherst. Even when people are late through no fault of their own, it is important for them to be contrite and sincerely apologetic.
Insincere, incomplete or irrelevant apologies are not effective. People who find themselves late to important appointments need to accept responsibility for their tardiness and express regret for inconveniencing those who showed up on time. Accepting responsibility means not placing the blame on other people or factors and not trying to deflect attention or guilt onto something or someone else. It is best to own up fully to the fact that a mistake was made and to express regret for that mistake. If there is a way to remedy the mistake, such as not showing up late again or not wasting even more time with a long and drawn-out or insincere apology, those steps should also be taken.