Travel Tips

Travel Tip: The End of the Flat Tire Rule

AirportIn the airline business there used to be an unwritten rule that was considered a compassionate rule—the airlines called it the flat tire rule.

If you arrived at the airport, missed your flight, and got to the ticket counter late—but within four hours of your scheduled departure—understanding agents would often invoke the flat tire rule.

You could explain your delay, and they put you on the next scheduled flight, usually as a standby passenger.

But at least you flew—and more often than not, at no additional cost.

Well, you can kiss the flat tire rule goodbye.

Airlines now have instructed counter agents at the airports to follow a “no favors no waivers” approach to special situations like this.

If you arrive at the airport once the airline starts boarding your flight, the kiosks are programmed not to issue your boarding pass.

You’re not getting on the plane.

There can sometimes be exceptions, but it usually depends on how much you paid for your ticket.

If you’re on an economy or discounted ticket, don’t expect any special favors.

Unless you’re an uber member of the airlines frequent flyer program, you’re probably not going to get on another flight without paying an additional fare.

For more news on airlines and airports, check out:

Keep reading for more travel tips.