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AA Ticket Agents - Flat Tire Rule  
User currently offlineFourstripe From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 98 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 3 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 8221 times:

Okay, I can't seem to find a consistent answer at work so I'll try my luck here:

What are AA's procedures for the "flat tire rule"? I'm not looking for anyone to divulge company secrets, I just need the basics. Is it standby only or is there a way to rebook confirmed without paying extra? Any help appreciated.


“Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.” - Edward Vernon Rickenbacker
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineKKMolokai From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 760 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (11 years 3 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 7962 times:

The "Flat Tire Rule" is an unpublicized courtesy AA provides to those passengers traveling on restricted tickets, which if missed or not canceled by the time the flight departs, has no value (normally stated/printed on the receipt under "endorsements/restrictions").

The passenger MUST check-in within two hours of their originally scheduled departure in order to qualify for the Flat Tire Rule. After the two-hour courtesy period, the ticket has no value.

Additionally, the Flat Tire Rule allows the passenger to STANDBY for the next available flight(s) on the same routing as originally scheduled.

We are the people of American Airlines. And we know why you fly.
User currently offlineFLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1204 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (11 years 3 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7763 times:

if you think about it, given that people are supposed to check in one and a half hours before the flight, and it takes about 20 minutes to change a tire, they would still arrive before their flight departed, even if it was 5 minutes before. So, the "flat tire" passenger was already running late to begin with.
But I do get the essence of the rule.

Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
User currently offlineAa777jr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 3 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7682 times:

Before I was non-reving, going back to school abroad, I was scheduled for a AUS-ORD-LHR flight. I missed my flight only because I slept in.  Sad I had the most restricted fare possible I'm sure. I explained my situation to the supervisor at the gate in AUS. They put me on a later flight, AUS-STL-LGW, and I was only charged $50. Does this qualify for the Flat Tire Rule as I was not standby for the same route?


User currently offlineRogerthat From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 566 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 3 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7474 times:

Jr, you should have told them you were too drunk to fly. That way, they would be required by Federal Aviation Regulations to keep you off the flight. You could have pitched a fit like the people on the Southwest reality TV show do to get out of paying the extra 50 bucks.

User currently offlinePaulinbna From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 1114 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (11 years 3 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6803 times:
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Quoting FLY2LIM (reply 2):
and it takes about 20 minutes to change a tire,

Unless you are my wife, who would call me and tell me she had a flat tire then I would drive to where she is and change it. You would be suprised how many people do not know how to change a tire.

Canon 50D user; 100-400 MM L IS 10-22 MM, 60MM Macro
User currently offlineAa777jr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6655 times:


It was actually $100 that I had to pay do to my laziness.  Sad

All I had to do is show up drunk and they would have helped me out? Explain please.


User currently offlineUSrampleadSTL From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 years 3 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6656 times:

It's really a good rule, and many other airlines have a similar policy (I know US does). And of course it's not just for flat tires, it's for all sorts of problems and crises. Rather than having to sort out what is and isn't a "valid" reason for being late, just make the policy apply evenly to everyone. I'm not sure if United has a flat tire rule, though... a couple of years ago (before I went to work for an airline) I missed my ride to MSP from a small town an hour south because the van just skipped that little town, called UA, and they said that I'd have to buy a new ticket no matter what if I missed my flight. Cost of one hour in a cab vs. cost of a walkup ticket on UA from MSP to STL? I took the cab.

Aa777jr, the airline should have paid *you* to fly into Gatwick, not the other way around. I really hate that airport.

User currently offlineAa777jr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 3 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6634 times:

Quoting USrampleadSTL (reply 7):
Aa777jr, the airline should have paid *you* to fly into Gatwick, not the other way around. I really hate that airport.

I know. It was major bummers. Would have been my first flight on the T7 with AA and I had to settle for the 763. Oh well. It worked out and I got back to school on time and in one piece. That is all I can ask of AA.


User currently offlineAhlfors From Canada, joined Oct 2000, 1347 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 6504 times:

AF does not have such a rule. I showed up late, a few minutes before departure (i.e. after minimum check-in time) and they said sorry, have to buy a new ticket. Well, I did just that, with LX. Had they charged me $50 or $100 to stand-by later, they would be that much richer.

User currently offlineWindowSeat From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1319 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6478 times:

So far we've heard AA, US and UA have a policy. What about CO, NW, DL?


I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 15347 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6442 times:
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AS already permits customers to fly standby for any earlier or later same-day flight without a fee (except on off-tariff, internet only fares for last minute distressed inventory).

In a twist on the flat-tire rule, if you're on the last scheduled flight of the day and miss it - but still make a concerted effort to make your flight, showing at the ticket counter within 2 hours of the scheduled departure, we'll even let you go standby for the first flight the following day.

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9914 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6396 times:

Several carriers let you travel stand by on the day of travel, as mentioned if you check in at least 2 hours after your flight is scheduled to depart and you go on a space available basis, and you can go space available before your departure as well.

I know TWA had a very very relaxed policy about this and you could pretty much go almost any time as long as you had a ticket with them and it was the same day. The further up you went on your ticket scale you could rebook for days at a time, etc. I think AA did adopt some of their policies when they bought them out...because pretty much now if you show up at the airport and want to list stand by and there are seats available, they just print you up a confirmed boarding pass...but at the same time, they let you keep your original reservation in case you don't make your earlier flight.

Continental has let me stand by for earlier flights before. Northwest has given me a change to a later flight for no charge fee after being stuck in traffic on I-74 going to Indianapolis twice before. Haven't had to chance it in a while so I don't know what their policies are exactly these days.

Delta on the other hand charges $25 for any changes made, even if you want to stand-by and go earlier.

if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
User currently offlineKL662 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6281 times:

I've missed my share of flights, mostly CO, but also AA, UA, and WN. The only time I've had to pay anything was when I missed a SAN-EWR redeye (boy did that suck). CO charged me $100 since the next flight was the next day. (However, I once missed a BWI-IAH flight on CO and they rebooked me for the next day, but didn't charge... Guess it all depends on the agent.) Usually, I just end up on the next flight out.

(I try not to be a serial latecomer to my flights, but I guess if you fly enough, you're bound to miss some. Traffic is usually the cause of me missing a flight. DC's the worst: once I encountered no fewer than 4 (!) wrecks on my journey from DC to BWI to catch a flight. And then there was the comedy of mishaps on my way to IAD once: traffic, the bus from long-term parking, ridiculous security lines, the "mobile lounge" -- all of which conspired to allow me to witness the jetway pulling away from the plane I was supposed to be on as our "lounge" approached the terminal.)

User currently offlineNwaca From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6192 times:

NW will allow (depending on the fare-as long as standby is permitted to begin with) a pax to go stand by for the same day. If the pax wants to go confirmed--i.e. due to connections down line, then they have to pay a change fee. Provided the pax isn't on day 30 of their 30day max stay rule-usually a change fee is charged to send them confirmed the next day. No stand-by for next day departures.

User currently offlineLrgt From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 718 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6126 times:

US Air, AirTran and JetBlue let you standby for free anytime that day (earlier or later). But, AirTran and US Air say screw you if you miss the last flight out. JetBlue lets you go the next day if you miss the last flight.

Delta charges $25, however they CONFIRM you on the next flight. I tried to get them to put me standby for free since there was plenty of space but they said no. I can't beleive they charged me! I was at the counter 25 minutes prior to departure at BOS, forgetting that Delta is inferior to JetBlue and their cut-off is 30 minutes NOT 20!

I was charged in lite of rubbing it into their face that had I flown JetBlue as usual (instead of Song), I would have made my flight let alone having to pay a fee.

Don't bring up the NW DC9's unless you have to!
User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2586 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6067 times:

I only missed a flight due to oversleeping one time. That was when I was living in CHA and was to come here to TUS to visit my parents for summer vacation. I called the airline office in CHA, explained my situation and then headed for the airport. At the ticket counter, they told me that they could book me as standby via a different routing, couldn't guarantee anything but due to the loadings thought my chance of making it to TUS were still pretty good. I called my folks to let them know about the situation and don't recall Delta charging a fee to confirm me on any of the flights. In the end, I did make it home after several hours and four plane changes-the last one being at TUS proper arriving on Delta's bird and leaving in our plane.

"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 15374 posts, RR: 58
Reply 17, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6060 times:

AA's policy is to allow someone to fly standby for free for that day...I've done it a couple of times...

Last summer, they did let me fly standby for free from JFK-SFO the following day. It was really nice of AA. I flew from DXB-JFK on EK, and my flight was almost 7 hours delayed, thus, missing my connecting JFK-SFO flight on AA. EK gave all pax a letter apologising about the dealy and I showed it to the AA ticket agent at JFK. She posted my problem in the computer and told me to come back the following day and I shouldn't have a problem. I showed up the following morning and got my seat.

This week however, AA lost some business. I was returing from PHL to SFO via ORD and wanted to stop in ORD for a week. Since 1/2 the ORD-SFO flights are somewhat empty, I asked AA if I can stop for a week and just pay them $150 dollars to fly the following week. That was basically free $150 dollars for them because I had already paid for the previous ticket. An empty seat never makes money.

The agent told me that since I'm on a restricted ticket, either I fly that day, or purchase a new ticket for $315 dollars (one way). Well, I flew PHL-ORD, but wound up purchasing a ticket on ATA for $145 (including tax) to fly from MDW-SFO this week.

My point is, I guess it depends on the situation, because I obviously got mixed results.

"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineAmhilde From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 643 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6048 times:

Actually on Tuesday I was trying to get an earlier flight MKE-MSP and was JUST before the 30 minute cut off time. There was a very helpful CS agent there who helped me with my situation and I made that flight. I was scheduled for the 6.20 and not the 4.30, with a connecting flight to RNO at 9.27 pm. I wasnt charged at all for the change- maybe they couldnt believe that someone wanted a longer layover ( was meeting friends in MSP).  Smile But I saw on the check in terminals that you can apparently check in for an earlier flight then then the screen tells you if they are accepting standbys- is this correct?

Hang on tightly, Let go lightly
User currently offlinePDXFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6027 times:

I have found with Delta that is you are Medallion, there is no fee at all for switching flights same day, and it is confirmed seating.

Also, if you fly restricted fares, as long as you call them same calendar day as the flight, you ticket has full value for one year (you will have to pay a change fee to rebook later).

User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12323 posts, RR: 32
Reply 20, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5994 times:

USrampleadSTL, Land To Air Express forget about St Peter?  Smile How much did that cab ride cost you? Could have called me, I'd be cheaper than a cab  Nuts

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
User currently offlineAirbrasil From Brazil, joined Nov 2003, 205 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5729 times:

Frontier you can fly stand by on any flight on the same day, if its the last flight we are expected to charge $100 change fee.. I gues attitude is everything, if a pax is very rude and demanding we will stick to the rule, but even if the excuse for being late really sucks but the pax is not lying at your face and being at least polite you can even get a confirmed seat for the next day...

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