Last Updated Dec 11, 2008 9:49 AM EST
The so-called "flat tire rule" is just an informal understanding within some of the major airlines that if you should arrive late for your flight -- but not more than two hours late -- due to some event you really couldn't avoid (like, say, a flat tire), they'll consider putting you on the next flight to your destination on standby without paying a rebooking fee or the difference in the fares. Most [airlines] were careful to say that this is a discretionary practice.As someone who likes to "play chicken" at the airport, getting to the gate just as they're starting to board, this is good information to have -- because one of these days I'm going to miss a flight. Obviously this isn't something to rely on (or take advantage of), but it could help reduce your stress level if you're legitimately stuck in traffic or otherwise delayed.
Have you ever leveraged the flat-tire rule? Share your stories of rebooking success -- or failure -- in the Comments. [via The Consumerist]