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FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: FAQ: Late Arrival Standby ("Flat Tire Rule") and its application (master thread)
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FAQ: Late Arrival Standby Policy ("Flat Rire Rule")
Not a formal "rule", allows some missing flight to standby for next available flight

Q. Is it true AA has a rule that if I miss a flight due to a mishap (accident, traffic, flat tire, slept in, etc.) they'll put me on the next flight without change fees and original and new flight fare difference?

Maybe. Kind of. Yes and no.

The so-called "Flat Tire Rule" is formally called Late Arrival Standby, and is extended to domestic passengers who show up at the airport within two hours of scheduled departure. They will be accommodated on a standby basis free of charges if they can depart the same day.

They may enhance their chances by paying $75 (waived for Executive Platinum) for
Domestic Same Day Flight Change
if it's available.

Quote:
What happens when bad traffic makes you miss your flight?
Linda Burbank, Special for USA TODAY 8:01 a.m. EDT April 2, 2014, in part:

The flat-tire rule is a longstanding practice of some airlines that allows passengers who miss flights due to circumstances outside their control to take the next available flight, providing space is available, with additional fees and fares waived.

...American has codified its discretionary procedure to a standard policy. Its late arrival standby policy, as it's now known, allows late passengers who arrive at the airport—not call—no more than two hours after their scheduled flights to wait on standby for the next available flight without fees or fare increases. Passengers who show up more than two hours late are on the hook for fare increases. The rule applies as long as the original flight was not the last scheduled flight of the day; the goodwill gesture doesn't roll over onto the next day.


See entire article at http://goo.gl/hGpKur
Q. What happens if my plane hasn't left, but I'm past the check-in time requirement?

You're probably still going to have to take the consequences. You must check in an hour prior to scheduled departure for international flights, and at the gate 30 minutes prior to scheduled departures; if you're late, you're late.

Q. What happens if I'm on an international flight?

Standby is not allowed for international flights. If you can get International Same Day Flight Change you may be OK to destinations SDFC is allowed (on the same day, of course). You will generally pay the change fee associated with your original fare plus the difference between your original fare and the "walk up" fare charged passengers booking today.

(JonNYC and ThreeJulietTango say Canada, USVI and Puerto Rico flights are exceptions, as are any destinations you can buy SDFC on (no standby internationally). See post at TravelingBetter.com: http://goo.gl/S3CAq4 and post #89 for this and other exceptions, including itineraries with domestic and international sectors (the fare break is at the domestic to international connection).

Q. What if my flight was the last one of the day / there's no flight with an available seat that can accommodate me the same day?

You will generally pay the change fee associated with your original fare plus the difference between your original fare and the "walk up" fare charged passengers booking today.

Frankly, booking the last flight of the day entails some risk. If there are delays and IROPS, they often get later and later as the day progresses, and in the situation at issue here means no standby, likely significant costs to you and meal and lodging costs added to your expenses.

Q. Can I just use my mobile and call?

No; you're actually expected to show at the check-in counter within two hours. But, calling can prevent your itinerary from being cancelled because you were listed as a "no show" when you miss the flight, and if you have status it's possible you could have some arrangements made for you on the spot - less to do at the check-in counter.

Q. That's not fair! Can I do anything?

Check to see if your credit card (e.g. Citi AAdvantage Executive MasterCard, etc.) includes trip interruption insurance, or buy it in advance of your trip.

Or, if you don't want to purchase TCII "self-insure"; set aside some money for unforeseen circumstances knowing if you travel frequently you'll probably encounter travel disruption.

Thanks to JonNYC, Linda Burbank of USA Today and gemac for clarification.
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Old Dec 6, 11, 2:07 pm   #1
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FAQ: Late Arrival Standby ("Flat Tire Rule") and its application

I know that AA will let you stand by for a later flight if you miss your flight and call ahead to cancel, but I have never tried this on the last flight of the day.

Will they allow you to do a confirmed stand by purchase or allow you to stand by on the next morning flight or are you just out of luck? I have some late meetings and am worried about missing my flight SNA-DFW. Thanks.

Last edited by JDiver; Sep 28, 15 at 1:39 pm Reason: Restore original thread title
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Old Dec 6, 11, 2:24 pm   #2
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I know that AA will let you stand by for a later flight if you miss your flight and call ahead to cancel, but I have never tried this on the last flight of the day.

Will they allow you to do a confirmed stand by purchase or allow you to stand by on the next morning flight or are you just out of luck? I have some late meetings and am worried about missing my flight SNA-DFW. Thanks.
Technically, if you do not get on that flight you would be subject to a change fee and reprice. Much will might depend on kindness of the GA. Personally, I'd not chance it.
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Old Dec 6, 11, 2:25 pm   #3
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Will they allow you to do a confirmed stand by purchase or allow you to stand by on the next morning flight or are you just out of luck?
First, to clarify, there is no such thing as a "confirmed stand by purchase". There are two options for same-day changes for flights in the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and the Caribbean: first, you can pay for a confirmed flight change, as long as E inventory is available on your desired flight and your desired flight leaves in less than 12 hours; second, eligible passengers can stand by for earlier or later flights at no charge. The kicker is that, if you just happen to miss your flight completely, you'd actually be invoking the flat tire rule (FTR), which is different altogether. In such case, you'll typically be placed near the bottom the PALL list for the next flight (even if it's the next day) and be allowed to stand by even if you'd ordinarily be ineligible to do so. This should not require a reprice and change fee (as long as you really did just miss your flight).
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Old Dec 6, 11, 2:48 pm   #4
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Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
First, to clarify, there is no such thing as a "confirmed stand by purchase". There are two options for same-day changes for flights in the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and the Caribbean: first, you can pay for a confirmed flight change, as long as E inventory is available on your desired flight and your desired flight leaves in less than 12 hours; second, eligible passengers can stand by for earlier or later flights at no charge. The kicker is that, if you just happen to miss your flight completely, you'd actually be invoking the flat tire rule (FTR), which is different altogether. In such case, you'll typically be placed near the bottom the PALL list for the next flight (even if it's the next day) and be allowed to stand by even if you'd ordinarily be ineligible to do so. This should not require a reprice and change fee (as long as you really did just miss your flight).
Thanks.

I guess I should explain what I was thinking. When you go to the kiosk to check in, it will often ask you if you want to stanby for a early/later flight and give you the option of paying the $50 to confirm. I wasn't sure if it ever gave you the option to confirm on a Next Day flight if you flight was the last flight of the day.
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Old Dec 6, 11, 2:54 pm   #5
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Originally Posted by braddev View Post
When you go to the kiosk to check in, it will often ask you if you want to stanby for a early/later flight and give you the option of paying the $50 to confirm. I wasn't sure if it ever gave you the option to confirm on a Next Day flight if you flight was the last flight of the day.
If you are within 12 hours of the new flight, and it has E inventory available (verifiable via EF), you should be able to make the change via reservations (or your elite status desk, if applicable) without even going to the airport:

Quote:
When you want to confirm a flight change before arriving at the airport, simply call our Reservations desk at 1-800-433-7300.

Our Reservations staff will provide a choice of available flights departing no less than 1 hour and no more than 12 hours from the time you call. The $50 charge* can be paid over the phone with any credit card AA accepts.

Once you arrive at the airport, you can check in for your new flight at Curbside Check-In, Self-Service Check-In, or our ticket counter.
Source
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Old Dec 6, 11, 3:49 pm   #6
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Does FLAT TIRE rule apply to AA flights originating outside U.S.A.?
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Old Dec 6, 11, 4:02 pm   #7
  
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Originally Posted by braddev View Post
I know that AA will let you stand by for a later flight if you miss your flight and call ahead to cancel, but I have never tried this on the last flight of the day.

Will they allow you to do a confirmed stand by purchase or allow you to stand by on the next morning flight or are you just out of luck? I have some late meetings and am worried about missing my flight SNA-DFW. Thanks.
If you miss the last flight of the day you'll be re-booked automatically onto the next flight out, which could very well be (a) a redeye or (b) at 6AM the next morning.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but this has happened to me...that said, I prefer not to chance it.
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Old Dec 6, 11, 8:06 pm   #8
  
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Originally Posted by toast24 View Post
If you miss the last flight of the day you'll be re-booked automatically onto the next flight out, which could very well be (a) a redeye or (b) at 6AM the next morning.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but this has happened to me...that said, I prefer not to chance it.
You will be rebooked if you are a connecting PAX and miss ANY flight. If the flight is an originating flight, you will probably have all remaining segments canceled. At least my understanding.
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Old Dec 6, 11, 10:31 pm   #9
  
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You will be rebooked if you are a connecting PAX and miss ANY flight. If the flight is an originating flight, you will probably have all remaining segments canceled. At least my understanding.
Your understanding is correct!
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Old Dec 7, 11, 7:19 am   #10
  
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I had an incident a couple of years ago where we missed check-in time for the late afternoon SFO->DFW flight by about ten minutes and weren't allowed on even though we had checked in on-line because we had bags to check. Fair enough - I should have got there earlier.

However, the check-in agent wanted $250 each to rebook us on the next flight since it didn't leave until 12:15 am which she saw as next-day and therefore not eligible for standby. I called the EXP desk immediately who said that this wasn't the rule at all and not only could I standby for that next flight but my status would put me top of the list. I ended up having to hand my phone to the check-in agent who, after about five minutes of defensive discussion with the EXP desk, agreed to do the standby but made it clear she didn't agree with it and was going to add a note to the locator to say as much.

In the end, we were #1 and #2 of about ten on the standby list and got on the later flight without further issue. Therefore, in this case at least, standby from a missed last flight of the day worked and the comment from the EXP desk along with the fact that we ended up top of the list suggested that the flat tire rule didn't reduce our standby priority in any way.
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Old Dec 7, 11, 9:00 am   #11
  
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I had an incident a couple of years ago where we missed check-in time for the late afternoon SFO->DFW flight by about ten minutes and weren't allowed on even though we had checked in on-line because we had bags to check. Fair enough - I should have got there earlier.

However, the check-in agent wanted $250 each to rebook us on the next flight since it didn't leave until 12:15 am which she saw as next-day and therefore not eligible for standby. I called the EXP desk immediately who said that this wasn't the rule at all and not only could I standby for that next flight but my status would put me top of the list. I ended up having to hand my phone to the check-in agent who, after about five minutes of defensive discussion with the EXP desk, agreed to do the standby but made it clear she didn't agree with it and was going to add a note to the locator to say as much.

In the end, we were #1 and #2 of about ten on the standby list and got on the later flight without further issue. Therefore, in this case at least, standby from a missed last flight of the day worked and the comment from the EXP desk along with the fact that we ended up top of the list suggested that the flat tire rule didn't reduce our standby priority in any way.
Was this your outbound or return flight?
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Old Dec 7, 11, 9:02 am   #12
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Originally Posted by dmsdfw View Post
I had an incident a couple of years ago where we missed check-in time for the late afternoon SFO->DFW flight by about ten minutes and weren't allowed on even though we had checked in on-line because we had bags to check. Fair enough - I should have got there earlier.

However, the check-in agent wanted $250 each to rebook us on the next flight since it didn't leave until 12:15 am which she saw as next-day and therefore not eligible for standby. I called the EXP desk immediately who said that this wasn't the rule at all and not only could I standby for that next flight but my status would put me top of the list. I ended up having to hand my phone to the check-in agent who, after about five minutes of defensive discussion with the EXP desk, agreed to do the standby but made it clear she didn't agree with it and was going to add a note to the locator to say as much.

In the end, we were #1 and #2 of about ten on the standby list and got on the later flight without further issue. Therefore, in this case at least, standby from a missed last flight of the day worked and the comment from the EXP desk along with the fact that we ended up top of the list suggested that the flat tire rule didn't reduce our standby priority in any way.
Ok, this is how I would expect things work, that you are just standby for the next flight.
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Old Dec 7, 11, 9:10 am   #13
  
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Originally Posted by FlyMeToTheLooneyBin View Post
Was this your outbound or return flight?
Return.
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Old Dec 7, 11, 9:28 am   #14
  
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Return.
Would missing a flight on the outbound cancel the return? or would you be able to standby on the outbound and "rescue" the return?
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Old Dec 20, 11, 8:51 am   #15
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FAQ: "Flat Tire Rule" and its application (Late Arrival Standby)

Although it is frequently mentioned, I have not been able to find the terms of the actual Flat Tire rule.

Is it only domestic? Do you standby on next flight? and, do you have to claim Flat Tire or does getting to Ticket Counter within 2 hrs of flight time for any reason activate this rule?

Is this rule at the whim of the TA or is it official AA policy?

Thanks
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