The unknown rule that could get you a free flight if you miss your first one by mistake | The Sun

AN UNKNOWN airline rule could give passengers the chance to get a free flight if they miss their original one by mistake.

Sometimes, no matter how hard people try, circumstances arise that prevent them from getting to their plane on time.

Whether it's traffic, an emergency or a flat tyre, things can happen that ruin holidaymakers' plans.

However, a travel vlogger has revealed that airlines have a helpful policy that could help passengers in such a situation.

In a video on YouTube channel Beyounged, the blogger said: "We all know that we have to arrive at the airport hours before our departure time. But what if life happens?

"The airlines actually do have a heart and they have a secret unwritten 'flat tyre rule' that allows you to be on the standby list for the next available flight."

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The rule involves passengers immediately talking to the airline staff and telling them why they've missed their flight.

It is then up to the airline to decide whether or not they can try and fit them on the next available flight.

The vlogger explained how the policy works.

He continued: "There are a couple of things to know.

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"The first thing is it's not a guaranteed seat since it's only a standby, but at least you get a chance.

"Second is you should present yourself to airline agents as early as physically possible.

"Some of the airlines have unwritten deadlines for the cut off for the flat tyre rule between 30 minutes and two hours after your original scheduled departure.

"The third thing is that you should know that these are done on a case by case basis and if you're respectful enough, a lot of the airline agents are actually able to put you on standby, even if it's something that's within your control.

"Trust me, I come from personal experiences here and that's another reason for you to be respectful with the front line agents."

Beyounged isn't the only person to have spoken about the rule, with frequent flyer site The Points Guy also previously mentioning it.

They explained: "If you find yourself in a situation like this it can pay to inquire with the airline to find out whether or not it has a flat-tyre policy in place.

"Each airline has its own version of a flat-tire policy (although some do not have such a policy in place).

"If you've just missed your flight by a few minutes, it's best to ask an agent if there's anything they can do. Chances are, most major airlines will work to accommodate you on a future flight."

Of course, the best way for passengers to make sure they get to their destination is to be as prepared as possible.

Usually, passengers are told to check in two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before international – but that might not be enough anymore.

During the summer holidays and school breaks, busier airports mean longer lines, which in turn means it takes longer to reach your departure gate.

That's why travel expert Stefanie Waldek recommends an even earlier arrival than normal.

She wrote in Travel + Leisure: "Most airlines recommend arriving at the airport three hours before departure for international flights.

"If you're travelling over the holidays, over a school break, or in the summer, get to the airport even earlier than you normally would, as there will likely be long lines everywhere."

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Meanwhile this simple airport mistake could result in you missing your flight.

And an easy plane ticket mistake could end up costing you money.

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