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5 Little-Known Airport Rules That’ll Save Your Trip


Posted by Lanyon on 02/10/2016

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Have you ever missed a flight?

At Lanyon, we’ve missed flights for all sorts of reasons. Our favorite was a particularly delicious plate of lobster mac’n’cheese we just couldn’t step away from.

In case you ever find yourself standing in the airport watching your plane take off without you, these little-known, unofficial airline “rules” could save your trip – or at least a little bit of cash.  

 
  1. The ”flat tire” rule

This rule allows check-in agents some flexibility to accommodate passengers who “got a flat tire” on their way to the airport – or got stuck in traffic, deterred by construction zones, or any other mishap.

It accounts for any road or traffic issues that a passenger might run into, as most airlines realize that we’re all human and this stuff happens. However – make sure you call the airline as soon as you realize you’re going to miss your flight.
 
  1. The “say no to vouchers” rule

If your flight is overbooked, and you’re bumped as a result, the airline is required to compensate you – and you can demand cash (well, a check.)

If the airline can’t get you to your destination within two hours (for domestic flights) of your original arrival time, the Department of Transportation has rules about the compensation you’ll receive. Of course, they’ll offer you a travel voucher to avoid paying out actual money, but you’re entitled to the dough — so ask for it.
 
  1. The “direct routing” rule

If you miss your flight, and it’s the airline’s fault, they’ll rebook you on the next available flight. This is a common practice. But, sometimes that rebooking involves multiple stops and lengthy layovers. The Department of Transportation allows you, in this circumstance, to request the most direct routing to your destination.
 
  1. The “trip-in-vain” rule

Let’s say you're traveling for business, and for some reason your flight is delayed – a delay that leaves the airline at fault. Now you’ve missed your meeting, and the entire purpose of your trip is now in vain. You’re entitled to compensation from the airline.
 
  1. The “tarmac delay” rule

This rule comes in handy when you’ve already boarded the plane, headed for your destination, and you get delayed on the tarmac. After 3 hours, you’re entitled to exit the plane — with a full refund.
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