Man shares how you can get flight for free if you miss your flight

@jakepeterson114/TikTok Andrew Angelov/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘There’s 1 excuse you can give your airline’: Man shares how you can get flight for free if you miss your flight

'They will, for free of charge, move you to the next flight.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Jan 15, 2024   Updated on Jan 15, 2024, 6:48 am CST

As a traveler, missing your flight can be an incredibly stressful experience. Travelers stuck in this situation may feel as though there’s nothing they can do, and in the worst cases, they may begin to worry that rebooking their flight will cost them an exorbitant sum.

Worry no longer, says TikTok user Jake Peterson (@jakepeterson114) in a video with over 203,000 views. According to Peterson, there’s actually “one excuse you can give the airline that will let them put you on the next flight for free, or at least put you on the standby list.”

What is that excuse? According to Peterson, one must simply say that they had a flat tire.

“Earlier today, I was running late for my flight because I had a flat tire. So I knew I wasn’t gonna make it,” he recounts. “But fortunately, most airlines have a flat tire policy—American, Delta, United. … The agent, there’s actually a button on their computer that says ‘flat tire policy,’ and they will, for free of charge, move you to the next flight.”

“So next time you’re delayed because of a flat tire, use this trick,” he concludes. “It could help you save you some money.”

Is there validity to what Peterson is saying? Yes, and the coverage offered by some airlines goes even further than what he lays out in the video.

In short, many airlines’ “flat tire policies” do not solely cover delays due to actual flat tires. Instead, the term “flat tire policy” is used as a catch-all to describe circumstances outside of the traveler’s control.

Airline policies differ, but, according to The Points Guy, numerous airlines allow free rebooking or standby travel so long as one arrives within 2 hours of their scheduled departure time.

Several commenters noted this.

“Real rule, but you don’t need any sort of excuse. Just make sure you’re not more than 2 hours late after your original scheduled flight departure,” explained a user.

“Most airlines’ ‘flat tire’ policy also covers other issues out of your control, i.e., traffic jam or severe weather,” echoed another.

@jakepeterson114 What to do when you’re late for flight #plane #traveltok #traveltiktok #fyp #airlinenews #travelers #airline #travelessentials #plantsoftiktok #planespotting #vacation #luxurytravel ♬ original sound – NewsGuyJake

Other commenters simply speculated that, if this TikTok goes viral, the airline may scrap the policy.

“This will only work for so long after this video,” joked a commenter.

A few others offered their own excuses that they’ve given to gat agents in order to avoid rebooking charges.

“I always say my alarm didn’t go off. Never had an issue,” shared a user.

“I just tell them a family member (that doesn’t exist) died and they change it every time,” stated a second. “Just have to cry hard enough.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Peterson via TikTok direct message.

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*First Published: Jan 15, 2024, 9:00 am CST