Nowadays, air travelling in US are making the passengers more frustrated because of the annoying security checks. Security checking was made more intense after the 2001 terrorist attacks and then again more intense after the failed attacks of “shoe bomber” Richard Reid. With the widespread use of full-body image detectors and the introduction of more intrusive pat-downs for those refusing the full body image detector, security check lines have become very slow. Some people have also been faced with situations like missing flights even if they had reached the airport more than 2 hours ahead of the scheduled departure. TSA cannot also be blamed because their top priority is the safety of the travelling public.
If you have missed your flight due to such reasons, firstly I would advise you to stay calm and plan on what needs to be done. Be always well informed about such situations and ask your airlines about the ‘flat tire rule’ or the ‘two hour rule’ or in some cases you may need to know what it is actually called in a particular airline company. In Southwest airlines, it is called as flat tire rule and in US airways it is called as two hour rule. The rule says –
A passenger who has missed their schedule flight based on unforeseen causes ie. flat tire, accident, traffic delays may standby without penalty or charges provided:
1. The passenger arrives at airport no later than two hours after departure of their confirmed flight, except if it’s the last flight of the day, in which case, they can standby on first flight next morning.
2. The passenger must standby on flights of same airline as their ticketed flight.
The 2-hour rule is not to be referred as part of the fare rule to circumvent voluntary changes. Exception made only when passenger has made an attempt to make originally scheduled flight.
Missing flight due to slow security line is indeed an unforeseen cause and you may remind the airline officials regarding the rule and they can at their discretion waive the fare rules and rebook a passenger on the next flight at no charge. Being well informed will help in these situations.
It is also advisable to purchase an air travel insurance prior to departure at the time of check in or by purchasing it online earlier as we are now aware of the intense security checks at the airports. Such travel insurances refund your airfare when you miss your flight due to slow security lines in case your airline does not have the two hour policy under rare circumstances.