American Airlines ending 24 hour free hold policy –
In the past I have written about American Airline’s free 24-hour hold policy:
It has been a great option for getting in on travel deals when you need time to verify.
I personally utilize them all the time as it avoids having to file for a refund if my travel plans do not work out. I’ve been able to secure some great deals even though I was not ready to buy them yet. Most recently, I booked a trip to Maui for my wife and I for $415. I needed to review our calendars to verify if the dates would work out, so I placed it on hold. Shortly after I put it on hold the fare went up $300. Because it was on hold, I was still able to secure the deal even though it had closed.
What is changing, is American is moving to a free cancellation and refund within 24 hours. This policy is consistent with Delta and United who offer similar policies.
This still means that you can secure great deals right away and have the ability to cancel them. The only draw back is that you have to pay up front and then wait for a refund. Refunds can take about a week or so, which is not a big deal; however, it was nice having the option to secure it as a hold rather than having to pay immediately.
American officially changed the policy as of April 1; however, it is likely that the hold option will still be listed on the webpage for some time while they incorporate the changes into their IT system.
Other methods of booking including over the phone will have the policy effective immediately.
Note: This policy only applies to paid trips. Award travel will still be available to place on hold.