I’m loving that American Airlines makes it so easy to hold flights for 24 hours, especially now that I’ve been flying them more often. The feature came in really handy earlier this year when booking a trip for Megan’s parents to Hawaii — one of the rare situations where I didn’t trust my instinct to book first and ask questions later.
You may place your reservation on hold for up to 24 hours if you are booking the reservation more than seven days prior to departure.
Department of Transportation rules that require a hold or cancellation within 24 hours of booking (airline’s choice) have always been more relaxed close to departure. It seems American has decided not to give any more flexibility than necessary. At least they haven’t gone so far as United and some other carriers that let you refund the ticket within 24 hours rather than let you hold it. I hated dealing with the refund process.
Update: American has since amended their change so that reservations within seven days of departure may be cancelled within 24 hours. This is not the same as a hold, but it’s certainly better than nothing. (HT to View from the Wing and to sukn and FriendlySkies on FlyerTalk)
This change doesn’t bother me much as I’m not a last-minute travel type. But I know it’s important to a lot of people.