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UPDATE: Continental is now a part of United.
Continental recently launched a new program where you can hold a fare for up to a week for a small fee. The feature, FareLock, works on itineraries that are at least 18 days away (that was the threshold in my limited testing) and when searching for fares, you will see a small logo underneath your fare. Once you select your flights, it’ll give you the option of holding for 72 hours or 7 days.
When I searched for an itinerary one month in advance, the price was $9 for a 72 hour hold and $29 for a 7 day hold. When I searched for an itinerary that was 18 days away (the earliest FareLock was available), I only had the option to hold for 72 hours for $29.
I probably wouldn’t do FareLock, because Continental has a 24 hour flexible booking policy, so if a fare goes down the next day, you can cancel and rebook for free. You can keep doing this every day until the price goes up. Frankly, I don’t buy airline tickets unless I’m happy with the price (and I’m pretty good at understanding good fares), so I generally don’t take advantage of these programs.
However, as long as they keep the 24 hour policy, I think the addition of FareLock is a nice option to have for people who may need a couple days to firm up their travel plans.