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British Airways has launched a new hold option that allows potential customers to buy a little time when considering flights for purchase. For a $10 deposit fee, you can now lock in the fare on a flight and put it on hold for 72 hours. If you purchase your flight within those 72 hours, your hold deposit is refunded.
This hold option is part of a joint project with British Airways and Iberia, and allows for a bit of breathing room when you need to confirm other travel arrangements before committing to a flight. Seats can be held up to 21 days in advance of your travel date, and the names of all party members can be added to the reservation.
If you have good intentions to book a flight, this hold option is a good deal, since the $10 fee is refunded upon purchase. It’s important to point out that the hold fee for long-haul flights are based on the local currency for the departing city – $10 from the U.S., €10 from Europe and £10 from the U.K.
British Airways isn’t the first airline to allow customers to lock in a price before they book. United offers FareLock, in which itineraries can be held for either 72 hours or seven days at a cost of around $20, depending on the flights and length of the hold. The price of your itinerary is guaranteed for the entirety of your chosen hold period.
From the airline’s perspective, these hold options are a win-win for them. The ultimate hope is that you’ll decide to return and book the flight(s) you’ve put on hold, but even if you don’t, the airlines will still pocket $10-$20 in fees.
Have you ever used United’s FareLock, and/or do you plan to use the new British Airways hold feature? Feel free to share your experiences below.