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It’s official: As of April 1, American Airlines is forgoing its free 24-hour reservation holds in favor of a 24-hour refund policy similar to that of other airlines. According to an AA spokesperson, the decision was made in response to confusion from customers:

The switch to a 24-hour refund instead of 24-hour hold goes into effect tomorrow, Friday, April 1 (no, it’s not an April Fool’s joke). Customers at AA.com will also still be able to use the 24-hour hold option for the time being, although that is temporary. Our policy to meet the DOT rule, which applies to reservations made via a call center or AA.com (or any other American Airlines channel) is the 24-hour refund.

You'll now have 24 hours to change your mind after booking an AA flight.
You’ll now have 24 hours to change your mind after booking an AA flight.

AA hopes the new policy will eliminate customer confusion, since AA’s 24-hour hold policy was different from what other airlines offer. The DOT requires carriers to permit either free 24-hour holds or free cancellations within 24 hours — as of tomorrow, American will offer the latter.

It’s interesting to note that there will be no change in the current process if you’re trying to book award tickets — you’ll still be able to use the 24-hour hold option there.

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