American Airlines Ends Free 24-Hour Reservation Holds
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.
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.