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Everything you need to know about Capital One's new rapid rebooking feature

Jan. 17, 2023
8 min read
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When Capital One acquired the flight insurance program Freebird a couple of years ago, we expected Freebird's impressive flight protections to be integrated with the Capital One travel portal.

Now, they've integrated a version of Freebird's popular rebooking service with something called "rapid rebooking."

You can add rapid rebooking when checking out for your flight on eligible flight bookings through Capital One Travel. Rapid rebooking can be a lifesaver for travelers who run into delayed or canceled flights on the day of travel. TPG was eager to test it out, so we booked a quick round-trip flight from John Wayne Airport (SNA) to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), which routinely has delays.

Here's what you need to know about Capital One's rapid flight rebooking feature.

It adds about 10% to your flight price

Rapid rebooking isn't available on all flights. You'll see it as an add-on just before the final checkout page if it's available for yours, but don't be confused by Capital One's "cancel for any reason" option, which also may appear as an add-on just before paying for your flight.

On my $292 round-trip American Airlines flight to Phoenix, the rapid rebooking service was an additional $26 or 2,600 Capital One miles (worth around $48 at TPG's valuations).


You'll have to purchase your ticket at least 24 hours before departure to have the rapid rebooking option, and our tests found that the service is often only available on nonstop flights; however, Capital One has advised us that Rapid Rebooking is also available on connecting flights. One TPG reader found the rapid rebooking service for just an additional $5 or 500 Capital One miles on a $57 Spirit Airlines flight between Las Vegas' Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) and Portland International Airport (PDX). This service is routinely available on cheaper tickets for under $10, so it might be particularly worth it when purchasing low-cost tickets on budget carriers.

As you can see, you can also use Capital One miles to purchase rapid rebooking for a rate of 1 cent per mile — which matches the value you get when using Capital One to cover travel purchases.

Related: Everything you need to know about 'cancel for any reason' trip protection

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Rebook or refund?

If your flight is disrupted on the day of travel, your pre-purchased rapid rebooking protections kick in. According to Capital One, "A disrupted flight means your flight is delayed for 2+ hours, is canceled by the airline or you're at risk of missing a connecting flight due to a delay."

Assuming your disruption meets one of these criteria, you may be able to open the Capital One travel portal and select a same-day or next-day flight up to $5,000 on any airline.


While my American Airlines return flight was delayed, it didn't meet the two-hour mark for the rapid rebooking service to kick in.

The terms specify that the new ticket must have the same origin and destination airports. Additionally, the new flight must be in the same fare class, which we interpret to suggest you can't rebook a seat in first class if your original fare was for economy class. Those who rebook have to re-check any luggage and confirm the status of their return flight. Capital One won't foot the bill for any upgrades and baggage fees, and you can only use this service for a maximum of one flight disruption.

Passengers who prefer not to be rebooked can get a full refund for their ticket's base fare and taxes. If you opt for a refund for your ticket, you can receive a refund from Capital One Travel and still travel on your delayed flight.

Related: You are entitled to a refund for your canceled flight — even if the airline says you aren’t

You don't have to contact your airline


When your airline is affected by widespread delays, getting hold of an agent can be extremely challenging — and that's where the real value behind the rapid rebooking service may kick in.

Changing your flights — or requesting a refund — can be done directly on the Capital One travel portal without the need to fill out airline forms or speak with a representative in the airport. You can also call Capital One's rapid rebooking hotline at 833-265-4540 to get your flight rebooked or request a refund if you've experienced a disruption.

Related: Here's how the TPG staff is beating long hold times and getting airline support quickly

It stacks with airline compensation

American Airlines Flagship First. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

According to Capital One, "Getting a refund through Capital One Travel does not affect your eligibility to receive compensation or accommodations from the airline."

While the United States doesn't have a rule like EU261 that requires airlines to issue passengers compensation for delays and cancellations, most airlines try to make it right with customers for disruptions they cause.

For example, during the recent Southwest Airlines meltdown, Southwest issued passengers refunds, status extensions, future travel credits and Rapid Rewards points. If you purchase the rapid rebooking service and your flight qualifies, you can receive the rapid rebooking benefits from Capital One Travel and potential compensation from your airline.

Related: All the airlines' flight delay and compensation policies from DOT's customer service dashboard

Some exclusions

If the WHO designates your cities as a risk for COVID-19, you'll be left hanging. TANG MING/GETTY IMAGES

Capital One's rapid rebooking feature isn't insurance. Still, if you pay for a flight with a Visa Signature card like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, you automatically receive trip cancellation and interruption coverage which could cover up to $2,000 per person for you and immediate family members for eligible prepaid, nonrefundable tickets.

Adding Capital One's rapid rebooking service to your flight won't void this insurance benefit.

Capital One's rapid rebooking service aims to provide a less stressful experience and quickly get you on your way if something goes wrong by helping you rebook flights or receive a refund from Capital One Travel.

Also, the terms of Capital One's rapid rebooking service include the following exclusions:

  1. Declaration of an “emergency” or similar “extraordinary measures” taken by any governmental authority in the destination city, region, or country of your trip, or issuance of a Safety and Security Alert by the United States Department of State or a Travel Health Notice Warning by the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) for such destination;
  2. Designation by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the destination city, country, or region of your trip is at risk from COVID-19. Such events shall not be eligible reasons. In the event of such cancellation, or declaration of emergency, alert, notice, designation, or other similar government action, your purchased Service shall expire immediately; or
  3. Any voluntary cancellation requested by you for any of the tickets subject to the service, if made (i) directly with any airline or, (ii) if applicable, by exercising your option to cancel for any reason through Capital One Travel.

Related: How to use the Capital One travel portal — now with more cards and new rewards

Bottom line

Capital One's rapid rebooking service can be helpful if your flight is canceled, delayed by more than two hours or would cause you to miss your connection. The service lets passengers rebook themselves on new flights in the same or lower class for a same-day or next-day flight or receive a refund.

While my flight delay didn't meet the criteria to get rebooked, if it had, I could have potentially rebooked my flight on another airline with Capital One covering the new ticket expense, up to $5,000.

I probably wouldn't pay more than $10 or $15 for this service. Still, on discount flights that are routinely disrupted — and if you need to make it to your destination — Capital One's rapid rebooking service could be a compelling reason to book through Capital One Travel.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.