American to start charging to hold flights beyond 24 hours?

AA757Traditionally, American has allowed passengers to place itineraries on hold for up to 24 hours free of charge. US Airways, however, never has. Now, American lets passengers place their reservation on hold for up to 24 hours for free, or you may pay to place your reservation on hold for an extended time period.

The difference is that American will (generally) not refund a ticket once it is ticketed, whereas US Airways will. U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) regulations require that airlines offer passenger the choice of either canceling a ticketed itinerary within 24 hours of purchase or placing the itinerary on hold for 24 hours.

On American, once you place the itinerary on hold and later purchase it a refund will not be processed without a penalty.

To take advantage of the hold feature you must go to and book an American Airlines flights, or an American flights operated by codeshare partners, then look for the “Hold” option on the “Review and Pay” page during the booking process.

Here’s how it works:

  • All holds are free for the first 24 hours.
  • If you choose to hold longer, you’ll be charged after 24 hours.
  • Hold charges are non-refundable.
  • When you’re ready, go to the confirmation email or My Trips to pay for or cancel your trip.
  • Be sure to pay with a credit card from the same country you used to hold your trip or your fare may change.

Once you select the Hold option, the Free Hold and Extended Hold offers will display:

As of December 15, 2015

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