Is American Airlines getting rid of its free 24-hour ticket hold policy?

American Airlines disables its free hold feature.
american airlines plane

The Daily Navigator strives to help you make the best decisions in travel. While we produce content according with strict editorial integrity this post may contain references to partner products. Here’s a full explanation for how our team makes money .

If you tried to buy an American Airlines flight recently, you might have noticed that the airline disabled their free 24-hour ticket hold. Though the airline had only temporarily disabled the feature as a test, it’s unclear what their long-term plan is for the policy. 

The airline has long held the policy, which allows travelers to hold a flight reservation for 24 hours just in case they need the extra time to confirm. 

Why the change?

What spurred the sudden tests was the number of calls that the airline’s reservation line was receiving. Flyers who wanted to purchase on-hold tickets would have to call the reservation line to complete a free hold flight purchase with flight credits. When customers buy tickets without the hold option, however, they can apply flight credits while purchasing online, so it seems the airline was testing how popular the hold option truly is.

What’s ahead?

Even if the airline were to get rid of the free hold policy, it would still be required to follow a 24-hour cancellation period. The US Department of Transportation requires that airlines allow flyers to cancel and receive refunds within 24 hours of purchasing their tickets if their departure date is a week out. 

It’s uncertain what American will do after analyzing the tests it has run, but it’s historically been a very generous airline. They even dropped change fees for most tickets in late 2020. Here’s hoping that whatever the change is, it’s better for travelers.

Navigate the News Better

Take a five-minute trip through the news that matters most to travelers with our daily newsletter.

Related Stories

Built with ❤️ by travelers, for travelers.

© 2024 Dollar Flight Club Inc. All Rights Reserved

Stay in the know with
The Navigator Newsletter

A five-minute trip through the news that matters most to travelers. Past Edition

A five-minute trip through the news that matters most to travelers. Past Edition

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. The relationship may impact how an offer is being presented. Our site doesn’t include all the offers available. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The Daily Navigator Featured Card Popup 3
new card art for chase sapphire preferred

75,000 bonus points

Worth up to $1,500 in travel!

Partner offer. Terms apply.

DFC Partner Perks App Link Image
Special Discounts for Our Members

Save Big with Perks

Get $5,000+ in immediate travel savings with Perks. Unlock next level travel benefits, for life. Get discounts from the world’s best travel brands you won’t find anywhere else. No credit required.

DFC Concierge App Link Image
Special Discount for Our Members

93% off lifetime access

Save $1,200 and 10 hours of your time on every vacation. With Lifetime access to DFC Concierge, get fully customized trip itineraries to make every vacation unforgettable.

Dollar Flight Club App Link Image
Special Discount for Our Members


You can save up to $500 on your next adventure without lifting a finger get email alerts when we find flights up to 90% off leaving your home airport. Just let us know your departure airport and we’ll do the rest.

The Navigator Commitment

The Daily Navigator is the cornerstone of the DFC Media family. Through each of our brands, we’re dedicated to helping our readers travel, spend, and live smarter.

With products dedicated to affordable travel, daily news, hospitality, and personal finance, we deliver the day’s essential content with none of the filler — all in a way that’s fast, easy, and fun to read. Every morning, over 2 Million travelers trust DFC to deliver the latest news and information so that they can make informed decisions faster. We hope you’ll join them.

We’re happy to have you here!