Good news for American Airlines customers as the carrier has once again made the 24-hour hold option for ticket purchases available on its website, which had disappeared for several months.
When going through the purchase process, customers now have the option of putting the purchase on hold for 24 hours before completing the purchase either through the website or an agent.
At the same time, American Airlines retains the option of canceling the ticket within 24 hours free of charge, but there are still use cases where the hold option is a lot more practical, especially when it comes to using vouchers and flight credits.
American Airlines has been rather horrible when it comes to properly allowing the use of credits on the website. There is almost always the one or other error message and shockingly enough, there are still paper vouchers issued by customer service that require to be mailed in.
Rather than relying on the reservation agent to find the best fare, with the hold option you can search for a suitable itinerary and put it on hold, then call reservations and tell the agent you want to use a voucher or flight credits and proceed from there.
Here is how it’s displayed on the website again (I just tested it as I write this article):
Keep in mind that the hold option might not be available if the flight is operating on short notice. This one was an international itinerary from Dallas to Tokyo two weeks from now.
I also tried to use it on another flight pair which was a LAX-LAS flight seven days from now, and for some reason, the option was not available.
Airlines have always played around with such a hold option but most eventually settled on allowing free 24-hour cancellation windows post-booking. I remember when you could trigger a hold on United’s website by entering your credit card information incorrectly 3 times, and then the website would create a PNR. You could then take your voucher to an airport ticketing counter and get it processed.
American Airlines customers can once again avail themselves to the 24-hour hold option available on the website for itineraries 14 days+ out.
This is a welcome change as the hold button was unavailable for quite some time and missed by those who liked to either hold flights before making hotel arrangements or wished to use some sort of voucher/credit.
It’s always better to be able to search for the best itinerary and price by yourself online and then hold that reservation rather than relying on a callcenter agent to give you the best option. It’s especially frustrating if you can book it for much cheaper online but the agent can’t recreate it to use a credit.
This is a great change, well, reinstatement and I hope American will keep this option around.