24 hour airline ticket rule

24 hour airline ticket rule



The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires airlines have a 24hr airline ticket rule. Airlines must either give customers the opportunity to put a ticket on hold for 24 hours before purchasing, or provide at least 24 hours after booking a flight to cancel without penalty even on a non-refundable ticket. However, this rule only applies to tickets booked at least seven days in advance of departure.


1. This is a rule/consumer protection, for tickets purchased through the
airlines directly.

While most 3rd party booking sites offer this same benefit/rule, you should make sure they do before you complete your purchase.

2. This DOT 24hr airline ticket rule DOES NOT apply to air tickets purchased within 7 days
of travel.

Some airlines (American for one), do voluntarily offer flyers the ability to cancel for no penalty inside 7 days but are not required to by the DOT rule. You should look for and make sure you see this option when booking.


This rule can be really helpful for flight deal hunters if used properly!

Air deals and unadvertised air sales can come and go very quickly. So quickly, you might not know if others in your travel party can make the dates/flight times work. This is one example where you should book but make sure you change before your purchase or cancel within 24 hours if the original booking doesn’t work. This is a great tool to use to see if a flight deal can work. You have nothing to lose by holding or booking as long as you change or cancel within the 24 hour window.

There is potential to get a great flight ticket deal that SAVES you money!

More on the 24 hour ticketing rule

You miss out on air ticket deal opportunities if you don’t use this rule as a strategy in your air search and booking process!