Ever book a flight only to check back a few hours later and see the price dropped? Uggghhh…I know the feeling. That’s why I play airline roulette, holding out to buy my tickets banking on finding a cheaper flight.
Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose when you play the wait and see game. Prices can change in minutes. I’ve even gotten the sorry the fare you selected is no longer available during checkout. Only to be replaced with a higher ticket price.
My friend worked for the airlines and she told me how quickly prices could fluctuate. I’ve seen them go up and down right before my eyes. One morning I found airline tickets for $160, then later that same afternoon(only a few hours later) when I was ready to buy them those same tickets jumped up to over $200. They may have come back down later that day-who knows?
The good news is that the mandated 24-hour reservation requirement allows you to cancel your higher airfare and get the lower airfare without a penalty if you meet the rule requirements.
According to Transportation.gov:
The 24-hour reservation requirement is mandated by the Department of Transportation’s consumer rule “Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections” (14 CFR 259.5(b)(4), 76 Fed. Reg. 23110, 23166, Apr. 25, 2011) and applies to all reservations made seven days or more prior to the flight’s scheduled departure time.1 To comply with the regulation, carriers may not deceive consumers about the 24-hour reservation requirement when consumers inquire about cancelling or changing a reservation within 24 hours of making or paying for that reservation
I put this into action when my flight dropped about $40 or $50 within the 24-hour booking period. I called the airline, explained the situation and provided my reservation number. The next thing I knew my credit card was being credited for the price difference. It was a quick call and it put money back in my pocket.
In my case, the lower price was still on the same carrier. But according to this rule you can cancel your flight within 24-hours and rebook it on another carrier without a penalty.
Have you ever used the 24-hour rule to get a lower airfare? Do tell…