For $10, British Airways Lets You Hold Airfare for 72 Hours
Finding a great flight price before you’re ready to book can be frustrating — especially when the fare jumps before the next time you search.
But more and more airlines are offering a solution, and British Airways and Iberia are the latest airlines to let travelers hold a fare for 72 hours with a small deposit.
The hold option introduced Thursday is a joint project between British Airways and Iberia, allowing customers to reserve a ticket through their websites for up to 72 hours for a deposit of $10.
If you book the ticket within that time, the deposit is refunded.
“We are confident that this reassurance will prove very popular and give them the time to book the flights they want and give certainty they have a great deal,” said Drew Crawley, British Airways’ chief commercial officer.
United Airlines offers a similar feature with FareLock, letting travelers reserve some fares for 72 hours for a fee from $6.99 to $14.99 depending on the itinerary. United adopted the feature from Continental, which added it in 2010.
In 2012, the Department of Transportation made it so U.S. airlines are required to let passengers hold a reservation or cancel a ticket free of charge within 24 hours of booking U.S. airlines are required to let passengers hold a reservation or cancel a ticket free of charge within 24 hours of booking.
Travelers who will know within 24 hours whether they want the ticket or not therefore can avoid paying any deposits, though the extended window does make it easier for those who need additional time.
Holding fares is not possible for all flights or destinations; United uses an algorithm to determine whether or not to offer its service, FareLock, for any given flight search.
On routes without a lot of price fluctuation, allowing travelers to hold a fare is one extra tool for airlines to get customers early in the booking process.