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Is it Permitted to Cancel a Flight Within 24 Hours?

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    Jonathan Chum

Is it Permitted to Cancel a Flight within 24 Hours?

The short answer to this question is that yes, you can cancel an airline flight within 24 hours. You'd have to meet certain qualifications in order to do this.

You may not have been previously aware that there is something known as the 24-hour rule in the airline industry. It's the informal name for a regulation of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). The gist of it is that a customer can book a non-refundable ticket seven days or longer from your departure date, as long as it's going to or from the United States, and then you'd have the ability to change or cancel the ticket without any charge as long as you do so within 24 hours of booking the flight.

Avoid the Typical Difficulties of Canceling or Postponing Airline Travel

Airline companies are known sometimes to be sticklers when it comes to flight changes or cancellations. Of course, this can depend on the circumstances and the airline. Fortunately, this regulation makes it possible to do this within limits if your plans are altered, or you've changed your mind for some reason on when you'd like to use the ticket or if you'd even like to take a flight at all.

Why the 24-Hour Rule Benefits You

On top of the above mentioned reason for wanting to get out of a flight, there are other benefits. What happens if you see an amazing deal for your specific flight after you've already purchased your ticket? Many people run into this problem - you happen to glance at the website later on and the price for your flight is lower.

In this instance, you can cancel your previous flight in favor of getting the cheaper fare as long as it's no more than 24 hours after you've purchased your ticket. You'll have the guarantee of 24 hours to decide if you'd still like to take the trip and it keeps you from missing out on a deal. This regulation was designed to benefit individuals who have various factors "up in the air" in regard to scheduling their trip. You can place your order while waiting on further details about childcare, if you'll be granted the time off from work, and if anyone who's supposed to be going on the trip with you will be able to schedule a flight at the same time.

Ensure Your Better Rate

It's no guarantee that you'll get a ticket at the lower price if you wait until you cancel. Buy the new ticket first, then cancel your more expensive one. This way, you'll make sure to lock in at this better rate with any problem. Just keep in mind that it must be at least seven days from your departure date, your flight needs to be to or from the United States, and it must be purchased through the airline company directly for the 24-hour rule to apply. This will prevent you from receiving any penalty from the company.

Easier Travel with the 24-Hour Rule

When you can make use of a helpful regulation such as the 24-hour rule from the USDOT, you'll certainly have more peace of mind booking your US flight. Be mindful of the time and keep checking back for new rates that could drop within 24 hours. It really is in your best interest to learn and apply handy tips and tricks for traveling more on a budget whether it's a personal or business trip.