We didn’t really know this was possible until we learned it’s a federal rule for airlines to give passengers a full refund if they want to cancel their flights within 24 hours of booking, provided they book more than seven days before the trip.
About 68 percent of the time, ticket prices drop within a 24-hour window, according to a recent study from Hopper. So, you could’ve cancelled and re-booked your flight for a lower price if you found another option. On average, this price is 14 percent lower than the original.
According to Hopper, eight major U.S. airlines offer free cancellation for tickets purchased at least seven days in advance: Delta, United, US Airways, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Frontier and American. Most of these let you cancel your ticket for free even if you booked within seven days of departure (exceptions include JetBlue, US Airways and Spirit).
Of course, there are some issues – the 24-hour rule may not apply to things like rewards travel or trips booked through third party websites. Expedia states that passengers “may have the option to cancel” for a refund, however, they don’t guarantee it.
Nevertheless, if you book flights at the recommended 54 days before your trip, you’re most likely in luck. Here’s the advice – the first flights you book don’t have to be the ones you take.