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Remember the lyrics to the old Steve Winwood song, “While you see a chance, take it”? After reading my buddy Zach Honig’s post for The Points Guy—“Qatar Airways Canceled My $673 Business-Class Ticket to New York”—I felt like singing Steve Winwood’s song but changing the words to, “When you see a great fare, book it.”

That’s the moral of Zach’s story. Whenever an airline puts out a really incredible fare like that, it’s usually for just a short time. So instead of deciding if you can make it work with your schedule, you should just book it. If you put it on hold like Zach did, there’s a good chance the airline will cancel it. However, if you book it the airline will most likely honor the fare.

Keep in mind the Department of Transportation (DOT) has stated that all US and foreign carriers have to allow consumers the ability “to hold a reservation at the quoted fare for 24 hours without payment or allow a reservation to be cancelled within 24 hours without penalty.” (See the DOT’s full PDF on the rule here.) However, if you’re booking a ticket fewer than seven days before you fly, this rule doesn’t apply.

So if you book a ticket and decide you can’t do it, you can cancel it as long as it’s within 24 hours of the booking and at least seven days out from the flight. For more tips on how to find cheap airfares, check out my post 17 Ways to Find Cheap Flights.

Related: Use AA.com to Hold Tickets



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