Really Strange: American Is Randomizing Ticket Holds

This one just baffles me. Recently, American Airlines eliminated free 24 hour holds on tickets, and instead moved to an option for a free refund, within 24 hours of purchase. However, effective November 3, just a few days ago, American has decided they’ll be randomizing the hold option on – if you’re already confused, don’t worry as I was too.

Here was the memo JonNYC published today on his Twitter account.



So, it appears American is totally randomizing the way holds will be offered – and it won’t be influenced by the obvious things like fare, elite status, etc. Some trips you might get offered a hold option, some trips you might not.

This is really, really strange: I can’t think of a good reason why American is going for a non-standardized experience on ticket holds here. The only thing even remotely plausible I can come up with is that they’re trying to test to see if customers tend to book tickets more under one type of option than another, but to be completely blunt about saying that it’s random and instructing customers of the same seems a bit strange.

That said, you should be aware that this is now being done, and realize that you shouldn’t call in or Tweet when you don’t see a hold option, because, apparently, that’s on purpose.

What do you make of this new randomized hold option? Have any idea what this may be about?

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  1. Donna Jones says

    I experienced that this week. I reserved a ticket and had the ability to place a hold on it. Later, I had to cancel it and reserve for a different day. This time I was not offered a hold option. I learned within hours that I had to cancel it, and cancelling it was a nightmare. I had to place 2 calls to agents, first to find my document # and then, after correctly entering it, there apparently was a systems glitch that didn’t accept it. So the agent had to refund manually. When I never received the refund I had to call a 3rd time b/c the system did not show me as having cancelled the ticket. After 3 calls I finally got it refunded. It was much easier to cancel a hold than having to go through the refund process.

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