Q. I recently learned to my dismay that American Airlines is not required to refund full airfare within 24 hours of booking, as required under 14 CFR 259.5(b)(4), because they offer the option to hold reservations for 24 hours at the quoted fare without payment. This seems to allow carriers to skirt the intent of the DOT regulation by offering instead a free hold, which is something a limited number of carries offered before the DOT regulation went into effect.
What other airlines are not required to refund fares within 24 hours of booking because they instead offer a free hold?
A. Some people consider this to be an extra convenience since you can hold the fare without the hassle of paying, then canceling, and getting a refund. As for other airlines, American appears to be the only carrier with this policy, at least for now.