No Free JetBlue Cancellation w/in 7 Days is part of the Rum Rum Caribbean Castaway Trip Report.
I found out the hard way that the 24 hour free cancellation rule is a US policy (see Cuidado! Iberia Doesn’t Have a 24 Hour Cancellation on Award Tickets). When I reserved an award ticket to Dominican Republic on JetBlue for a departure date two days after my booking, I had no intention of cancelling. Then I learned more about Carnival in Trinidad and decided that there was a better way to kick of the Rum Rum Trip. I called JetBlue the next day and was told that there would be a $100 penalty to refund my points because JetBlue only enforces the 24 hour rule for flights leaving 7 days in the future. They cited that this was required by the DOT. That is only partially true. It is up to the airline to decide the policy. For example, American Airlines allows for cancellations within 2 days and Delta allows it anytime within 24 hours (reference TPG’s article American Airlines Improves 24-Hour Cancellation Policy). JetBlue reduced the fee to $75. Ironically, those funds came from my travel bank as a gesture of goodwill after yet another delayed flight on JetBlue (see JetBlue, the Greyhound of the Skies?).
Should I have checked the rules before I booked? Absolutely. Is JetBlue being disingenuous by blaming the DOT for the seven day policy? Absolutely.