Careful! No 24 Hour Free JetBlue Cancellation w/in 7 Days of Departure

22

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.

Nothing entertaining about fees.

22 COMMENTS

  1. I thought you had already tangled with B6 and their cancellation policy, but maybe that was a different issue.

    Based what you’ve written the agent was not wrong. The DOT requires 24 hr holds or free cxl (not both) for 1) flights that touch US soil, 2) depart in least 7 days in the future, and 3) are sold by airlines (OTAs are exempt). Of course, airlines are free to be more generous but that is not a statutory requirement. If the agent said “we have a 7 day policy bc it’s illegal to offer better terms” that would be a lie but saying “the 7 day policy is required by law” is factually true.

    pg 16 https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/EAPP_2_UPDATE%20FAQ_2.pdf

    • JB is not required, they choose to do it. Like I said, he’s right, but come on man! Not everything has to be such a ‘got ya’. Being a lawyer 24 hours would be depressing.

  2. Well the airline is free to choose any cutoff it wants so long as that cutoff is 7 days or fewer. I’m sure there’s some legal/logical term for that but bottom line, it’s not a real choice at all!

  3. This has ALWAYS been like this. Airlines are not a charity and shouldn’t be penalized by your sudden change of mind/lack of planning. Next time buy a refundable fare if you want that luxury.

Leave a Reply