Book First, Ask Questions Later

It’s an often repeated mantra on Flyer Talk.  For a brief bit today, JetBlue was offering $4-5 fares (each way, all-inclusive) for their one-day only LGB-BUR service in “celebration” of Carmageddon (Hat Tip: The Wandering Aramean).

I already have travel plans for this weekend, so I hesitated as I thought about how I’d get from there to Los Angeles and back in time to pick up the rest of my itinerary.  For deals like this (where most of the value comes from the entertainment value), I really should have booked without thinking first.  Worst case, I’d be out $16 (all four of the one-ways).  Best case, I’d have a good story to tell.

It’s worth remembering that “new” DOT regulations require:

Requiring airlines to allow reservations to be held at the quoted fare without payment, or cancelled without penalty, for at least 24 hours after the reservation is made, if the reservation is made one week or more prior to a flight’s departure date.

While I’d be less concerned about getting my $16 back from JetBlue (and since it’s 3 days out, it’s ineligible anyways), but it’s certainly a way of choosing to book first and ask questions later when good deals come up.  AA offers a 24 hour free hold (with upsell opportunities to extend it longer for a few dollars) and United/Continental offer 24 hour refundability.

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