Airline Award Ticket Hold Policies

Airline Award Ticket Hold

Booking a free award ticket sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?  Yes, but in all reality it can be a very stressful and challenging feat!  I know because I’ve booked hundreds of award tickets for myself and clients for many years.  You’ve found the perfect flight but you don’t know if you can make the trip work yet.  Or maybe you don’t have the miles or points into that account yet.  You need to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points, American Express Membership Rewards Points, Citi Thank You points, etc. to your airline frequent flyer account.  What are you going to do?

Airline inventory changes from minute to minute.  A perfect flight might be there right now but in a hour good luck.  That open award inventory could sit there for days but it might be gone by lunch.  So the best thing to do is place a “hold” on your flight and reserved that seat till you’ve got everything ready to book.  Unfortunately, some airlines make the process of booking award tickets very difficult and don’t allow any award tickets to be held.  Since I’ve worked with many airlines over the years I needed to compile of list of which airlines I could place “holds” with and which I couldn’t.  There is no way my mind can keep all this data!  This list is a constant reference for me and I hope it will be for you.  By the way, if you just don’t want to deal with the stress of finding your perfect award seat let me help you.  You can learn more about my services here.

Mileage ProgramHold Policy
Air Canada AeroplanDoesn’t allow holds on award tickets
Air France/KLM Flying BlueDoesn’t allow holds on award tickets
Alaska Airlines Mileage PlanDoesn’t allow holds on award tickets
Alitalia MillemigliaAlitalia-only awards can be held for up to 14 days • Partner award holds are very dependent on the agent
American Airlines AAdvantageBetween 330 and 15 days prior to departure – 5 day hold • 14 days or fewer prior to departure – 1 day hold • Within 24 hours of departure – up until 2 hours prior to departure
ANA Mileage ClubDoesn’t allow holds on award tickets
British Airways Executive ClubDoesn’t allow holds on award tickets
Cathay Pacific AirlinesUp to 48 hours, if 70% of miles are in account
Delta SkymilesDoesn’t allow holds on award tickets
Iberia PlusDoesn’t allow holds on award tickets
Korean Air SkypassUp to 30 days for Korean Air flights. Five days for partner flights.
Lufthansa Miles & MoreUp to 5-day holds for Lufthansa Group Airlines and select partners [Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Brussels, Croatia Airlines, Asiana, Ethipian, Jet Airways]
Quantas Frequent FlyerDoesn’t allow holds on award tickets
Singapore Kris FlyerUp to 10 months for Singapore flights only. Usually two weeks max.
Turkish AirlinesUp to three months. Usually 48 hours maximum.
United Mileage PlusDoesn’t allow holds on award tickets
Virgin Atlantic24 hour holds