I recently learned that the Department of Transportation has a “24-hour reservation requirement” rule for airlines that, “requires carriers to hold a reservation at the quoted fare for 24 hours without payment or allow a reservation to be canceled within 24 hours without penalty”.
Guidance on the 24-hour reservation requirement
I foolishly assumed that a teenager could find the best flight to get to a summer activity in another state and I allowed that teenager to make a reservation for connecting flights and and a long layover. Then I found that Southwest had a less expensive direct flight. But all was well. I was able to cancel the more expensive flight, get a refund, and book the better alternative.
Thanks, Department of Transportation!