I am trying to understand whether/when Japan Airlines has an unconditional 24-hour refund policy, i.e. offers a full ticket refund if the ticket was purchased through Japan Airlines in the last 24 hours, assuming one has completed the purchase one week or more before the original scheduled departure flight.

When testing the Japan Airlines website by booking a flight on https://www.jal.co.jp/jp/en/, it clearly states that tickets are non-refundable, with a few exceptions:

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The exceptions are listed in the following link: Peace of mind travel with free reservation changes (mirror), which states:

If your travel is disrupted due to a JAL flight cancellation, schedule change, or entry restrictions, you may also rebook or refund your ticket free of charge.

This means there no unconditional 24-hour refund policy.

However, on https://www.jal.co.jp/arl/region/en/other/csplan.html (mirror), I do read that there is an unconditional 24-hour refund policy:

JAL is dedicated to provide refunds of tickets to our customers with minimal inconvenience. Reservations can be held at the quoted fare without payment, or refunded within twenty four (24) hours after the reservation if the reservation is made one (1) week or more before departure. After this twenty four (24) hour period, the refund amount will be calculated based on the fare rules of your tickets.

I don't know to which tickets this policy applies. All tickets purchased on Japan Airlines' official website? A subset of it (e.g., out/in from/to the US)? All tickets with Japan Airlines, including purchased via agencies? etc.

This confuses me. Do any tickets purchased on Japan Airlines' official website have an unconditional 24-hour refund policy? (assuming one has completed the purchase one week or more before the original scheduled departure flight)

  • 1
    All flights (booked directly with the airline) to/from the US are legally required to have a such a policy, although non-US airlines are not always that great about advertising it
    – jdouglas
    Feb 26, 2022 at 23:26
  • @jdouglas thanks, no, some airlines only offer free 24h holding for flights to/from the US. That's legal. I also wonder for non-US tickets. Feb 26, 2022 at 23:29
  • How does this JAL SEA > LAX flight avoid the US law that prohibits cabotage? Feb 27, 2022 at 0:01
  • @DavidSupportsMonica just showing the first leg Feb 27, 2022 at 0:02
  • Interesting. I didn't know there was a "multi-leg" exception. I wonder if there'd be any blowback if a passenger deplaned and disappeared at LAX. Feb 27, 2022 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


Getting a full refund if you cancel within 24 hours is a US DoT policy (possibly also adopted by a few other countries), so it only applies for tickets somehow related to those countries (not sure what the exact official rule is, probably flight departing or arriving in one of those countries — JAL seems to say departing only).

The JAL FAQ on the US version of the site has this question: https://faq-ar-en.jal.co.jp/app/answers/detail/a_id/26214

Your customer service plan states that full refund will be provided for cancellation within 24 hours. How do I proceed?

Ticket purchased on Japan Airlines American Region website (www.ar.jal.co.jp) can be refunded without penalty if request within a 24 hour time period on the website through “Manage Booking”.

  • When online cancel/refund is not available, please contact Japan Airlines Reservation Center.
  • Reminder: 24 hour full-refund policy doesn’t apply to JMB award tickets and revenue tickets departing outside of American Region (U.S., Canada, Mexico, or Brazil). Fees and charges apply based on the fare rules.

Ticket purchased through a travel agency or online travel agency 24 hour full-refund may not apply if tickets are purchased through a travel agency or online travel agency. Please contact your travel agency for the refund policy.

Make sure you use the US version of their site…

  • Thanks, wow that's a good catch that the customer service plan depends on the region. So many dirty tricks. I wonder what happens for flights to/from the US purchased outside the Japan Airlines American Region website (www.ar.jal.co.jp). Some airlines only offer free 24h holding for flights to/from the US and no 24h refund, which is legal as per the US DoT policy. Maybe JAL does the same? Feb 26, 2022 at 23:34
  • 1
    Many (most?) international sites will automatically redirect you to the specific region’s version of the site based on the country of departure. Not only may rules change, but they will also usually charge in the local currency for that country. Even the available fares may be different (which means a return flight A-B-A may have different pricing compared to B-A-B even in the “best” conditions for each).
    – jcaron
    Feb 26, 2022 at 23:38
  • Thanks, this is great to know. Feb 26, 2022 at 23:39
  • 1
    Most airlines prefer that you pay now and maybe cancel later rather than just take an option and probably never come back. A few will give the option of an option for a fee. I’m not sure I have ever seen any providing options for free.
    – jcaron
    Feb 26, 2022 at 23:40
  • 1
    American Express "Concur" allows a 24 hour hold at no cost, but that could just be an agreement between them and the airlines.
    – Hilmar
    Feb 28, 2022 at 7:41

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