Some airlines let you put award tickets on hold for a day or more that allows you to cancel without penalty. It helps to know your airline’s rules.
Why would you want to put an award ticket on hold?
There are a couple of reasons. Most important is if you see an award ticket you want but don’t have enough miles to buy it. You want to transfer, say, some American Express points to top off your airline account, but you don’t want to lose that award ticket. The solution is to lock it in so no one else gets it while your extra miles or points drop into the right account.
You might also want to check with someone else’s schedule or simply consider the idea for a few hours before committing. But you don’t want to lose that award seat. But as Scott Grimmer of MileValue.com points out , not every airline offers the same grace period.