Airlines Offer Travel Waivers Ahead of Winter Storm Stella

Mar 12, 2017

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Update 3/13/17 3:30pmAmerican has already canceled 1,900 flights on Monday and Tuesday, including all Tuesday flights to/from New York, all Tuesday flights after 8am to/from Philadelphia, and all Tuesday flights before 5pm to/from Boston.

British Airways has canceled all Tuesday flights to/from New York and Philadelphia and Tuesday inbound flights to Boston.

Southwest has canceled 1,300 flights between Monday and Wednesday.


Update 3/13/17 12:30pm: Frontier has added several cities in the Midwest/Great Lakes region to its travel waivers.


It’s been a few weeks since the US had to deal with weather heavy enough to affect air travel, but that streak is about to end as Winter Storm Stella is expected to barrel through both the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic regions from today through midweek, with areas as far west as Chicago and Minneapolis affected. Forecasts say the potential nor’easter could bring the highest snowfall totals of the season.

Snow is expected to be heavy in the Northeast. Image courtesy of Weather Underground.

If you’re traveling through either area, airlines are preemptively offering waivers to allow travelers the chance to rebook themselves on flights through other airports or on other dates. So if you have some flexibility in your travel plans, it might be a good idea to try and avoid the storm.

Remember, if you can’t delay your itinerary, airlines aren’t going to be responsible for paying for your meals or hotels in the case of weather-related delays/cancellations. But some top cards have flight delay/cancellation insurance that can reimburse you for weather issues, including the Citi Prestige ($500 per passenger for 3+ hour delay), the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($500 per ticket for 6+ hour or overnight delay) and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card ($500 per ticket for 12+ hour or overnight delay).

The following airports are covered by at least one of the waivers below:

Cities affected by one or more travel waivers. Map courtesy of gcmap.com.

As of this writing, here are the available travel waivers for Sunday through Wednesday:

In This Post

American Airlines

  • Travel date: March 11-12 for Mid-Atlantic cities, March 14-15 for the Northeast and Canada (Update 3/12/17 9:30pm: Chicago (ORD) has been added to American’s travel waivers if your travel date falls between March 12-15)
  • Must have bought your ticket by March 10 (or March 12 for Chicago). Rebook travel anytime between March 10-15 for the Mid-Atlantic and March 12-17 for the Northeast, Canada and Chicago. You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same class or pay the difference.

Delta

– Mid-Atlantic Waiver

  • Travel date: March 12
  • Ticket must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin by March 15.
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond March 15, the change fee will be waived. However, a difference in fare may apply.

– Northeast Waiver

  • Travel date: March 14-15
  • Ticket must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin by March 17.
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond March 17, the change fee will be waived. However, a difference in fare may apply.

Frontier Airlines

  • Airports: New York, NY (LGA), Philadelphia, PA (PHL), Trenton, NJ (TTN), Washington, DC (DCA and IAD)
  • Customers who are ticketed to travel between Monday, March 13, 2017, and Wednesday, March 15, 2017, may make one itinerary change — rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived. Origin and destination cities may be changed.
  • Travel must be completed no later than Friday, April 7, 2017.
  • Additional Airports as of 3/13/17: Cedar Rapids, IA (CID), Chicago, IL (ORD), Milwaukee, WI (MKE), Madison, WI (MSN)
  • Customers who are ticketed to travel between Monday, March 13, 2017, and Tuesday, March 14, 2017, may make one itinerary change — rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived. Origin and destination cities may be changed.
  • Travel must be completed no later than Friday, April 7, 2017.

JetBlue

– Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Waiver

  • Travel date: March 14
  • Customers may rebook their flights for travel from Monday, March 13, through Thursday, March 16, prior to the departure of their originally scheduled flight. Customers with cancelled flights may opt for a refund. Original travel must have been booked on or before Friday, March 10. 

– Chicago (ORD)

  • Travel date: March 13-14
  • Customers may rebook their flights for travel from Sunday, March 12, through Wednesday, March 15, prior to the departure of their originally scheduled flight. Customers with cancelled flights may opt for a refund. Original travel must have been booked on or before Saturday, March 11. 

– Charlotte (CLT) and Raleigh/Durham, NC (RDU)

  • Travel date: March 12
  • Customers may rebook their flights for travel through Wednesday, March 15, prior to the departure of their originally scheduled flight. Customers with cancelled flights may opt for a refund. Original travel must have been booked on or before Friday, March 10. 

Southwest 

Customers who are holding reservations in the following cities on the respective days, and want to alter their travel plans may rebook in the original class of service or travel standby (within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city-pairs and in accordance with Southwest’s accommodation procedures) without paying any additional charge.

  • Akron/Canton (CAK) – March 14-15
  • Albany (ALB) – March 14-15
  • Baltimore (BWI) – March 14-15
  • Boston (BOS) – March 14-15
  • Buffalo (BUF) – March 14-15
  • Charlotte (CLT) – March 12
  • Chicago (MDW) – March 13
  • Cleveland (CLE) – March 14-15
  • Des Moines (DSM) – March 12-13
  • Greenville/Spartanburg (GSP) – March 12
  • Hartford (BDL) – March 14-15
  • Long Island/Islip (ISP) – March 14-15
  • Manchester (MHT) – March 14-15
  • Milwaukee (MKE) – March 13
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) – March 12-13
  • New York (LaGuardia) (LGA) – March 14-15
  • New York/Newark (EWR) – March 14-15
  • Philadelphia (PHL) – March 14-15
  • Pittsburgh (PIT) – March 14-15
  • Portland, Maine (PWM) – March 14-15
  • Providence (PVD) – March 14-15
  • Raleigh/Durham (RDU) – March 12
  • Rochester (ROC) – March 14-15
  • Washington, D.C. (Dulles) (IAD) – March 14-15
  • Washington, D.C. (Reagan National) (DCA) – March 14-15

Spirit Airlines

  • Airports: Akron/Canton, OH (CAK), Atlantic City, NJ (ACY), Baltimore, MD (BWI), Boston, MA (BOS), Cleveland, OH (CLE), Latrobe, PA (LBE), Niagara Falls, NY (IAG), Newark, NJ (EWR), New York, NY (LGA), Philadelphia, PA (PHL), Chicago (ORD)
  • Travel dates: March 14-15 for Chicago, March 13-14 for all other airports
  • Modification Charge/Fare Difference waived through March 16, 2017 (or March 18, 2017, for Chicago). After this date the modification charge is waived, but a fare difference may apply.

United

– Mid-Atlantic Waiver

  • Travel dates: March 11-12
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new flights departing on or before March 15, as long as travel is rescheduled in the same cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​​

– Northeast Waiver

  • Travel dates: March 14-15
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new flights departing on or before March 17, as long as travel is rescheduled in the same cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​​

– Chicago (ORD) Waiver

  • Travel dates: March 12-15
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new flights departing on or before March 17, as long as travel is rescheduled in the same cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​​

Virgin America

  • Airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • Travel dates: March 14-15
  • Customers may change their travel dates by March 15, 2017 without paying change fees or the difference in fares for travel through March 19, 2017 and may cancel their itineraries without incurring cancellation fees. Guests can change to available flights from March 11-19, on the same route as the original itinerary and within the same cabin/class of service. Changes must be made prior to the originally scheduled departure time and original travel must have been booked on or before March 11, 2016 [sic].

Featured image courtesy of Sage78/Getty Images.

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