“Mother’s Day Storm” Prompts Airline Change Fee Waivers

May 12, 2017

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It’s going to be a rainy day tomorrow in the Northeast as a Nor’easter nicknamed the “Mother’s Day Storm” makes its way through the area. The storm is expected to dump 2-3 inches of rain through most of the area and hit coastal spots with winds up to 35 MPH.

While this is by no means a very strong storm, the airlines realize that this weather threatens to derail their operations — especially in the crowded airspace around New York City. So far, American Airlines and United have issued travel change fee waivers for Saturday.

The Mother's Day Storm will bring heavy rains to the Northeast this weekend. Image courtesy of Weather Underground.
The Mother’s Day Storm will bring heavy rains to the Northeast this weekend. Image courtesy of Weather Underground.

If you’re flying to/from the affected airports, you can utilize these change fee waivers to rebook yourself on a different date. Or, if you’re just connecting through the area, you can use these change fee waivers to reroute yourself through different airports or on different dates.

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).

As of this writing, here are the available travel waivers for Saturday:

American Airlines

  • Travel date: May 13
  • Airports affected: Newark, New Jersey (EWR); Long Island, New York (ISP); New York, New York (JFK); New York, New York (LGA); White Plains, New York (HPN); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PHL)
  • Must have bought your ticket by May 12. Rebook travel anytime between May 12-17. You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.

United

  • Travel dates: May 13
  • Airports affected: New York/Newark, NJ (EWR); New York-Kennedy, NY (JFK); New York-LaGuardia, NY (LGA); White Plains, NY (HPN)
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before May 17, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​

Delta, FrontierJetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and Virgin America haven’t released waivers at the time of this posting.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

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