Airlines Allowing Free Flight Changes Following Evacuation at D.C.-Area FAA Facility

Jul 11, 2017

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Last night, air traffic at three Washington, D.C.-area airports was slowed following a construction-related evacuation at an FAA facility in Virginia. American Airlines reportedly canceled some 300 flights yesterday, with 30 flights already canceled today. Delta ended up canceling at least five flights Monday. Additionally, as a result of the outage, several airlines that fly through Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Washington-Dulles (IAD) and Washington-Reagan (DCA) have issued change fee waivers for travelers.

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According to The Washington Post, around 6:40pm ET, an FAA facility in Leesburg, Virginia, was ordered to evacuate after fumes from construction work got into the control room. The facility handles high-altitude flights over the area and, as a result of the evacuation, the three major area airports stopped accepting new flights and handed airborne flights off to other ATC facilities, resulting in a temporary ground stop. It’s not clear how many cancellations there were at the three airports last night, but there were significant delays. According to the FAA, the facility resumed operations around 9:30pm ET and it expects normal operations for today.

As of this writing, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines have issued change fee waivers for travel to the three airports for travel yesterday (July 10) and today. In addition, JetBlue Airways issued a change fee waiver for travel to several Northeast airports because of impending bad weather. JetBlue has not issued a waiver for D.C.-area airports.

Here are the details of each of the travel waivers that have been issued as of this writing:

American Airlines

  • Travel date: July 10-11
  • Airports covered: Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Washington-Dulles (IAD), Washington-Reagan (DCA)
  • Must have bought your ticket by: July 10
  • Rebook travel between July 10-14
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.

Delta Air Lines

  • Travel date: July 10-11
  • Airports covered: Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Washington-Dulles (IAD), Washington-Reagan (DCA)
  • Ticket must be reissued by July 14
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than July 14
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond July 14, the change fee will be waived. However, a difference in fare may apply.
  • Final travel must be completed by end of ticket validity, one year from date of original issue. If travel is not able to be rescheduled within these guidelines, customers may cancel their reservation and apply any unused value of the ticket toward the purchase of a new ticket for a period of one year from the original ticket issuance.

JetBlue Airways (weather waiver)

  • Travel date: July 11
  • Airports covered: Boston (BOS), New York (JFK), New York (LGA), Newark (EWR), Newburgh (SWF), Westchester County (HPN), Worcester, MA (ORH)
  • Original travel must have been booked by: July 10
  • Rebook flights for travel through: July 15
  • Must rebook prior to the departure of their originally scheduled flight. To rebook travel or request a refund online, click here. If you are already checked in for your flight, please call [JetBlue] at 1-800-JETBLUE(538-2583) for assistance with rebooking or a credit.
  • Customers with cancelled flights may opt for a refund.

Southwest Airlines

  • Travel date: July 10-11
  • Airports covered: Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Washington-Dulles (IAD), Washington-Reagan (DCA)
  • Customers who are holding reservations on Monday, July 10, and Tuesday, July 11, 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.

At the time of this publication, United, Virgin America, Spirit and Frontier haven’t issued waivers.

Featured image courtesy of Mischa Keijser via Getty Images.

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