6 US Airlines Are Offering Free Changes Because of Tropical Storm Harvey

Aug 24, 2017

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After dissipating over the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Harvey has re-formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to make landfall in the continental US as a hurricane at midday on Saturday. However, as with many hurricanes, winds may not be the worst part of this storm.

Heavy rains and flooding are expected to be the biggest threat, with a large part of the Texas coast expecting 10 to 15 inches of rain. According to the latest National Hurricane Center forecast, some areas may experience “isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches” — that’s more than two feet of rain, or 70 centimeters.

Tropical Storm Harvey rain forecast

While the storm is still offshore, the forecast makes it pretty clear that it’s going to be rough to travel. So, airlines are happy to let customers avoid this area over the next few days. Six airlines have released travel waivers for airports in Texas and Louisiana. Here’s a map of all of the airports included in at least one of the waivers:

Tropical Storm Harvey waiver airports

If you’re flying to/from the affected airports, you can take advantage 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 ($500 per ticket for 12+ hour or overnight delay).

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

American Airlines

  • Travel dates: August 25-27
  • Airports affected: Austin, Texas (AUS); Beaumont / Port Arthur, Texas (BPT); Brownsville, Texas (BRO); College Station, Texas (CLL); Corpus Christi, Texas (CRP); Houston, Texas (HOU); Houston, Texas (IAH); Lake Charles, Louisiana (LCH); McAllen / Mission, Texas (MFE); San Antonio, Texas (SAT)
  • Must have bought your ticket by August 23
  • Rebook travel anytime between August 23-30
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.


  • Travel dates: August 25-26
  • Airports affected: Houston, TX – Hobby (HOU); Houston, TX – Intercontinental (IAH)
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: August 29
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond August 29, 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 cannot 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.


  • Travel dates: August 24-27
  • Airports affected: Austin Bergstrom International, TX (AUS); San Antonio International, TX (SAT); Houston Bush Intercontinental, TX (IAH); New Orleans Louis B. Armstrong International, LA (MSY)
  • Must have bought your ticket by August 23
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: September 18
  • Origin and destination cities may be changed.
  • One change available. Rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived.


  • Travel dates: August 25-26
  • Airports affected: Austin, TX (AUS); Houston, TX (HOU); New Orleans, LA (MSY)
  • Must have bought your ticket by August 23
  • Rebook travel anytime between August 27-30
  • To rebook travel or request a refund online, click here. If you are already checked in for your flight, call [JetBlue] at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) for assistance with rebooking or a credit.


  • Travel dates: August 25-27
  • Airports affected: Austin (AUS); Corpus Christi (CRP); Houston (HOU); Harlingen (HRL); San Antonio (SAT)
  • Customers who are holding reservations for flights departing during these dates, 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.


  • Travel dates: August 25-27
  • Airports affected: Austin, TX (AUS); Brownsville, TX (BRO); College Station, TX (CLL); Corpus Christi, TX (CRP); Harlingen, TX (HRL); Houston, TX (IAH); McAllen, TX (MFE); San Antonio, TX (SAT)
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before August 30, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​

As of publication, the following airlines haven’t published waivers: Alaska Air and Spirit.

Featured image Scott Olson / Getty Images

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