Free Flight Changes Due to Severe Weather in Northeast and California

Jan 12, 2018

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Yet another winter storm is bearing down on the northeast, while at the same time California deals with the aftermath of mudslides. Many airlines have travel waivers issued for one or both situations, allowing free flight changes to help those affected by the severe weather.

Winter storm “Hunter” is expected to coat much of the Northeast with ice and snow, with parts of upstate New York expected to receive up to 18 inches of snow:

Image courtesy of Weather Underground.

These continuing weather issues underscore yet again the importance of booking flights with a credit card that offers trip delay and cancellation insurance. After all, airlines aren’t responsible for paying for your meals or hotels in the case of weather-related delays/cancellations. That’s why you want to cover yourself by booking with cards such as:

  • Citi Prestige ($500 per passenger for 3+ hour delay)
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve ($500 per ticket for 6+ hour or overnight delay), or
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred ($500 per ticket for 12+ hour or overnight delay)

Northeast Winter Storm

American Airlines

  • Travel dates: January 12
  • Airports covered: Albany, New York (ALB); Allentown, Pennsylvania (ABE); Boston, Massachusetts (BOS); Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (MDT); Hartford, Connecticut (BDL); Islip, New York (ISP); Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (MVY); New Haven, Connecticut (HVN); New York Kennedy, New York (JFK); New York LaGuardia, New York (LGA); Newark, New Jersey (EWR); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PHL); Portland, Maine (PWM); Providence, Rhode Island (PVD); Stewart Newburgh, New York (SWF); White Plains / Westchester County, New York (HPN); Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, Pennsylvania (HVP)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by January 11
  • Rebook travel anytime between January 12-15
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.

Delta

  • Travel date: January 12
  • Airports covered: Newburgh, NY (SWF); New York – Kennedy, NY (JFK); New York – LaGuardia, NY (LGA); Newark, NJ  (EWR); White Plains, NY (HPN)
  • Ticket must be reissued by: January 15
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: January 15
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond January 15, 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. Applicable change fee and fare difference will apply for new travel dates.

Southwest

  • Travel date: January 12
  • Airports covered: Cincinnati (CVG); Cleveland (CLE); Columbus (CMH); Detroit (DTW); Flint (FNT); Grand Rapids (GRR); Indianapolis (IND); Louisville (SDF); Memphis (MEM); Nashville (BNA); Pittsburgh (PIT)
  • Travel dates: January 12-14
  • Airports covered:  Buffalo (BUF) and Rochester (ROC)
  • Customers who are holding reservations on these specific 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.

United

  • Travel dates: January 12-13
  • Airports covered: 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 January 16, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.

California Mudslides

Seventeen people were killed as mudslides wiped out dozens of homes and damaged hundreds more. To help those travelers impacted by the disaster, the following airlines have released travel waivers:

Alaska Airlines

  • Travel dates: January 11-15
  • Airports covered: Santa Barbara (SBA)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by January 11
  • Rebook travel anytime between now and January 18

American Airlines

  • Travel dates: January 11-12
  • Airports covered: Santa Barbara (SBA)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by January 10
  • Rebook travel anytime between January 11-15
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.

United

  • Travel date: January 11-15
  • Airports covered: Santa Barbara (SBA)
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before January 18, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.

Virgin America

  • Travel date: January 11-15
  • Airports covered: Santa Barbara (SBA)
  • Tickets must be exchanged or refunded on or before January 18
  • To modify an existing reservation during this period, you may contact our Call Center at 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN* (877.359.8474) for assistance. Or manage your reservation online: Change your flight. Cancel or refund your flight.

Featured image by Spencer Platt / Getty Images.

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