Winter Storm Has Canceled Over 800 Flights Thursday and Friday

Feb 8, 2018

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Right on the heels of a winter storm that dropped only a few inches of snow — but cancelled 600+ flights in the Chicago area — a new storm is pushing through the Midwest. Forecasts call for up to nine inches of snow in metro Chicago with up to 24 inches in parts of Montana. The winter storm is already affecting fights Thursday with over 300 cancelled Thursday and another 500 flights already cancelled on Friday, with hundreds of flight cancellations likely still coming.

Note that this is a separate system that cancelled 1,239 flights and delayed over 6,600 more on Wednesday. For more information and the free change waivers on that storm, click here.

This new system is pushing eastward across the northern US by the jet stream. Montana was the first to feel the impact of the system Wednesday. The storm is now reaching the Midwest Thursday and plow into the Northeast on Friday.

Image courtesy of Weather Underground.
Image courtesy of Weather Underground.

So far, six US airlines have released weather waivers for this storm to help flexible travelers rebook to avoid affected airports during this winter storm. If you get caught up by the storm, remember that airlines aren’t going to be responsible for paying for your meals or hotels in the case of weather-related delays/cancellations.

Some top cards have flight delay/cancellation insurance that will 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).

Alaska Airlines

  • Travel dates: February 8-10
  • Airport affected: Chicago (ORD); Milwaukee (MKE); Detroit (DTW)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by February 7
  • Rebook travel anytime before February 13
  • Tickets must be exchanged or refunded on or before February 10

American Airlines

  • Travel dates: February 8-9
  • Airport affected: Chicago, Illinois (ORD)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by February 7
  • Rebook travel anytime between February 7-11
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.
  • Avoid the phone queue. Changes available on both AA’s website and in the AA app.


  • Travel date: February 9
  • Airports covered: Akron, OH (CAK); Appleton, WI (ATW); Chicago- Midway,  IL (MDW); Chicago- O Hare, IL (ORD); Cleveland, OH (CLE); Detroit, MI (DTW); Flint, MI (FNT); Fort Wayne, IN (FWA); Grand Rapids, MI (GRR); Green Bay, WI (GRB); Kalamazoo, MI (AZO); La Crosse, WI (LSE); Lansing, MI (LAN); Madison, WI (MSN); Milwaukee, WI (MKE); Rochester, MN (RST); Saginaw, MI (MBS); South Bend, IN (SBN)
  • Ticket must be reissued on or before: February 12
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: February 12
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond February 12, 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.


  • Travel dates: February 9
  • Airports covered: Buffalo, NY (BUF); Chicago, IL (ORD); Cleveland, OH (CLE); Detroit, MI (DTW)
  • Customers may rebook their flights for travel through Monday, February 12
  • Original travel must have been booked on or before Wednesday, February 7


  • Travel dates: February 8-9
  • Airports covered: Buffalo (BUF); Chicago (MDW); Cleveland (CLE); Detroit (DTW); Flint (FNT); Grand Rapids (GRR); Milwaukee (MKE); Rochester (ROC)
  • Customers who 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: February 8-10
  • Airport covered: Chicago-O’Hare, IL (ORD); Buffalo, NY (BUF)​; Cleveland, OH (CLE)​; Detroit, MI (DTW)​; Grand Rapids, MI (GRR); Kalamazoo, MI (AZO)​; Lansing, MI (LAN)​; Madison, WI (MSN)​; Milwaukee, WI (MKE)​; Rochester, NY (ROC)​; Syracuse, NY (SYR)​; Toronto, ON, CA (YYZ)​
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before February 13, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​

No waivers (yet) from: Frontier, Spirit, Virgin America

Featured image by Scott Eisen/Getty Images

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