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Airlines Issue Weather Waivers for 74 Airports Ahead of Massive Blizzard

Jan. 17, 2019
6 min read
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We are entering peak winter storm season, and -- right on schedule -- the worst winter storm of the season is making its way across the US. Airlines have already started issuing wide-ranging change fee waivers to allow flexible travelers the opportunity to reschedule their flights to avoid the mess.

While the winter storm is expected to dump snow in the Rockies Thursday, it'll pick up strength as it sweeps eastward. By the time it hits Maine, more than three feet of snow is expected in parts of the state.

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

However, it's not just the snow forecast that's expected to impact travel. Harper will bring very strong winds to the region -- dropping the wind chill and wreaking havoc on air travel.

Airlines are preparing for this storm by issuing weather waivers. Travelers with plans to fly during the storm may be able to change their flights to an earlier/later date or route through another airport that isn't expected to be affected by the storm.

Through 9:30am ET Thursday, only four airlines have issued weather waivers so far. However, these fee waivers cover a whopping 74 airports.

Here's what's been issued so far:

American Airlines

  • Travel date: January 19-20
  • Airports affected: Albany, New York (ALB); Bangor, Maine (BGR); Boston, Massachusetts (BOS); Buffalo, New York (BUF); Burlington, Vermont (BVT); Erie, Pennsylvania (ERI); Ithaca, New York (ITH); Manchester, New Hampshire (MHT); Montreal, Canada (YUL); Ottawa, Canada (YOW); Portland, Maine (PWM); Rochester, New York (ROC); Syracuse, New York (SYR); Toronto, Canada (YYZ); Watertown, New York (ART); Worcester, Massachusetts (ORH)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by January 16
  • Rebook travel anytime between January 16-23
  • 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.

Frontier

Waiver 1:

  • Travel dates: January 17-20
  • Airports covered: Albany, NY (ALB); Buffalo, NY (BUF); Harrisburg, PA (MDT); Islip, NY (ISP); New York, NY LaGuardia (LGA); Philadelphia, PA (PHL); Pittsburgh, PA (PIT); Portland, ME (PWM); Portsmouth, NH (PSM); Providence, RI (PVD); Syracuse, NY (SYR); Trenton, NJ (TTN); Washington, DC Dulles (IAD); Washington, DC National (DCA)
  • Must have purchased ticket by January 16
  • Rebooked travel must be completed no later than: January 31
  • Customers may make one itinerary change – rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived.

Waiver 2:

  • Travel dates: January 19
  • Airports covered: Bloomington, IL (BMI); Cedar Rapids, IA (CID); Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD); Cincinnati, OH (CVG); Cleveland, OH (CLE); Columbus, OH (CMH); Detroit, MI (DTW); Des Moines, IA (DSM); Grand Rapids, MI (GRR); Indianapolis, IN (IND); Kansas City, MO (MCI); St. Louis, MO (STL)
  • Must have purchased ticket by January 17
  • Rebooked travel must be completed no later than: January 31
  • Customers may make one itinerary change – rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived.

Southwest

  • Airports covered (January 18): Des Moines (DSM); Omaha (OMA); Wichita (ICT)
  • Airports covered (January 19): Cincinnati (CVG); Cleveland (CLE); Columbus (CMH); Indianapolis (IND); Kansas City (MCI); St. Louis (STL)
  • Airports covered (January 19-21): Albany (ALB); Boston (BOS); Buffalo (BUF); Chicago (MDW); Hartford (BDL); Manchester (MHT); Newark (EWR); New York LaGuardia (LGA); Philadelphia (PHL); Pittsburgh (PIT); Portland, Maine (PWM); Providence (PVD); Rochester (ROC)
  • Customers who are holding reservations to/from/through the cities above on the corresponding dates 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

  • Airports covered (January 18): Cedar Rapids, IA (CID); Des Moines, IA (DSM); Hays, KS (HYS); Liberal, KS (LBL);Lincoln, NE (LNK); North Platte, NE (LBF); Omaha, NE (OMA); Rapid City, SD (RAP); Salina, KS (SLN); Scottsbluff, NE (BFF); Sioux Falls, SD (FSD); Wichita, KS (ICT)
  • Airports covered (January 19): Akron/Canton, OH, OH (CAK); Cape Girardeau, MO (CGI); Cleveland, OH (CLE); Columbia, MO (COU); Columbus, OH (CMH); Dayton, OH (DAY); Evansville, IN (EVV); Fort Wayne, IN (FWA); Indianapolis, IN (IND); Kansas City, MO (MCI); Moline, IL (MLI); Peoria, IL (PIA); Quincy, IL (UIN); South Bend, IN (SBN); Springfield, IL (SPI); Springfield, MO (SGF); St. Louis, MO (STL)
  • Airports covered (January 19-20): Albany, NY (ALB); Allentown, PA (ABE); Bangor, ME (BGR); Boston, MA (BOS); Buffalo, NY (BUF); Burlington, VT (BTV); Chicago, IL (ORD); Elmira, NY (ELM); Halifax, NS, CA (YHZ); Harrisburg, PA (MDT); Hartford, CT (BDL); Ithaca, NY (ITH); London, ON, CA (YXU); Manchester, NH (MHT); Montréal, QC, CA (YUL); New York/Newark, NJ (EWR); New York-Kennedy, NY (JFK); New York-LaGuardia, NY (LGA); Philadelphia, PA (PHL); Pittsburgh, PA (PIT); Plattsburgh, NY (PBG); Portland, ME (PWM); Presque Isle, ME (PQI); Providence, RI (PVD); Quebec City, QB, CA (YQB); Rochester, NY (ROC); State College, PA (SCE); Syracuse, NY (SYR); Toronto, ON, CA (YYZ); White Plains, NY (HPN); Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA (AVP)
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before January 23, 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: Alaska, Allegiant, Delta, JetBlue, Spirit

Protect Your Travels

This winter storm is another reminder to book flights with a card that offers solid trip delay and cancellation insurance. Cards with solid trip protection include the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Featured image by Getty Images
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases