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Airlines Issue Travel Waivers for 77 Airports Ahead of Another Winter Storm

Jan. 27, 2019
9 min read
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: Planes are de-iced at La Guardia Airport during a winter storm on February 2, 2015 in the Queens borough of New York City. The snowstorm, which is effecting an area stretching from New York to Chicago, is disrupting travelers both on the road and in the air. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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Last week, more than 2,400 flights were cancelled due to a powerful winter storm. And now, another storm is developing, threatening to wreak havoc on air travel this weekend. Airlines are releasing weather waivers so flexible travelers can re-book their flights to avoid the storm.

Chicago residents woke up to record low temperatures Saturday morning, with parts as cold as -23°F. So far, the severe weather has mostly consisted of brutal cold. However, on Sunday evening, the weather is going to take a turn for the worse as a new winter storm begins to blow through:

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After passing through the Great Lakes region, the storm is expected to sweep eastward and drop up to 18 inches of snow in parts of the Northeast:

Image generated by Weather Underground.
Image generated by Weather Underground.

Flight schedules haven't been impacted much as of Sunday morning. However, most US airlines have already issued weather waivers. American Airlines, Southwest and United each have major operations at one of Chicago's two airports, and each of these airlines has issued a waiver for these airports.

As of 12:00pm ET Sunday, airlines have issued waivers for a combined 77 airports:

Here are the weather waivers issued so far:

American Airlines

Chicago

  • Travel dates: January 27-28
  • Airports covered: Chicago O'Hare (ORD)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by January 25
  • Rebook travel anytime between January 25 - February 1
  • 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.

Upper Midwest US

  • Travel dates: January 27-28
  • Airports covered: Appleton, Wisconsin (ATW); Fargo, North Dakota (FAR); Green Bay, Wisconsin (GRB); La Crosse, Wisconsin (LSE); Madison, Wisconsin (MSN); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE); Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota (MSP); Rochester, Minnesota (RST); Wausau, Wisconsin (CWA)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by January 26
  • Rebook travel anytime between January 26 - February 1
  • 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.

Delta

Chicago Winter Weather

  • Travel dates: January 28
  • Airports covered: Chicago Midway, IL (MDW) and Chicago O'Hare (ORD)
  • Ticket must be reissued by: February 1
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: February 1
  • Must have purchased your ticket by: January 27
  • Changes to origins and destinations may result in an increase in fare. Any difference in fare between your original ticket and the new ticket will be collected at the time of booking.
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond February 1, the change fee will be waived. However, a difference in fare may apply.

Upper Midwest Winter Weather

  • Travel dates: January 27-28
  • Airports covered: Appleton, WI (ATW); Bemidji, MN (BJI); Brainerd, MN (BRD); Duluth, MN (DLH); Fargo, ND (FAR); Grand Forks, ND (GFK); Green Bay, WI (GRB); Hibbing, MN (HIB); Iron Mountain, MI (IMT); La Crosse, WI (LSE); Madison, WI (MSN); Milwaukee, WI (MKE); Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (MSP); Rhinelander, WI (RHI); Rochester, MN (RST); Wausau, WI (CWA)
  • Ticket must be reissued by: February 1
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: February 1
  • Must have purchased your ticket by: January 26
  • Changes to origins and destinations may result in an increase in fare. Any difference in fare between your original ticket and the new ticket will be collected at the time of booking.
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond February 1, the change fee will be waived. However, a difference in fare may apply.

Frontier

Jayden 1

  • Travel dates: January 27-29
  • Airports covered: Chicago O’Hare, IL (ORD)
  • Must have purchased ticket by: January 26
  • Rebooked travel must be completed by: February 13
  • 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.

Jayden 2

  • Travel dates: January 27-28
  • Airports covered: Cedar Rapids, IA (CID); Des Moines, IA (DSM); Fargo, ND (FAR); Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP); Sioux Falls, SD (FSD)
  • Must have purchased ticket by: January 26
  • Rebooked travel must be completed by: February 13
  • 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.

Jayden 3

  • Travel dates: January 28
  • Airports covered: Buffalo, NY (BUF); Cleveland, OH (CLE); Columbus, OH (CMH); Detroit, MI (DTW); Grand Rapids, MI (GRR); Green Bay, WI (GRB); Madison, WI (MSN); Milwaukee, WI (MKE); Pittsburgh, PA (PIT); Syracuse, NY (SYR)
  • Must have purchased ticket by: January 26
  • Rebooked travel must be completed by: February 13
  • 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.

JetBlue

  • Travel dates: January 27-28
  • Airports covered: Chicago, IL (ORD) and Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN (MSP)
  • Customers may rebook their flights for travel through Wednesday, January 30
  • Original travel must have been booked on or before Saturday, January 26

Southwest

  • Travel dates: January 27-28
  • Airports covered: Buffalo/Niagara Falls (BUF), Chicago Midway (MDW), Des Moines (DSM), Detroit (DTW), Grand Rapids (GRR), Milwaukee (MKE), Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP), 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.

Spirit

  • Travel dates: January 27-28
  • Airports covered: Chicago, IL (ORD) and Detroit, MI (DTW)
  • Modification Charge/Fare Difference waived through January 31
  • After this date, the modification charge is waived, but a fare difference may apply

Sun Country

  • Travel dates: January 27-28
  • Airports covered: Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) and Madison, WI (MSN)
  • Travel must have been booked by: January 27
  • New travel commences on or before Saturday February 2
  • Space must be available within the same cabin as the original ticket.

United

Northern Plains Winter Weather

  • Travel Dates: January 27-28
  • Airports covered: Billings, MT (BIL); Bismarck, ND (BIS); Bozeman, MT (BZN); Cedar Rapids, IA (CID); Des Moines, IA (DSM); Devils Lake, ND (DVL); Dickinson, ND (DIK); Duluth, MN (DLH); Fargo, ND (FAR); Great Falls, MT (GTF); Helena, MT (HLN); Jamestown, ND (JMS); Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP); Minot, ND (MOT); Rapid City, SD (RAP); Sioux Falls, SD (FSD); Williston, ND (ISN)
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before ​​February 1, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​

Chicago Winter Weather

  • Travel Dates: January 27 - February 1
  • Airports covered: Chicago-O'Hare, IL (ORD)​
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before ​​February 4, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​

Great Lakes and Ohio Valley Winter Weather

  • Travel Dates: January 28
  • Airports covered: Akron/Canton, OH (CAK); Appleton, WI (ATW); Buffalo, NY (BUF)​; Cleveland, OH (CLE); Detroit, MI (DTW); Eau Claire, WI (EAU); Erie, PA (ERI); Flint, MI (FNT); Fort Wayne, IN (FWA); Grand Rapids, MI (GRR); Green Bay, WI (GRB); Hancock, MI (CMX); Kalamazoo, MI (AZO); Lansing, MI (LAN); London, ON, CA (YXU); Madison, WI (MSN); Milwaukee, WI (MKE); Moline, IL (MLI); Muskegon, MI (MKG); Ottawa, ON, CA (YOW); Peoria, IL (PIA); Rochester, MN (RST); Saginaw, MI (MBS); South Bend, IN (SBN); Toronto, ON, CA (YYZ); Traverse City, MI (TVC); Wausau, WI (CWA)
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before ​​February 1, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​

Northeast US Winter Weather

  • Travel Dates: January 29
  • Airports covered: Akron/Canton, OH (CAK); Albany, NY (ALB); Allentown, PA (ABE); Bangor, ME (BGR); Buffalo, NY (BUF); Burlington, VT (BTV); Cleveland, OH (CLE); Elmira, NY (ELM); Erie, PA (ERI); Harrisburg, PA (MDT); Ithaca, NY (ITH); Manchester, NH (MHT); Montréal, QC, CA (YUL); New York-Kennedy, NY (JFK); New York-LaGuardia, NY (LGA); New York/Newark, NJ (EWR); Ottawa, ON, CA (YOW); Philadelphia, PA (PHL); Pittsburgh, NY (PIT); Plattsburgh, NY (PBG); Portland, ME (PWM); Presque Isle, ME (PQI); Quebec City, QB, CA (YQB); Rochester, NY (ROC); State College, PA (SCE); Syracuse, NY (SYR); 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 ​​February 1, 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

Protect Your Travels

As we move deeper into winter, these storms are another reminder to book flights with a card that offers solid trip delay and cancellation insurance. One top choice for getting solid mileage earning and trip protection when booking flights is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

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Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more