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Flight Cancellations Surge Over 2,100 From Thanksgiving Weekend Blizzard

Nov. 26, 2018
7 min read
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A winter storm continues to wreak havoc on flights as families try to return home after some of the busiest travel days of the year. Almost 1,300 flights were cancelled in the US on the critical Sunday after Thanksgiving travel day, and 861 flights have already been cancelled by 10am Monday morning.

Travel will continue to be impacted Monday and into Tuesday as the storm continues to sweep through the Great Lakes region and into the Northeast. Over 18 inches of snow are expected in parts of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine:

According to FlightAware's flight cancellation tracker, 1,286 flights were cancelled on Sunday and 861 flights have already been cancelled so far on Monday. Across the two days, the hardest hit airports so far are:

  • Chicago O'Hare (ORD): 1,502 cancellations and 840 delays
  • Kansas City (MCI): 216 cancellations and 54 delays
  • Chicago Midway (MDW): 183 cancellations and 114 delays
  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW): 76 cancellations and 438 delays
  • New York LaGuardia (LGA): 62 cancellations and 295 delays
  • Philadelphia (PHL): 53 cancellations and 188 delays
  • Denver (DEN): 51 cancellations and 267 delays

As of 10am ET Monday, eight airlines have issued waivers for this storm:

Allegiant Air

  • Based on forecasted weather conditions in the Midwest, our scheduled services may be delayed, diverted, and / or cancelled.
  • Travel dates: November 25 - 26
  • Airports covered: Appleton, Wisconsin (ATW); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CID); Des Moines, Iowa (DSM); Flint, Michigan (FNT); Grand Rapids, Michigan (GRR); Kansas City, Missouri (MCI); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE); Moline, Illinois (MLI); Peoria, Illinois (PIA); Rockford, Illinois (RFD); South Bend, Indiana (SBN)

American Airlines

  • Travel dates: November 24 - 26
  • Airports covered: Waterloo, Iowa (ALO); Appleton, Wisconsin (ATW); Kalamazoo, Michigan (AZO); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CID); Columbia, Missouri (COU); Dubuque, Iowa (DBQ); Des Moines, Iowa (DSM); Detroit, Michigan (DTW); Flint, Michigan (FNT); Green Bay, Wisconsin (GRB); Grand Rapids, Michigan (GRR); Lansing, Michigan (LAN); Kansas City, Missouri (MCI); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE); Moline, Illinois (MLI); Madison, Wisconsin (MSN); Chicago, Illinois (ORD); Peoria, Illinois (PIA); South Bend, Indiana (SBN); Traverse City, Michigan (TVC)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by November 23
  • Rebooked travel must occur between November 23 - 30
  • Rebook in the same cabin or pay the difference. No changes in origin or destination are allowed.
  • Avoid the phone queue. Changes available on both AA’s website and in the AA app.


  • Travel dates: November 25 - 26
  • Airports covered: Bloomington, IL (BMI); Cedar Rapids, IA (CID); Chicago—O’Hare (ORD); Chicago – Midway (MDW); Des Moines, IA (DSM); Flint, MI (FNT); Fort Wayne, IN (FWA); Grand Rapids, MI (GRR); Kalamazoo, MI (AZO); Kansas City, MO (MCI); Lansing, MI (LAN); Lincoln, NE (LNK); Madison, WI (MSN); Milwaukee, WI (MKE); Moline, IL (MLI); Omaha, NE (OMA); Peoria, IL (PIA); Rapid City, SD (RAP); Saginaw, MI (MBS); South Bend, IN (SBN)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by November 24
  • Ticket must be reissued on or before: November 29
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: November 29
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond November 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 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: November 24 - 26
  • Airports covered: Bloomington, IL; Cedar Rapids, IA; Chicago O’Hare, IL; Des Moines, IA; Detroit, MI; Grand Rapids, MI; Kansas City, MO; Madison, WI; Milwaukee, WI; Omaha, NE; Wichita, KS
  • Must have purchased your ticket by November 23
  • Rebooked travel must be completed no later than December 10


  • Travel date: November 25 - 26
  • Airports covered: Chicago, IL (ORD)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by November 23
  • Rebook travel anytime through November 29
  • 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 date: November 25 - 26
  • Airports covered: Chicago, IL (ORD) and Kansas City, MO (MCI)
  • Modification Charge/Fare Difference waived through: November 29
  • Guests can make changes to their reservations affected by this event by going to [Spirit's] Manage Travel page, or by calling the Spirit Reservations Center at 801-401-2222 to make their flight changes. To make changes to Spirit Vacation packages contact Spirit Vacations at 954-379-8866.


  • Travel dates: November 24-26
  • Airports covered: Chicago (MDW); Des Moines (DSM); Detroit (DTW); Grand Rapids (GRR); Kansas City (MCI); Milwaukee (MKE); Omaha (OMA); Wichita (ICT)
  • Customers who are holding reservations to/from/through the cities listed 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.
  • Customers who purchased their itinerary via or [Southwest's] mobile app are eligible to reschedule their travel plans online or from their mobile device. Customers who did not purchase a ticket via can call 1-800-435-9792 to speak with a Customer Representative.


  • Travel dates: November 24 - 26
  • Covered airports: Appleton, WI (ATW); Cedar Rapids, IA (CID); Columbia, MO (COU); Chicago-O'Hare, IL (ORD); Des Moines, IA (DSM); Detroit, MI (DTW); Flint, MI (FNT); Grand Rapids, MI (GRR); Green Bay, WI (GRB); Hays, KS (HYS); Houghton, MI (CMX); Kalamazoo, MI (AZO); Kearney, NE (EAR); Kansas City, MO (MCI); Lansing, MI (LAN); Lincoln, NE (LNK); Madison, WI (MSN); Milwaukee, WI (MKE); Moline, IL (MLI); Muskegon, MI (MKG); Omaha, NE (OMA); Peoria, IL (PIA); Quincy, IL (UIN); Saginaw, MI (MBS); Salina, KS (SLN); Scottsbluff, NE (BFF); South Bend. IN (SBN); Traverse City, MI (TVC); Wichita, KS (ICT)
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before November 30, 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, Hawaiian, Sun Country

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