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More Than 1,200 Flights Canceled by Winter Storm, Airline Waivers Expand

Dec. 27, 2018
4 min read
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A post-Christmas winter storm is making travel tough for lots of travelers headed home after the holidays. The storm started its sweep across the US on Monday and has already dumped over a foot of snow in parts. More than 1,200 flights have been canceled so far in the two days after Christmas — and things are getting worse as the storm picks up steam and sweeps through busier airports.

After experiencing 431 flights cancellations on Wednesday, Dallas/Fort Worth has already experienced another 314 cancellations on Thursday as airlines work to get operations back to normal.

Blizzard Warnings stretch across five states while Winter Storm Warnings are issued for eight states:

Image courtesy of Weather Underground.

According to FlightAware's flight cancellation tracker, 714 flights were canceled on Wednesday, Dec. 26, and another 487 flights have been canceled so far on Thursday. The hardest-hit airports over the two days so far:

  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW): 741 cancellations and 810 delays
  • Houston Intercontinental (IAH): 104 cancellations and 947 delays
  • Dallas Love Field (DAL): 82 cancellations and 237 delays
  • Denver (DEN): 60 cancellations and 544 delays
  • Phoenix (PHX): 57 cancellations and 343 delays
  • Chicago O'Hare (ORD): 52 cancellations and 522 delays

As of 10:30am ET, the following airlines have issued weather waivers:

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  • Travel dates: December 26-27
  • Covered airports: Bismarck, North Dakota (BIS); Fargo, North Dakota (FAR); La Crosse, Wisconsin (LSE); Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota (MSP); Rapid City, South Dakota (RAP); Rochester, Minnesota (RST); Sioux Falls, South Dakota (FSD)
  • Must have purchased ticket by: December 25
  • Rebooked travel must occur between December 25-30
  • Rebook in the same cabin or pay the difference. No free changes in origin or destination.
  • Avoid the phone queue. Changes available on both AA’s website and in the AA app.


  • Travel dates: December 26-27
  • Covered airports: Aberdeen, SD (ABR); Bismarck, ND (BIS); Bemidji, MN (BJI); Brainerd, MN (BRD); Duluth, MN (DLH); Fargo, ND (FAR); Grand Forks, ND (GFK); Hibbing, MN (HIB); International Falls, MN (INL); Minot, ND (MOT); Rapid City, SD (RAP)
  • Tickets must have been purchased by: December 24
  • Tickets must be reissued by: December 30
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: December 30
  • 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 December 30, 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.


  • Travel dates: December 26-27
  • Covered airports: Bismarck, ND (BIS); Fargo, ND (FAR); Sioux Falls, SD (FSD); Minneapolis, MN (MSP)
  • Customers who are ticketed to travel between Wednesday, December 26 and Thursday, December 27, who purchased tickets on or before Tuesday, December 25, 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.
  • Travel must be completed no later than Friday, January 4. Origin and destination cities may be changed. Customers whose flights are canceled may request a refund.


  • Travel dates: December 26-27
  • Covered airports: Bismarck, ND (BIS)​; Devils Lake, ND (DVL); Dickinson, ND (DIK)​; Duluth, MN (DLH)​; Fargo, ND (FAR)​; Hancock, MI (CMX)​; Jamestown, ND (JMS); 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 December 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, Allegiant, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit.

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.

Featured image by Getty Images