Spring Snow Leads Airlines To Issue Travel Waivers

Apr 27, 2019

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This past winter was brutal, with record cold and snowfall enveloping much of the United States. With May just days away, most would assume that winter weather is no longer a concern. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the upper Midwest expected to receive a quick round of snowy weather this weekend, prompting major airlines to issue travel waivers.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a storm warning for counties in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Major cities in the path of this storm include both Milwaukee and Chicago, the latter home to hubs for American, Southwest and United airlines, which means that, though snowfall will be limited, travelers could face delays and cancellations this weekend.

Snow will make its way into the Chicago and Milwaukee areas beginning Saturday and is expected to last through the evening. Snow totals could amount to upwards of 10 inches in some areas.

(Image via the National Weather Service)
(Image via the National Weather Service)

As of 9:30am ET on April 27, the following airlines have issued travel waivers:

Airline Cities Valid for Travel By Waiver
American Airlines
  • Chicago, IL (ORD)
April 30, 2019
  • Change fees waived for travelers who booked their ticket by April 26, 2019
  • Can change their flights for travel between April 26 and April 30
  • Origin and destination, as well as the cabin, must remain the same
Southwest Airlines
  • Chicago Midway (MDW)
  • Grand Rapids, MI (GRR)
  • Milwaukee, WI (MKE)
April 27, 2019
  • Chicago-Midway and Grand Rapids

Through April 28

  • Milwaukee
  • Changed fees waived for passengers ticketed to travel on these dates in the same cabin/booking class within 14 days
Spirit Airlines
  • Chicago, IL (ORD)
April 27, 2019
  • Change fees and fare difference waived
  • Through April 30
United Airlines
  • Chicago, IL (ORD)
April 27, 2019
  • Change fees waived
  • Must travel before on or before April 30 within in the same cabin and between original city pairs

As always, it is recommended that travelers who believe their itinerary may be impacted contact their airline directly. With America, Southwest, and United airlines already facing heavy call volume as a result of flight cancellations from the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, expect increased hold times.

Other ways in which travelers can reach airlines include via social media such as Twitter. Travelers can also get to the airport early to discuss alternative travel options with ticketing or customer service representatives.

Correction: This has been updated to reflect that Southwest has issued a travel waiver for Grand Rapids, MI (GRR), not Cedar Rapids, IA (CID).

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