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Winter Storm Avery Cancels More Than 1,100 Flights Thursday, 7 Airlines Issue Waivers

Nov. 15, 2018
7 min read
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Winter Storm "Avery" is making her presence known, with more than a half-foot of snow already falling in parts and over a foot of snow expected in parts of the Northeast on Thursday and Friday. Through Thursday afternoon, more than 1,100 flights have already been canceled due to the ice and snow — with more flight cancellations still expected. In response, seven airlines have issued waivers to allow flexible travelers to avoid getting stuck at the airport.

On the early end of the storm, St. Louis has already received 2-4 inches of snow with isolated accumulations of 6-8 inches in parts of the city and surrounding area.

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings from North Carolina through Maine with a pocket around St. Louis. Indianapolis and Cincinnati are currently under an ice storm warning.

For Thursday and Friday, more than 12 inches of snow are expected across parts of Pennsylvania and New York, with much of the Northeast forecast to be blanketed with at least five inches of snow.

Through 3:30pm Thursday, FlightAware's cancellation tracker has already recorded 1,100 cancellations for Thursday. The hardest hit airports are:

  • New York LaGuardia (LGA): 190 cancellations and 254 delays
  • Newark (EWR): 168 cancellations and 373 delays
  • Philadelphia (PHL): 142 cancellations and 283 delays
  • Baltimore (BWI): 142 cancellations and 214 delays
  • Washington, DC Reagan National (DCA): 135 cancellations and 291 delays
  • New York Kennedy (JFK): 132 cancellations and 236 delays
  • Charlotte (CLT): 74 cancellations and 224 delays
  • St. Louis (STL): 57 cancellations and 96 delays

As of 10am ET Thursday, seven airlines have issued waivers for this storm:

American Airlines

  • Travel dates: November 15-16
  • Airports covered: Albany, New York (ALB); Allentown, Pennsylvania (ABE); Baltimore, Maryland (BWI); Boston, Massachusetts (BOS); Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (MDT); Hartford, Connecticut (BDL); Islip, New York (ISP); Ithaca, New York (ITH); Manchester, New Hampshire (MHT); New York Kennedy, New York (JFK); New York LaGuardia, New York (LGA); Newark, New Jersey (EWR); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PHL); Providence, Rhode Island (PVD); State College, Pennsylvania (SCE); Stewart Newburgh, New York (SWF); Syracuse, New York (SYR); Washington Dulles, Washington D.C. (IAD); Washington Reagan, Washington D.C. (DCA); White Plains / Westchester County, New York (HPN); Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, Pennsylvania (AVP)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by November 14
  • Rebooked travel must occur between November 14-20
  • 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 15
  • Airports covered: Baltimore, MD (BWI); Boston, MA (BOS); Harrisburg, PA (MDT); Hartford, CT (BDL); New York Kennedy, NY (JFK); New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA); Newark, NJ (EWR); Philadelphia, PA (PHL); Providence, RI (PVD); Scranton, PA (AVP); Stewart, NY (SWF); Washington Reagan, DC (DCA); Washington Dulles, DC (IAD); White Plains, NY (HPN)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by November 14
  • Ticket must be reissued on or before: November 18
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: November 18
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond November 18, 2018, 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 date: November 15
  • Airports covered: Baltimore, MD (BWI); Hartford, CT (BDL); New York, NY (JFK); New York, NY (LGA); Newark, NJ (EWR); Newburgh, NY (SWF); Philadelphia, PA (PHL); Providence, RI (PVD); Washington, DC (DCA); Washington, DC (IAD); Westchester County, NY (HPN); Worcester, MA (ORH)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by November 14
  • Rebook travel anytime through November 17
  • 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 15
  • Airports covered: Akron/Canton, OH (CAK); Baltimore, MD (BWI); Cleveland, OH (CLE); Hartford, CT (BDL); Newark, NJ (EWR); New York, NY (LGA); Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
  • Modification Charge/Fare Difference waived through: November 17
  • 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 14-15
  • Airports covered: Cincinnati (CVG); Cleveland (CLE); Columbus (CMH); Indianapolis (IND); Louisville (SDF); Nashville (BNA); St. Louis (STL)
  • Travel dates: November 15-16
  • Airports covered: Albany (ALB); Baltimore (BWI); Boston (BOS); Buffalo (BUF); Hartford (BDL); Long Island MacArthur (ISP); Manchester (MHT); Newark (EWR); New York LaGuardia (LGA); Philadelphia (PHL); Pittsburgh (PIT); Portland, Maine (PWM); Providence (PVD); Rochester (ROC); Washington Dulles (IAD); Washington National Reagan (DCA)
  • 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 15-17
  • Covered airports: Allentown, PA (ABE); Albany, NY (ALB); Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA (AVP); Hartford, CT (BDL); Bangor, ME (BGR); Boston, MA (BOS); Burlington, VT (BTV); Buffalo, NY (BUF); Baltimore, MD (BWI); Charlottesville, VA (CHO); Washington-National, DC (DCA); Elmira, NY (ELM); Erie, PA (ERI); New York/Newark, NJ (EWR); White Plains, NY (HPN); Washington, DC - Dulles (IAD)​; Ithaca, NY (ITH)​; New York-LaGuardia, NY (LGA)​; Lewisburg, WV (LWB)​; Harrisburg, PA (MDT)​; Manchester, NH (MHT)​; Plattsburgh, NY (PBG)​; Philadelphia, PA (PHL)​; Presque Isle, ME (PQI); Providence, RI (PVD)​; Portland, ME (PWM); Roanoke, VA (ROA)​; Rochester, NY (ROC)​; State College, PA (SCE); Shenandoah Valley, VA (SHD); Syracuse, NY (SYR); Quebec City, QB, CA (YQB); Montréal, QC, CA (YUL); Toronto, ON, CA (YYZ)​
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before November 20, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​​


  • Travel date: November 15
  • Covered airports: New York Kennedy (JFK); New York LaGuardia (LGA); Southern Ontario; Halifax (YHZ); Gander (YQX); Sydney (YQY) ; St. John's (YYT)
  • To find out more about the change and cancel options due to these advisories, please call: WestJet flights: 1-888-937-8538 or WestJet Vacations: 1-877-737-7001

No waivers yet from: Alaska, Allegiant, Frontier, Hawaiian, Sun Country

Protect Your Travels

This winter storm is another reminder to book flights with a card that offers solid trip delay and cancellation insurance. When I got stuck in Japan for four extra days due to a typhoon, I was very grateful for the Citi Prestige’s trip delay protection, which reimbursed $1,000 of our expenses.

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Although Citi Prestige used to be my go-to for booking flights, a recent devaluation to the card’s travel benefits knocked it out of its top spot. Currently, I’m using my Chase Sapphire Reserve to book my flights going forward. Other top choices are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard and the Citi Premier® Card.

This post was originally published at 11:15am and updated at 3:40pm with the latest cancellation figures.

Featured image by Getty Images