Airlines cancel thousands of flights due to storm and offer fee waivers

A brewing winter storm in the northeast is expected to upend weekend travel plans, with more than 4,800 US flights canceled between Friday and Sunday.

The mighty northeast is expected to cross the mid-Atlantic and northeast from Friday evening. Airlines have so far canceled more than 1,200 Friday flights within, to or from the United States and delayed another 3,500 to 4:30 p.m. ET, according to the flight tracking website. FlightAware flights.

The storm affected even more flights on Saturday, with more than 3,000 US flights canceled as of 4:30 p.m. ET. The airlines affected are JetBlue Airways, American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

Travelers should check their flight status before heading to the airport and check if their flight is covered by any travel exemptions that will allow them to rebook at no additional cost.

“The vast majority of affected flights have been canceled in advance so that we can proactively inform and accommodate our customers and avoid last-minute disruptions at the airport,” the American Airlines spokesperson said. Curtis Blessing, to USA TODAY in an emailed statement. “We apologize to our customers whose travel plans may be affected and would like to thank our team who are working tirelessly to help us care for our customers safely.”

Delta has suspended operations at LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy, Newark Liberty and Boston Logan airports from Saturday through Sunday morning, but plans to restart operations Sunday afternoon, “depending on conditions,” according to a statement from the carrier. word Morgan Durrant.

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What happens if my flight is canceled due to weather?

Airlines have implemented weather waivers that allow affected passengers to change their flight without penalty.

► American Airlines: American Airlines will allow affected passengers to rebook without change fees. The waiver covers airports in Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, North Carolina South, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC and West Virginia. A full list of affected airports is available on the airline’s website.

The waiver covers customers who had booked a ticket in any fare class, purchased their original ticket before Jan. 26, and were scheduled to travel between Friday and Sunday.

Changes must be booked before Sunday. The new flight cannot change the city of origin or destination and must be re-booked in the same cabin or the passenger will have to pay the difference. Changed flights must commence by February 5 and must be completed within one year of the original ticket date.

► South-West: Southwest warned that flights to and from New York, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Washington, DC may be delayed, diverted or canceled between Friday and Sunday due to weather conditions. .

Affected customers can rebook a flight in their original class or travel on hold within 14 days of their original travel date without paying an additional fee. Passengers can rebook on their mobile app or by calling airline customer service at 1-800-435-9792.

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► Delta: The airline issued a travel waiver on Wednesday that covers Friday and Saturday flights to and from airports in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, South Carolina, West Virginia, North Carolina , Virginia, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

The changed flight must take place no later than February 1 in the same cabin originally booked for the fare differences to be waived. The airline encourages customers to check their flight status on the airline’s website or app.

Delta will automatically rebook canceled passengers on the next available flight to minimize delays. Customers are encouraged to check their flight status on the Fly Delta app or on the Delta website.

United: The airline will waive the change fee and fare difference for passengers who planned to travel between Wednesday and Sunday, provided they purchased the original ticket before Jan. 25. Changed flights departing on or before February 2 will be covered. as long as the new flight is in the same fare class and between the same cities.

Exemption includes flights to and from airports in Ohio, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, Rhode Island, Virginia and from Washington, D.C.

►JetBlue: Jetblue announced on Wednesday that passengers traveling to certain destinations can rebook a flight with no change or cancellation fees and no fare difference for travel between Friday and Saturday for flights booked on or before January 26. Customers will be able to book their flight under the waiver. to travel until Tuesday and can schedule their flight online at Passengers can also opt for a refund.

The JetBlue exemption applies to flights to and from airports in New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC

“Customers should continue to monitor the status of their flights as there is a possibility of additional cancellations depending on the severity and track of the storm,” JetBlue spokesman Derek Dombrowski told USA TODAY via email.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.

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