Los Angeles – Major U.S. airlines have issued travel waivers ahead of what is expected to be a brutal cold-weather “bomb cyclone” later this week in the Midwest and elsewhere.
Chicago, a key aviation hub, was forecast to be one of the hardest hit cities, with the National Weather Service warning of a possible snowstorm.
By Tuesday morning, Chicago-based United Airlines had four separate winter weather waivers: one for the Midwest, one for Texas, one for the East Coast and one for the U.S. Central and Northwest department.
Other major U.S. airlines, including American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, have also issued various weather-related waivers. See details below.
United Airlines Waiver
United’s change fee and fare difference will be waived for modified reservations made within the original ticketed cabin and between the same cities during the shorter rebooking window this month.
United Midwest Waiver: This applies to customers who purchased tickets through United for travel between December 21 and December 25 before last Saturday (December 17).
Nearly 30 airports in the Midwest are exempt, including Chicago O’Hare, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minneapolis and St. Louis. Find more details on each regional waiver on the United website.
Texas Common Waiver: This applies to those who bought their tickets before December 18.
The exemption applies to travel booked between Dec. 22 and Dec. 25. More than a dozen airports are exempt, including Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso and Houston.
Joint East Coast Waiver: This applies to customers who purchased United tickets before December 18 and traveled between December 22-25.
Approximately 50 airports are exempt, including Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Nashville, all major New York City airports, Philadelphia, Toronto (Canada), and Washington, DC.
United Central and Northwest Waiver: This applies to passengers who purchased their tickets through United for travel between December 20 and December 23 before last Sunday (December 18). About 50 airports fall under this exemption.
what other airlines are doing
Here’s what other big U.S. airlines posted on Tuesday morning:
Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines also issued waivers for travel to, from or through nearly 30 airports in the Midwest, and about 30 destinations in the Northeast. There are more details on the US website.
Dallas-based Southwest Airlines issued waivers for “Rocky Mountain and Midwest winter weather” as well as waivers for a dozen Northeast destinations. Click here to learn more about Southwest Airlines waivers.
Queens, New York-based budget airline JetBlue has issued a “Midwest Winter Weather Fee Waiver” for people flying in and out of four airports — Chicago (ORD); Kansas City (MCI); Milwaukee (MKE ); and Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP). Click here to learn more about JetBlue exemptions.
As of Tuesday morning, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines had issued travel advisories and waivers for two airports in the Northwest Territories: Portland (PDX) and Seattle (SEA). Tickets must be purchased on or before December 18 for travel on December 20-22. Click here to view Delta’s Travel Advisory page.
As of Tuesday morning, Seattle metro-area-based Alaska Airlines had issued a winter weather waiver only for flights to and from Seattle because of the heavy snow. Tickets purchased on or before December 18 are required to travel on December 20. Click here to learn more about Alaska Airlines.
Spirit Airlines, a Miramar, Fla.-based discount carrier, issued waivers for travel at six Midwest airports between Dec. 21 and Dec. 23. Details are available on the Spirit website.
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