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Airlines Issue Weather Waivers for East Coast Storms

Rain across the Southeast has been wreaking havoc today — flooding streets and even causing at least one water rescue in Charleston. And, the storm isn’t letting up anytime soon. Three to five inches of additional rain are expected in parts of the Carolinas. So, airlines are releasing weather travel waivers for… the Northeast.

More rain is on the way over the next few days. Image courtesy of Weather Underground.
More rain is on the way over the next few days. Image courtesy of Weather Underground.

That doesn’t seem to make any sense, does it? Well, there’s more to this storm than just rain. The Northeast is expecting to experience sustained winds over 20 MPH for parts of the day Tuesday. These strong winds combined with heavy rain make flying considerably tougher for pilots and air traffic controllers alike. To keep the skies safe in crowded areas like around New York City, ATC might have to limit departures and arrivals — causing delays and maybe even cancellations.

Hopefully it doesn’t come to this, but airlines seem to want to give flexible travelers a way out of the potential mess. So, if you’re flying to/from the affected airports, you can utilize these change fee waivers to rebook yourself on a different date. Or, if you’re just connecting through the area, you can use these change fee waivers to reroute yourself through different airports or on different dates. You might be able to get really creative with these:

Remember, if you can’t delay your itinerary, airlines aren’t going to be responsible for paying for your meals or hotels in the case of weather-related delays/cancellations. But some top cards have flight delay/cancellation insurance that can reimburse you for weather issues, including the Citi Prestige ($ 500 per passenger for 3+ hour delay), the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($ 500 per ticket for 6+ hour or overnight delay) and Chase Sapphire Preferred ($ 500 per ticket for 12+ hour or overnight delay).

The following airports are covered by at least one of the waivers below:

Travel Waiver airports April 25-26

As of this writing, here are the available travel waivers for Tuesday (and Wednesday):

American Airlines

  • Travel date: April 25-26
  • Airports affected: Boston, Massachusetts (BOS); Hartford, Connecticut (BDL); Islip, New York (ISP); Manchester, New Hampshire (MHT); Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (MVY); New York Kennedy, New York (JFK); New York LaGuardia, New York (LGA); Newark, New Jersey (EWR); Portland, Maine (PWM); Providence, Rhode Island (PVD); Stewart Newburgh, New York (SWF); White Plains / Westchester County, New York (HPN)
  • Must have bought your ticket by April 24. Rebook travel anytime between April 24-29. You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same class or pay the difference.

Delta

  • Travel date: April 25
  • Airports affected: New York, NY – Kennedy (JFK); New York, NY – LaGuardia (LGA); Newark, NJ (EWR); Newburgh, NY (SWF); White Plains, NY (HPN)
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond April 28, 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.

United

  • Travel dates: April 25
  • Airports affected: New York/Newark, NJ (EWR); New York-Kennedy, NY (JFK); New York-LaGuardia, NY (LGA); White Plains, NY (HPN)
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before April 28, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​

No waivers released by: Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, SpiritVirgin America

Featured image courtesy of Jan-Stefan Knick/EyeEm via Getty Images.

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