Full Rundown Of Airline Rebooking Policies
Historic levels of snowfall are being forecast in what is the first major blizzard in the area for four years. Boston, in particular, will be particularly affected, with the potential for 2 feet of snow set to blanket the city.
The rough conditions are being attributed to what is called a “bombogenesis”, wherein the cold air will mix with warm sea air, resulting in an extremely swift drop in atmospheric pressure. This type of weather is called a bomb cyclone.
As of Saturday morning, more than 3500 flights have already been canceled, with even more expected. On Friday night, almost 1500 were canceled, and a further 2000 were delayed, some for hours at a time. The bulk of the cancelations was preemptive, meaning most passengers were not already at the airport.
The airlines are likely going to continue the same process throughout the weekend, especially in the Northeast, where winds approaching hurricane speeds could put travelers in danger on the way to the airport.
Here’s what each airline’s current policy is on the situation. For full details on each airline, click the link on each name.
Delta fully suspended all of its operations at LaGuardia, Newark, JFK, and Boston Logan airports through until Sunday afternoon. Any passengers intending to fly with the airline in that area should have been notified of the changes to the schedule.
Delta will automatically rebook passengers onto the next available flight if no action is taken. The airline also has a travel waiver in place, but all the rebooked flights must be on or before February 1st at the very latest. Passengers should check their accounts for more info and changes. The waiver applies to passengers going to and from airports in Maryland. Massachusetts, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Jersey, Washington, D.C, Rhode Island, Tennessee., New York, Maine, and Pennsylvania.
If the original ticket was purchased before January 25th, United will waive the change fees and all differences in fairs for flights booked on Saturday and Sunday. The rebooked flights must be between the same two cities, and be on or before February 2nd.
The waiver in this instance covers Ohio, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine, Virginia, Washington, D.C, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.
Southwest has a pretty standard policy on the situation. If a passenger has been affected by the storm, they are able to change their flights to a date within 14 days of the original flight date. This can be done on the app, online, or over the phone.
American is also offering waivers on change fees and cost differences, but the rebooking must be done by January 30th, so it’s a much tighter window than some of the other airlines. The rebooked flights have to take off by February 5th for the waiver to be in effect. The full booking must be completed within 1 year of the original booking.
JetBlue is allowing passengers to rebook as late as Tuesday with no cancelation charge, fare difference, or change fees. Refunds are also possible for all passengers affected. The flights must have been booked before January 26th for the waiver to take effect.
This is effective for Massachusetts, North Carolina, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. Virginia, and DC.
All travelers should assume that flights booked after January 26th are not covered by any waivers as knowledge of the impending storm were readily available. They should also assume that rebooking must be in the same class as previously booked, and to/from the same destinations.
Before trying to head to the airport, ensure that your flight is running to avoid any unnecessary danger or congestion on the roads and in the airport.
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