Tuesday Storm: Flight Cancellations Top 1,200

Airlines were canceling flights and waiving change fees as wintry weather threatened airports across a large swath of the United States on Tuesday.

Nearly 1,200 flights had been canceled and another 1,900 delayed as of 1:20 p.m. ET, according to flight tracking service FlightAware. Of the cancellations, nearly 700 were made preemptive in anticipation of the storm.

The biggest disruption came at Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport, the busiest hub for United Airlines. Nearly 700 flights had been grounded as of 12:20 p.m. local time, accounting for more than half of the airport’s entire daily schedule. Houston Hobby also was hard hit, with more than 160 cancellations there as of midday. That represented nearly 40% of Tuesday’s schedule.

The city of Houston remained under a winter storm warning on Tuesday that called for ice and snow in the area. In addition to the complications from an unusual winter weather event, cold temperatures also could lead to backups in Houston and elsewhere as planes are deiced prior to departure.

Travelers should brace for delays and disruptions across central and east Texas and along the Gulf Coast as wintry weather pushed deep into the region. Also seeing higher-than-average rates of delays and cancellations early Tuesday were the Austin, Dallas Love. San Antonio and New Orleans airports.

Most big airlines were already waiving rebooking fees ahead of the storm. Several of the nation’s busiest airports – including those serving New York, Washington, Baltimore, Boston and Philadelphia – were forecast to get accumulating snow late Tuesday into Wednesday. That ranged from just an inch or two in Washington to more than a half-foot in New England. Flights could be disrupted both from snow and ice removal and from backups from de-icing aircraft prior to departure.

Some cities in the South were expected to get wintry weather Tuesday into Wednesday, including places like Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Louisville and Richmond, Va.

By Tuesday, Delta expanded its winter-weather waiver to include more than 30 airports in Southern states stretching from Louisiana and Arkansas east to the Carolinas.

See the links below for airline fee waiver information:

Texas

American Airlines

  • Travel date: January 16
  • Airports covered: Austin, Texas (AUS); Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas (DFW); Houston George Bush Intercontental, Houston, Texas (IAH); Houston Hobby, Houston, Texas (HOU); San Antonio, Texas (SAT)
  • Rebook travel between January 15-20
  • Must have purchased your ticket by January 15
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city, and you must rebook in the same cabin or pay a fare difference.

Delta

  • Travel date: January 16
  • Airports covered: Austin, TX (AUS); Dallas, TX (DAL); Dallas, TX (DFW); Houston, TX (HOU); Houston, TX (IAH); San Antonio, TX (SAT)
  • Ticket must be reissued on or before: January 20
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: January 20
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond January 20, 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.

Frontier

  • Travel date: January 16
  • Airports covered: San Antonio, TX (SAT); Austin, TX (AUS); Houston Intercontinental, TX (IAH); Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX (DFW)
  • Customers who purchased tickets on or before Monday, January 15, may make one itinerary change – rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived.
  • Travel must be completed no later than Monday, January 29.
  • Origin and destination cities may be changed.

Southwest

  • Travel date: January 16
  • Airports covered: Austin (AUS); Dallas (DAL); San Antonio (SAT)
  • Travel date: January 16-17
  • Airport covered: Houston (HOU)
  • Customers who are holding reservations at the times indicated above, and want to alter their travel plans 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.

Spirit

  • Travel date: January 16
  • Airports covered: Houston, TX (IAH) and Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX (DFW)
  • Modification Charge/Fare Difference waived through: January 20
  • After this date, the modification charge is waived, but a fare difference may apply.
  • Customers 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 954-698-0125.

United

  • Travel date: January 16
  • Airports covered: Houston, TX (IAH); Austin, TX (AUS); Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX (DFW); San Antonio, TX (SAT)
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before January 20, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.

Northeast

American Airlines

  • Travel date: January 17
  • Airports covered: Albany, New York (ALB); Bangor, Maine (BGR); Boston, Massachusetts (BOS); Burlington, Vermont (BTV); Hartford, Connecticut (BDL); Islip, New York (ISP); Manchester, New Hampshire (MHT); Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (MVY); New Haven, Connecticut (HVN); 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)
  • Rebook travel between January 15-20
  • Must have purchased your ticket by January 15
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city, and you must rebook in the same cabin or pay a fare difference.

Delta

  • Travel date: January 16-17
  • Airports covered: Boston, MA (BOS); Hartford, CT (BDL); New York – Kennedy, NY (JFK); New York – LaGuardia, NY (LGA); Newark, NJ (EWR); Newburgh, NY (SWF); Philadelphia, PA (PHL); Providence, RI (PVD); White Plains, NY (HPN)
  • Ticket must be reissued on or before: January 20
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: January 20
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond January 20, 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.

Frontier

  • Travel date: January 16-17
  • Airports covered: New York Islip/MacArthur, NY (ISP); New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA); Providence, RI (PVD); Philadelphia, PA (PHL); Trenton, NJ (TTN)
  • Customers who purchased tickets on or before Monday, January 15, may make one itinerary change – rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived.
  • Travel must be completed no later than Monday, January 29.
  • Origin and destination cities may be changed.

Southwest

  • Travel date: January 17
  • Airports covered: Boston (BOS); Hartford/Bradley (BDL); Long Island — Islip (ISP); Manchester (MHT); New York — LaGuardia (LGA); Newark (EWR); Philadelphia (PHL); Portland (PWM); Providence (PVD)
  • Customers who are holding reservations at the times indicated above, and want to alter their travel plans 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.

United

  • Travel date: January 16-17
  • Airports covered: Boston, MA (BOS); Burlington, VT (BTV); Hartford, CT (BDL)​; Manchester, NH (MHT); New York/Newark, NJ (EWR); New York-Kennedy, NY (JFK); New York-LaGuardia, NY (LGA); Philadelphia, PA (PHL); Portland, ME (PWM); Providence, RI (PVD); White Plains, NY (HPN)
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before January 20, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.

(USA Today, The Points Guy)

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