Airlines waive change fees as more snow arrives

Airlines waive change fees as more snow arrives

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More than 7 inches of snow is expected in the mid-Hudson region this weekend, according to the National Weather Service in Albany.
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Airlines are waiving change fees as two more winter storms are set to move across the Midwest and Northeast.

American, Delta, Southwest, United, JetBlue, Alaska and Frontier airlines all rolled out waivers Thursday, with several carriers expanding the scope of the policies as forecasts solidified. 

The waivers come as two different winter storms were forecast to affect airports across large parts of the Midwest and Northeast.

The first storm could bring light snow and wintry conditions from the Ohio Valley into the Mid-Atlantic, though the impact on travel was not expected to be severe.

The bigger threat loomed from the second storm – dubbed “Winter Storm Harper” by The Weather Channel – that was expected to bring heavy snow, rain and strong winds to the Midwest, Ohio Valley and Northeast from Friday into Sunday.

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That’s the storm that was at the center of most airline waivers.

United’s waiver covered about 60 airports across a huge swath that stretched from Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota in the west through Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and New England in the east. The rebooking policies included two of United’s busiest hubs – Newark Liberty and Chicago O’Hare – as well as a number of additional airports in eastern Canada.

Southwest’s waiver covered about two dozen airports across a similar area. Included in Southwest’s rebooking policy: Chicago Midway, the busiest airport in the carrier’s network.

As of Thursday morning, American’s storm policy included more than a dozen airports in Pennsylvania, New York, New England and Canada. By Thursday evening, it had expanded to include nearly twice as many airports in the Midwest. 

At Frontier, 14 airports from Virginia through Maine were covered by the winter weather waivers. Like other carriers, Frontier’s expanded to cover a similar number of airports in the Midwest.

Delta’s waiver initially included more than two dozen airports across the Ohio Valley and Midwest. By Thursday evening it was expanded to include nearly 30 airports in the Northeast and Canada

JetBlue customers were covered for Saturday and Sunday travel through 17 airports across New England, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. That included JetBlue’s two busiest bases at New York JFK and Boston. Another airport outside the Northeast — Chicago O’Hare — also was included in the carrier’s waiver policy. 

Alaska become on of the last carriers to roll out a waiver, issuing one for Boston

The details varied by carrier, but – with some fine print – they allowed eligible flyers to make one change to their itineraries without paying a recalculated fare or change fees that typically cost $200 and up. Southwest does not charge change fees, but its waivers allow one change at the previously booked fare.

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