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With Storms Coast to Coast, Are You Okay to Fly This Week?

Condé Nast Traveler logo Condé Nast Traveler 2/12/2019 Meredith Carey
a close up of a logo: Flights across the northeast may face delays and cancellations Tuesday. © T.M. Detwiler Flights across the northeast may face delays and cancellations Tuesday.

Another week, another snowstorm. While this week's storm (named "Maya" by the Weather Channel) is no polar vortex, it's been disrupting travel and dropping heavy snow as it travels from Minnesota to Maine. Already, more than 1,800 flights have been canceled as a result of the weather across the U.S., flight tracker FlightAware reports. New Jersey's governor even declared a state of emergency because of the winter storm. The National Weather service says some areas like northern New York and northern Michigan may receive up to ten inches of snow, and cities like Philadelphia and New York City could see freezing rain and up to four inches of snow.

But it doesn't stop there: A new storm (nicknamed "Nadia" by the Weather Channel) has hit the Northwest. Areas of Washington state have seen anywhere from four to 12 inches of snow and ski areas at Tahoe got three feet of snow in just 24 hours.

As a result, a number of airlines have announced change fee waivers—which allow you to change their flight to a later date without paying the usual change fee and difference in fare—for nearly 90 airports across the country for flights today and tomorrow. In all cases, you can update your itinerary online or over the phone with your airline, and you have to do it before the scheduled departure of your original flight.

If you're flying later this week, stay put, as the flight cancellations and delays aren't expected to last past Wednesday morning. Be sure to check your flight status online before heading to the airport, and revisit your airline's travel advisory page, if you are concerned. You can also download FlightAware's tracking app, that can help you see where your flight's plane is coming from, and track potential delays.

Here's a full list of the flight waivers:

  • American Airlines: Passengers flying on February 12 or 13 to 32 airports, including those in Boston, Newark, New York City, and Providence, can change their flights for free. The new flight has to take off on or before February 16, and you'll have to keep the same origin, destination, and fare class as your original flight. You can find a full list of affected northeast airports here. Those flying in or out of American's airports in Oregon, Washington, or Vancouver on February 12 can also adjust their flight for free, with the new flight taking off on or before February 15. The details on the northwest's waivers are just below the northeast's on AA.com.

  • Delta Air Lines: There are way more options for rebooking on Delta, which is offering two different change fee and fare difference waivers: one for 25 airports across the northeast (full list here) and another for its airports in Washington, Oregon, and Vancouver (details here). For the Pacific northwest: those flying February 12 can rebook your original flight to depart on or before February 15 without paying for the change. For the northeast: if you're flying February 12 or 13, you can either rebook your original trip to depart on or before February 16 for free. In either case—northeast or northwest—if you want to change your origin or destination, or move your flight to after February 16, you will just have to pay the difference in fares. Also, if you'd like to cancel altogether, Delta will let you use the refund credit towards a future flight. The catch is that you only get to make one change to avoid fees, so you can't move your flight to later this week and later decide to swap out your destination.

  • JetBlue: Travelers can reschedule their February 12 flights to airports in Burlington, Vermont, Boston, New York City, and more for any time on or before February 16. JetBlue.com has a full list of the included airports and waiver details.

  • Southwest Airlines: Southwest is waiving the fare difference cost for those flying to or from a number of northwestern airports (full list here)—though travelers have to rebook within 14 days of their original departure to the same destination to avoid the fee. Since you never have to pay a change fee on Southwest, you could travel after that period, though you'll have to pay the difference in fares.

  • United Airlines: The airline is waiving change fees and the difference in fares for travelers flying in and out of 29 airports across New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut on February 12. You can rebook your new flight—with the same origin, destination, and fare class—on or before February 15. The full waiver is listed on United.com.

This article has been updated with new information.

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