Holiday travel disruptions: Airlines issue waivers ahead of winter storm

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Major U.S. carriers are issuing travel waivers ahead of a winter storm that could snarl travel across several regions as Christmas nears. 

FOX Weather reported Tuesday that a blizzard could turn into a bomb cyclone in the Midwest and Great Lakes this week, just days ahead of Christmas, and that damaging winds could make their way toward the East Coast. 

There could also be a potential flash freeze in the Midwest and East. Heavy rain is expected to follow freezing temperatures all the way down to Florida and along the Gulf Coast, FOX Weather reported. 

The National Weather Service tweeted that even though the snow may be challenging, "the extreme cold WED & THU and then potential for freezing rain THU night thru FRI that will be keeping us up at night this week."

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It could pose travel issues as people prepare for the holidays.  

Delta Air Lines 

Delta Air Lines told FOX Business that with the weather system moving from the Pacific Northwest, across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley and into the Northeast and New England, "Delta’s Operations and Customer Center expects that conditions will unfortunately necessitate flight cancelations this week."

"The decision to cancel flights is never one Delta takes lightly, especially during the holiday travel season," the airline said. "But the safety of our customers and our people is paramount."

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DALDELTA AIR LINES INC.32.92-0.19-0.57%

Delta is offering waivers for customers traveling through affected airports. The airline issued waivers for the Pacific Northwest, Northwest Mountain as well as the Atlantic and Northeast regions. 

For the Pacific Northwest, waivers are for scheduled travel between Dec. 22 and Dec 24. For the Northwest Mountain region, waivers are for scheduled travel between Dec. 20 and Dec. 23. For the Atlantic and Northeast regions, waivers are for scheduled travel between Dec. 22 and Dec. 24.

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Fees will be waived for travel that is rebooked on or before Dec. 25 for the Pacific Northwest. Flights must be booked in the same cabin and between the same cities. 

Meanwhile, fees will be waived for travel on or before Dec. 26 for those in the Northwest Mountain region and on or before Dec. 27 for those in the Atlantic and Northeast regions.

United Airlines 

United Airlines already issued waivers for the Midwest, Texas, Northwest, Central and East Coast regions. 

The waivers apply to those who have purchased tickets by Dec. 18, except in the Midwest where tickets had to have been purchased by Dec. 17. The waivers apply for those who are scheduled to travel this week, although the exact dates vary by region. 

For those in the East Coast region and Texas, change fees and any fare differences will be waived for flights departing on or before Dec. 28, according to United. However, tickets must be booked in the same cabin and to the same cities. 

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In the Midwest, customers will be able to have fees waived for flights on or before Dec. 30.  

Southwest Airlines 

Southwest Airlines also issued a waiver for the Northeast, Rocky Mountain and Midwest regions.

For the Northeast, the waiver applies to those scheduled to travel between Dec. 22 and Dec. 24. For Rocky Mountain and Midwest travelers, the waiver applies for booked trips between Dec. 21 and Dec. 23, according to the airline. 

The waiver only applies if the ticket is for the same cabin and between the same cities previously booked. Travel must also take place within two weeks of the original travel date. 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
LUVSOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.36.35-0.93-2.49%
AALAMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.12.48-0.33-2.58%
UALUNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC.37.98-0.45-1.17%

Southwest also listed out the impacted cities in each region. 

American Airlines 

American Airlines also issued a travel waiver for passengers in the Northeast and the Midwest. 

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In the Midwest, the waiver applies who booked tickets by Dec. 19 and are scheduled to travel between Dec. 21 and Dec. 23. 

In the Northeast, the waiver applies to those who purchased tickets by Dec. 19 and are scheduled to travel between Dec. 22 and Dec. 24.  

Changes must be booked by Dec. 23 for those in the Midwest and Dec. 24 for those in the Northeast, according to American. 

Tickets must also be booked in the same cabin and between the same cities previously booked. 

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