Airlines Offering Waivers for Northeast Passengers
The impending snowstorm in the Northeast is projected to cancel a great number of flights, and airlines are already reacting to the threat. Several carriers have begun issuing waivers for passengers heading to the region.
United, Continental, American Airlines and US Airways are offering waivers for passengers with tickets for January 11, 12 and 13. Jetblue and Southwest are offering waivers for those with tickets for January 11 and 12.
Generally, this means passengers will not be charged to reschedule their flights, and may not be charged fare differences for the new tickets.
Affected locations include: Hartford/Springfield, CT; New Haven, CT; Washington, DC; Portland, ME; Baltimore, MD; Salisbury, MD; Boston, MA; Manchester, NH; Newark, NJ; Islip, NY; New York City; Newburgh, NY; White Plains, NY; Allentown, PA; Erie, PA; Harrisburg, PA; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Scranton, PA; State College, PA; Williamsport, PA; Providence, RI. See airlines' websites for a complete list of destinations.
If you find yourself stranded in the airport, follow these tips:
• Don't wait in line behind everyone else: Find a free agent at another gate or find a rebooking station. Most major airline hubs have manned stations where rebooking can take place.
• Pick up the phone: It's often easier to speak to a phone agent to rebook your ticket. Make sure to get your record locator and/or your ticket number from your boarding pass to provide everything you need for the phone agent. Bonus: the phone agent is probably less stressed.
• Go online and check the available outbound flights: Plug your departure and arrival airports into a tool such as seatguru.com or even into your airline's website. It will usually give you all of the possible routes that can be flown in one day.
• Get away from the airport for a bit: If you already know you'll be stuck for a few days, get away from the airport. Pick a hotel away from the airport area, but close to a rapid public transport system. This will get you a cheaper room, cheaper food and less stress.
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