'Bomb cyclone': Airlines offering waivers, refunds amid winter storm

The “bomb cyclone” is currently wreaking havoc on the Northeast, forcing a number of major airlines to adjust their schedules or cancel flights altogether. The National Weather service reports that areas along the Northeast could also see up to a foot of snow over the coming days, meaning that travel conditions could get worse before they get any better.

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In other words, the “bomb cyclone” — or Winter Storm Grayson — could make airline travel a nightmare for residents of the East Coast. As a result, several major commercial carriers are offering waivers or refunds for any travelers affected by the storm.

American Airlines has cancelled 250 flights on Jan. 3 and an additional 775 flights on Jan 4. ahead of severe weather in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.  A representative for the airline further confirmed that passengers who are affected can rebook without incurring a fee. Customers whose flights were canceled or excessively delayed may also request a refund via AA.com. More information is available on the airline’s Travel Alert webpage.

Southwest, which has already cancelled 300 flights scheduled for Jan. 4, has posted a list of areas where travel may be disrupted due to Grayson. Anyone flying to, through or out of these locations will be allowed to rebook their flights within 14 days of their original date of travel. More information and details are available on Southwest’s Travel Advisory page.

airport reuters snow

Airlines are adjusting their schedules and canceling flights ahead of the "bomb cyclone" wreaking havoc on the East Coast, but many are offering fee waivers or refunds for those wishing to rebook.  (Reuters)

Delta, too, has confirmed the cancellation of over 400 flights between Jan. 3 and Jan. 4. The airline had already issued a severe weather waiver for cities in the Southeast earlier this week, but has since expanded that courtesy to airports further up along the East Coast. The airline has since announced that it will be issuing refunds for delayed or canceled flights, or allowing a one-time ticket change for passengers traveling to, through or from cities in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast which were affected by the storm. Visit Delta for more details, including eligible dates for rescheduling flights.

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United Airlines confirmed to Fox News that they will be operating on “a reduced schedule” in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic-area airports on Jan. 4. The airline says it will be offering “additional flexibility” for travelers ahead of wintry conditions, and a representative for the airline encouraged travelers to visit United.com for updates. Additional information can be found on the airline’s Travel Notices page.

Other airlines, including Spirit, Frontier, JetBlue and Alaska Airlines (among others), are offering refunds or waivers due to inclement weather.

FlightAware has also posted an interactive “Misery Map” detailing which airports and regions are most affected by the “bomb cyclone.”

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The National Weather Service says the storm will pass over the Mid-Atlantic by Thursday evening, but heavy snow will continue overnight throughout the Northeast. Northern New England is still expected to see light snow until Friday evening.