Nor’easter Prompts More Than 2,300 Flight Cancellations; Airlines Extend Travel Waivers

Mar 7, 2018

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The latest winter storm slamming the Northeast — just like the one last week — is already causing headaches for travelers. In all, as of 9:10 a.m., airlines have cancelled 2,357 flights for Wednesday alone, as well as 266 flights preemptively canceled for Thursday, according to FlightAware.

The forecast of the nor’easter projects now and wind for the region, including Boston and New York. As a result, airports in the corridor are seeing the most significant number of cancellations. Of the cancellations on Wednesday, Newark (EWR) has the most, with 280 — or 44% — of flights originating at the airport being canceled. Following Newark are some familiar New York area neighbors — LaGuardia (LGA) has 246 cancellations, or 42% of its originating flights, and Kennedy (JFK) has 233 cancellations, or 38% of its originating flights. To round out the top five airports with the highest number of cancellations today: Boston Logan (BOS) with 100 cancellations (17% of originating flights) and Philadelphia (PHL) with 98 cancellations (19%).

As for airlines with the most delays, look at JetBlue, which has more than 130 cancellations than the next-highest airline. A total of 447 JetBlue flights are canceled for Wednesday — or 44% of its flights for the day. Such a high number could have been expected, given JetBlue’s dense route network in the Northeast, and its two largest hubs are in the two cities that are expected to be slammed with the winter weather — JFK and BOS.

Following JetBlue are two of the smaller regional operators — Republic (309 cancellations) and Endeavor Air (245 cancellations). American has canceled 205 flights for Wednesday, and Southwest has cancelled 161 flights.

By this point, most US airlines have travel waivers in place for travelers with flexible plans. If you can’t delay your itinerary, airlines aren’t going to be responsible for paying for your meals or hotels in the case of weather-related delays/cancellations. But some top cards have flight delay/cancellation insurance that can reimburse you for weather issues, including the Citi Prestige ($500 per passenger for 3+ hour delay), the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($500 per ticket for 6+ hour or overnight delay) and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card ($500 per ticket for 12+ hour or overnight delay).

As of 9:00 Wednesday morning, here are the travel waivers covering this storm, many of which have been extended from Tuesday’s waivers:

Alaska Airlines

  • Travel dates: March 6-8
  • Airports affected: Boston (BOS); New York – Kennedy (JFK); New York – LaGuardia (LGA); Newark (EWR); Philadelphia (PHL); Washington – Reagan (DCA); Washington – Dulles (IAD); Baltimore (BWI)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by March 5
  • Rebooked travel must be completed by March 14
  • You may request a refund if you choose not to travel at all. Tickets must be exchanged or refunded on or before March 8. Rebook your flight or apply for a refund online.

American Airlines

  • Travel dates: March 7-8
  • Airports affected: Albany, New York (ALB); Allentown, Pennsylvania (ABE); Bangor, Maine (BGR); Boston, Massachusetts (BOS); Burlington, Vermont (BTV); Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (MDT); Hartford, Connecticut (BDL); Islip, New York (ISP); Ithaca, New York (ITH); Manchester, New Hampshire (MHT); New Haven, Connecticut (HVN); New York Kennedy, New York (JFK); New York LaGuardia, New York (LGA); Newark, New Jersey (EWR); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PHL); Portland, Maine (PWM); Providence, Rhode Island (PVD); Rochester, New York (ROC); State College, Pennsylvania (SCE); Stewart Newburgh, New York (SWF); Syracuse, New York (SYR); Watertown, New York (ART); White Plains/Westchester County, New York (HPN); Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania (AVP); Williamsport, Pennsylvania (IPT)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by March 5
  • Rebook travel anytime between March 5-11
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.


  • Travel dates: March 7-8
  • Airports covered: Albany, NY (ALB); Allentown, PA (ABE); Bangor, Maine (BGR); Boston, MA (BOS); Burlington, Vermont (BTV); Harrisburg, PA (MDT); Hartford, CT (BDL); Manchester, New Hampshire (MHT); New York – Kennedy, NY (JFK); New York – LaGuardia, NY (LGA); Newark, NJ (EWR); Newburgh, NY (SWF); Philadelphia, PA (PHL); Portland, Maine (PWM); Scranton, PA (AVP); Providence, RI (PVD); White Plains, NY (HPN)
  • Ticket must be reissued by March 11
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than March 11
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond March 11, the change fee will be waived. However, a difference in fare may apply.
  • Final travel must be completed by end of ticket validity, one year from date of original issue. If travel is not able to be rescheduled within these guidelines, customers may cancel their reservation and apply any unused value of the ticket toward the purchase of a new ticket for a period of one year from the original ticket issuance. Applicable change fee and fare difference will apply for new travel dates. Final travel must be completed by end of ticket validity.


  • Travel dates: March 7-8
  • Airports covered: New York LaGuardia (LGA); New York Islip (ISP); Philadelphia (PHL); Providence (PVD); Trenton (TTN)
  • Must have bought your ticket by March 6
  • Rebook travel anytime through March 22
  • Origin and destination cities may be changed. Customers whose flights are cancelled may request a refund. Online Refund Form.


  • Travel dates: March 7-8
  • Airports covered: Albany, NY (ALB); Boston, MA (BOS); Hartford, CT (BDL); Newark, NJ (EWR); New York, NY (JFK, LGA); Newburgh, NY (SWF); Philadelphia, PA (PHL); Providence, RI (PVD); White Plains, NY (HPN); Worcester, MA (ORH)
  • Must have bought your ticket by March 5
  • Rebook travel anytime through March 10
  • To rebook travel or request a refund online, click here. If you are already checked in for your flight, call JetBlue at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) for assistance with rebooking or a credit.


  • Travel dates: March 6 (3:00pm onward) through March 8
  • Airports covered: Albany (ALB); Baltimore (BWI); Boston (BOS); Hartford (BDL); Long Island MacArthur (ISP); Manchester (MHT); New York LaGuardia (LGA); Newark (EWR); Philadelphia (PHL); Portland (PWM); Providence (PVD); Washington Reagan National (DCA); Washington-Dulles (IAD)
  • Customers who are holding reservations on these dates, and want to alter their travel plans may rebook in the original class of service or travel standby (within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city-pairs and in accordance with Southwest’s accommodation procedures) without paying any additional charge.


  • Travel dates: March 7
  • Airports covered: Boston, MA (BOS); Hartford, CT (BDL); New York, NY (LGA); Newark, NJ (EWR); Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
  • Modification charge/fare difference waived through March 10. After this date, the modification charge is waived, by a fare difference may apply.


  • Travel dates: March 7-8
  • Airports covered: Albany, NY (ALB); Allentown, PA (ABE); Boston, MA (BOS); Harrisburg, PA (MDT); Hartford, CT (BDL); New York/Newark, NJ (EWR); New York-Kennedy, NY (JFK); New York-LaGuardia, NY (LGA); Philadelphia, PA (PHL); Providence, RI (PVD); State College, PA (SCE); White Plains, NY (HPN); Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA (AVP)
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before March 14, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​

Virgin America

  • Travel dates: March 6-8
  • Airport covered: Boston (BOS); New York, Kennedy (JFK); Newark (EWR); LaGuardia (LGA); Philadelphia (PHL); Washington DC, Reagan (DCA); Washington DC, Dulles (IAD); Baltimore (BWI)
  • Tickets must have been purchased by: March 5
  • [Virgin] will waive the change fees and the difference in the price of the ticket if the new travel is booked to or from the affected cities in the same cabin and completed on or before March 14, 2018.  Additional taxes and fees may apply. You may request a refund if you choose not to travel at all. Tickets must be exchanged or refunded on or before March 14, 2018.
  • To modify an existing reservation during this period, you may contact [Virgin America’s] Call Center at 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN* (877.359.8474) for assistance. Or manage your reservation online: Change your flight. Cancel or refund your flight.

No waivers at this time from: Hawaiian.

Featured image by Rebecca Butala How / Getty Images.

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