7 Airlines Allowing Free Flight Changes as Bomb Cyclone Blizzard Sweeps Across Midwest

Apr 10, 2019

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Blizzard warnings currently stretch across six Midwest and Upper Plains states as a powerful winter storm — dubbed “Wesley” by The Weather Channel — sweeps across the country. The storm has strengthened so quickly that it’s reached the point to be classified as a “bomb cyclone” — an exceptionally rare weather event.

Here’s what a “Bomb Cyclone” Actually Means

According to the FlightAware flight cancellation tracker, airlines have cancelled 971 flights in/out/through the US for Wednesday in addition to 224 cancellations so far on Thursday.

To help travelers affected by the storm, airlines have issued weather waivers. Travelers with plans to fly during the storm may be able to change their flights to an earlier/later date or route through another airport that isn’t expected to be affected by the storm.

Here’s what’s been issued so far:

In This Post

American Airlines

  • Travel date: April 10-11
  • Airports covered: Appleton, Wisconsin (ATW); Cheyenne, Wyoming (CYS); Green Bay, Wisconsin (GRB); Jackson Hole, West Virginia (JAC); La Crosse, Wisconsin (LSE); Marquette, Michigan (MQT); Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota (MSP); Rapid City, South Dakota (RAP); Rochester, Minnesota (RST); Sioux Falls, South Dakota (FSD); Wausau, Wisconsin (CWA)
  • Must have purchased your ticket by April 9
  • Rebook travel anytime between April 9-14
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.
  • Avoid the phone queue. Changes available on both AA’s website and in the AA app.

Delta

Colorado Winter Weather

  • Travel dates: April 10-11
  • Airports covered: Aspen, CO (ASE); Colorado Springs, CO (COS); Denver, CO (DEN); Grand Junction (GJT)
  • Tickets must be reissued on or before: April 14
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: April 14
  • Must have purchased your ticket by April 9
  • Changes to origins and destinations may result in an increase in fare. Any difference in fare between your original ticket and the new ticket will be collected at the time of booking.

Upper Midwest Winter Weather

  • Travel dates: April 10-11
  • Airports covered: Aberdeen, SD (ABR); Appleton, WI (ATW); Brainerd, MN (BRD); Duluth, MN (DLH); Escanaba, MI (ESC); Green Bay, WI (GRB); Hibbing, MN (HIB); Iron Mountain, WI (IMT); Marquette, MI (MQT); Minneapolis, MN (MSP); Rapid City, SD (RAP); Rhinelander, WI (RHI); Sioux Falls, SD (FSD); Wausau, WI (CWA)
  • Tickets must be reissued on or before: April 14
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: April 14
  • Must have purchased your ticket by April 9
  • Changes to origins and destinations may result in an increase in fare. Any difference in fare between your original ticket and the new ticket will be collected at the time of booking.

Frontier

  • Travel dates: April 10-11
  • Airports covered: Bismarck, ND (BIS); Colorado Springs, CO (COS); Denver, CO (DEN); Fargo, ND (FAR); Madison, WI (MSN); Milwaukee, WI (MKE); Minneapolis, MN (MSP); Omaha, NE (OMA); Sioux Falls, SD (FSD)
  • Must have purchased ticket by April 9
  • Rebooked travel must be completed no later than: April 26
  • Customers may make one itinerary change – rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived.

JetBlue

  • Travel dates: April 10-11
  • Airports covered: Denver, CO (DEN)
  • Customers may rebook their flights for travel through April 14
  • Original travel must have been booked on or before April 10

Spirit

  • Travel dates: April 10-11
  • Airports covered: Denver, CO (DEN) and Minneapolis, MN (MSP)
  • Modification Charge/Fare Difference waived through: April 14
  • After this date, the modification charge is waived, but a fare difference may apply.
  • Guests can make changes to their reservations affected by this event by going to our Manage Travel page, or by calling the Spirit Reservations Center at 801-401-2222 to make their flight changes. To make changes to Spirit Vacation packages contact Spirit Vacations at 954-379-8866.

Southwest

  • Airport covered (April 10): Milwaukee, WI (MKE)
  • Airport covered (April 10-11): Denver (DEN)
  • Airport covered (April 10-12): Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP)
  • Customers who are holding reservations to/from/through the cities above on the corresponding dates 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.

United

Great Plains Winter Weather

  • Travel dates: April 10-11
  • Airports covered: Duluth, MN (DLH)​; Fargo, ND (FAR)​; Gillette, WY (GCC)​; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP)​; Rapid City, SD (RAP)​; Sioux Falls, SD (FSD)​
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before April 14, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.

Colorado Winter Weather

  • Travel dates: April 10-11
  • Airports covered: Aspen, CO (ASE)​; Colorado Springs, CO (COS)​; Denver, CO (DEN)​; Grand Junction, CO (GJT)​; Gunnison, CO (GUC)​; Hayden, CO (HDN)​; Montrose/Telluride, CO (MTJ)​; Vail/Eagle, CO (EGE)​
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before April 14, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​​

No waivers (yet) from: Alaska, Allegiant

Protect Your Travels

This winter storm is another reminder to book flights with a card that offers solid trip delay and cancellation insurance. When I got stuck in Japan for four extra days due to a typhoon, the Citi Prestige trip delay protection reimbursed $1,000 of my expenses.

Other cards with solid trip protection include the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred CardCiti / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard and the Citi Premier Card.

Featured image by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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