Several airlines waiving change fees for some flights affected by winter weather

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Airlines waive some change fees as snow approaches

DALLAS — Several big airlines waived fees for passengers who want to change their flying dates to avoid potentially serious winter storms in the East, including New York.

So-called weather waivers were issued on Thursday by Delta, United, Continental, US Airways, and AirTran. Passengers who change their tickets, however, must rebook on flights within the next few days.

Delta Air Lines Inc. said Thursday that passengers with tickets bought from Delta on flights Friday and Saturday to or from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia can rebook without penalty if they travel by Monday.

Delta said it would cancel flights ahead of the storm to minimize delays. Customers on canceled flight can request refunds, the airline said.

The waivers from Continental, United, and US Airways apply to flights through Sunday. United said its waivers apply to tickets for travel passing through Washington, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia on United, United Express or United code-share flights. Travelers who change their ticket have to keep the same origin and destination, and rescheduled travel must take place within seven days of original travel date. Customers with canceled flights are eligible for a full refund.

Continental Airlines Inc. said customers scheduled to fly through Sunday to or from some airports including its hub at Newark, N.J., could change plans without penalty. On its Web site, the airline identified the other airports as Baltimore-Washington in Maryland; Reagan National and Dulles in Virginia; Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

US Airways Group Inc. said its waiver covers flights to or from Washington, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Travelers can move their itinerary up to seven days before or after their scheduled origination date, the airline said.

AirTran, a unit of AirTran Holdings Inc., said passengers scheduled to fly Friday and Sunday to some locations can change reservations without penalty if they complete their rescheduled travel within five days of their original itinerary.

The policy covers flights to and from New York’s LaGuardia; Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Allentown and Harrisburg, Pa.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Baltimore-Washington; and Reagan National, Dulles, Newport News and Richmond airports in Virginia.

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