New and Expanded Airline Travel Waivers for Hurricane Harvey

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They told us Hurricane Harvey was going to be devastating for the Houston area. No one wanted to believe the worst case scenarios with rain measured in feet and thousands and thousands of flooded homes and businesses, but it happened. It is still happening. I live north of Houston and still can’t believe everything that is happening. Houses are flooding to the second level in my city as they release water from the dam today.

 

So, I’m scattered, but I’m still here and we are personally fine outside of minor things like a leaking roof. We won’t have school until after Labor Day, my in-laws are stuck here as they were supposed to be watching the kids while we went to San Diego (which didn’t happen…thanks Harvey!), the airports are now closed as the streets are flooded, and we are taking things one moment at a time. We are lucky this time around, and we are trying to help others who aren’t.

Along those lines, the airlines have now largely dramatically loosened up their waivers as this is a much larger event than I think they initially anticipated with the Houston airports closed at least for several more days.

You should now be able to make any reasonable change without much flak, though the exact parameters vary by airline.

United Airlines:

  • Alexandria, LA (AEX)​
  • Austin, TX (AUS)​
  • Baton Rouge, LA (BTR)​
  • Brownsville, TX, US (BRO)​
  • College Station, TX, US (CLL)​
  • Corpus Christi, TX (CRP)​
  • Harlingen, TX (HRL)​
  • Houston, TX (IAH)​
  • Lafayette, LA (LFT)​
  • Lake Charles, LA (LCH)​
  • Laredo, TX (LRD)​
  • McAllen, TX (MFE)​
  • New Orleans, LA (MSY)​
  • San Antonio, TX (SAT)​
  • Shreveport, LA (SHV)​

​​​​Original travel date(s):

August 25 – September 5, 2017

Flight changes:

  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing between August 25, 2017, and September 20, 2017, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.
  • For wholly rescheduled travel departing after September 20, 2017, or for a change in departure or destination city, the change fee will be waived, but a difference in fare may apply. Rescheduled travel must be completed within one year from the date when the ticket was issued.

Delta:

If you wish to cancel your trip as a result of a flight cancellation or significant delay (90 minutes or more), you are entitled to a refund for the unused portion of your ticket. Even if your flight is not canceled, you may make a one-time change to your ticket without fee if you are scheduled to travel to, from, or through the following destination(s) on Delta, Delta Connection®, or Delta-coded flights during the specified time periods listed below.

  • Austin, TX (AUS)
  • Houston, TX – Hobby (HOU)
  • Houston, TX – Intercontinental (IAH)
  • San Antonio, TX (SAT)

Impacted Travel Dates: August 25 – September 4, 2017

Rebooked travel must begin on later than September 7, 2017.

When rescheduled travel occurs beyond September 7, 2017, 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.

Alaska Airlines:

Due to Hurricane Harvey, we are offering the following waiver if you would like to change, cancel, or postpone your flight to or from the following cities:

  • Austin (AUS)
  • San Antonio (SAT)
  • Houston (IAH)

Tickets must have been purchased on or before August 30, 2017, for travel dates August 30 – September 3, 2017.

We 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 September 5, 2017. You may request a refund if you choose not to travel at all. Tickets must be exchanged or refunded on or before August 30, 2017.

Spirit:

August 25-September 2, 2017

Modification Charge/Fare Difference waived through:

September 11, 2017 After this date the modification charge is waived, but a fare difference may apply.

  • Houston, TX (IAH)

Customers 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 (Option 3, then 1) to make their flight changes. To make changes to Spirit Vacation packages contact Spirit Vacations at 954-698-0125.

JetBlue:

  • Houston, TX (HOU)

All customers traveling to/from the airport listed above are encouraged to check the status of their flight online prior to leaving for the airport. Customers with web-enabled mobile devices may check the status of their flight at mobile.jetblue.com.

Customers may rebook their flights for travel through Tuesday, September 5, 2017 online in the ‘Manage Flights’ section of jetblue.com or by calling 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) prior to the departure time of their originally scheduled flight. Customers with cancelled flights may also opt for a refund to the original form of payment. Original travel must have been booked on or before Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

Southwest:

Based on the forecasted weather conditions for the cities listed below, our scheduled service may be disrupted (flights may be delayed, diverted, and/or cancelled):

  • Houston (HOU) – effective from August 24 through September 4
  • Austin (AUS) – effective from August 24 through September 1
  • Corpus Christi (CRP) – effective from August 24 through September 1
  • Harlingen (HRL) – effective from August 24 through August 29
  • San Antonio (SAT) – effective from August 24 through September 1

Due to lasting impacts from Tropical Storm Harvey and to provide our Houston Customers additional flexibility, ticketed Passengers traveling to and from Houston may change their origin or destination without paying any additional charge to AUS, CRP, DAL or SAT if their original dates of travel are between Thursday, August 24 through Monday, September 4.

Customers who are holding reservations to, from, or through the cities and dates listed above 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 our accommodation procedures) without paying any additional charge.

Customers who purchased their itinerary via Southwest.com or our mobile app are eligible to reschedule their travel plans online or from their mobile device.

Customers who did not purchase a ticket via Southwest.com can call 1-800-435-9792 to speak with a Customer Representative.

Customers in the U.S. scheduled to travel internationally must call 1-800-435-9792 to speak with a Customer Representative for assistance with rebooking.

Frontier Airlines:

With the expected impact from Tropical Storm Harvey on travel conditions throughout southern Texas and the Gulf Coast region, Frontier has enacted the following guidelines aimed at assisting customers scheduled to travel between Sunday, August 27, 2017 and Thursday, August 31, 2017 to/from/through the following cities:

  • Austin Bergstrom International, TX (AUS)
  • San Antonio International, TX (SAT)
  • Houston Bush Intercontinental, TX (IAH)

Customers who are ticketed to travel between Sunday, August 27, 2017 and Thursday, August 31, 2017, who purchased tickets on or before Saturday, August 27, 2017, 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.

Travel must be completed no later than Monday, September 30, 2017. Origin and destination cities may be changed. Customers whose flights are cancelled may request a refund through our Online Refund Form.

American Airlines:

If you’re traveling to/through/from:

  • Alexandria, Louisiana (AEX)
  • Austin, Texas (AUS)
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana (BTR)
  • Beaumont / Port Arthur, Texas (BPT)
  • Brownsville, Texas (BRO)
  • College Station, Texas (CLL)
  • Corpus Christi, Texas (CRP)
  • Houston, Texas (HOU)
  • Houston, Texas (IAH)
  • Lake Charles, Louisiana (LCH)
  • Lafayette, Louisiana (LFT)
  • Laredo, Texas (LRD)
  • McAllen / Mission, Texas (MFE)
  • New Orleans, Louisiana (MSY)
  • San Antonio, Texas (SAT)
  • Shreveport, Louisiana (SHV)

The change fee may be waived if you:

  • Are traveling on an American Airlines flight
  • Bought your ticket by August 23, 2017
  • Are scheduled to travel August 25 – 31, 2017
  • Can travel August 23 – September 13, 2017
  • Don’t change your origin or destination city
  • Rebook in the same cabin or pay the difference

If you are stuck here in Texas, or away from Texas and can’t get back, or had non-refundable components of your trip hosed, be sure to check your built-in credit card protections as they may cover some of your trip delay or cancellation expenses. I wrote a post on this here and my in-laws will be using this coverage as they were scheduled to leave here tomorrow, but will be stuck until Friday at the earliest since the airports are closed.

Has Hurricane Harvey impacted your travel plans?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Comments

  1. Interesting that United’s waiver is much more generous than the others. Perhaps because their network will be more adversely affected because of their IAH hub?

  2. Thanks MommyPoints. I am currently in Cypress watching Cypress Creek drain through my neighborhood and into our streets. I never thought I would see our houses even come close to flooding but am safe with power and water is not yet in my house so very thankful for that. Please stay safe – this is absolutely horrible for Houston.

  3. I live in Houston and had a United flight scheduled to leave for Portland, OR tonight. I called yesterday to ask for a cancellation and credit and to my surprise, the United agent said they would be giving me a full refund. No questions asked or anything. Yay United!

  4. I live in Houston. I changed my SW ticket last minute to leave last Fri before the storm, but now I couldn’t come back (Supposed to be Tue and keep delaying). I purchased the SW ticket with SW credits , do you think adding the early bird check-in with Chase SR can do the trick of getting the trip delay benefits? The extra hotel nights + car rental etc really adds up 🙁 Thanks!

    • Oh gosh. That is really horrible. I really don’t think that will do it. I mean, I can’t tell you for sure, but I really doubt it. I’m so, so sorry!!!

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