Winter Storm in Texas and the South: Relaxed Airline Change Fees

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Baby it’s cold outside here…which is mostly a good thing since it is December.  However, when cold comes with wet precipitation then things get messy in Texas, and the South in general, as we aren’t too good at dealing with the icy or white stuff.

In light of Winter Storm Cleon (seriously when did Winter Storms get names?) wanted to share a warning for anyone traveling to or through airports like DFW, or surrounding areas in the next couple days as things could get messy, and I know delays/cancellations are already happening, especially in Dallas.  The best course of action during weather events like this is to be extremely proactive and do any changes yourself online that you can since call center hold times are long, as are lines at the airports.  If you were simply routed through an airport that is impacted, then do what you can to route yourself elsewhere before you potentially get stuck somewhere along your travels courtesy of Mother Nature.

Lots of airlines already have some weather waivers out for effected areas.  This means that the change penalties are often waived and you can select a new flight, within specified limitations.  Also note that these weather waivers are subject to updates at any time, so check on your specific airline’s website (linked below) for the most up to date info.

United Original Travel Dates December 5, 2013 – December 7, 2013:

Fees for same-day flight changes are waived within 24 hours of original departure.  For all other changes, the change fee will be waived, but a difference in fare may apply.

  • Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW)
  • Little Rock, AR (LIT)
  • Memphis, TN (MEM)
  • NW Arkansas/Fayetteville, AR (XNA)
  • Oklahoma City, OK (OKC)
  • St. Louis, MO (STL)
  • Tulsa, OK (TUL)

American Airlines Original Travel Dates December 4 – 7, 2013:
If your ticket was issued no later than December 05, 2013 then you may travel: December 4 – 10, 2013 if original inventory is available.  There will be no ticket reissue charge for one ticket change.

  • Cincinnati, OH (CVG)
  • Columbus, OH (CMH)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (DFW)
  • Dayton, OH (DAY)
  • Evansville, IN (EVV)
  • Little Rock, AR (LIT)
  • Memphis, TN (MEM)
  • Northwest Arkansas Regional, AR (XNA)
  • Oklahoma City, OK (OKC)
  • Springfield, MO (SGF)
  • Tulsa, OK (TUL)

US Airways Original Travel Dates December 5 – 7, 2013:

Relaxed change-fee policies. If your trip is affected, you can change your trip online (in most cases) without a change fee.

  • Fayetteville, AR
  • Little Rock, AR
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Memphis, TN
  • Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW Airport)

Southwest Airlines Original Travel Dates Vary by Airport:

Click on the specific airport to see details surrounding.  As an example, the policy for Dallas Love is customers holding reservations to/from Dallas Love Field (DAL) from 6pm CT Thursday, December 5, through Friday, December 6, 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.

Delta Airlines Original Travel Dates December 5 – 7, 2013:

If your flight is canceled or significantly delayed, you are entitled to a refund. 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.  Ticket must be reissued no later than December 11th for travel beginning no later than December 11th.

  • Cincinnati, OH (CVG)
  • Dallas, TX – Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW)
  • Dallas, TX – Love Field (DAL)
  • Dayton, OH (DAY)
  • Fayetteville/Northwest Arkansas, AR (XNA)

JetBlue Original Travel Dates December 5-6, 2013:

Waive change/cancel fees and fare differences for customers traveling Thursday, December 5 and/or Friday, December 6, 2013 to/from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). Customers may their flights for travel through Sunday, December 8, 2013 prior to the departure of their originally scheduled flight. Customers with cancelled flights may opt for a Original travel must have been booked on or before Wednesday, December 4, 2013.

  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)

Personally, I am scheduled to fly tomorrow from Houston, which hopefully is just south of the freeze line.  However, I will be very proactively monitoring the situation as it doesn’t take much for other airports to begin to get impacted.  I have free same-day-change privileges on United courtesy of my Platinum status, so I will be using it to confirm on an earlier flight to play it safe if waiting for my scheduled flight looks like a risky proposition, even if Houston never makes the weather waiver list.

Good luck to all of you traveling out there – and at least being stuck at DFW means you can get some extra time at the Amex Centurion Lounge.  A complimentary massage and nice cocktail can make any delay a bit more tolerable.  Also, as of right now you can still get a room for tonight at the Hyatt Regency DFW for 8,000 Hyatt points.  The very nice Grand Hyatt that is attached to the terminal appears sold out, but the Hyatt Regency is also very close to the airport and a good alternative on points.

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  1. The naming of winter storms was introduced last year by The Weather Channel. TWC’s winter storm names are NOT used by the National Weather Service, but I guess that airlines can choose to use them if they want to.

  2. Grover’s Bathtub, that makes sense. It sounded like something to do to help with headlines and news stories. 😉
    Santastico, well it is always colder somewhere else, but yeah it’s cold here for the next couple days. 😉

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