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Airlines issue travel waivers ahead of winter ‘bomb cyclone’

Dec 20, 2022, 4:04 PM
Airlines Anticipate Busiest Holiday Travel Season Since Pandemic...
Travelers arrive for flights at O'Hare International Airport on December 16, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Airlines are expecting travel this holiday season to be comparable to pre-pandemic levels. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(CNN) — US airlines have issued travel waivers ahead of what’s forecast to be a brutal “bomb cyclone” of wintry weather in the Midwest and other regions later this week.

The important aviation hub of Chicago is forecast to be one of the cities hit the hardest, with the National Weather Service warning of the potential for a blizzard.

Many airlines are allowing limited, no-charge itinerary changes related to the expected storms.

“One of the things you can do as a traveler is make that switch as soon as possible,” said Scott Keyes, the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights. Keyes noted that flights are more full than they were pre-pandemic in 2019, so there are not as many seats to switch to if your flight is disrupted.

Here’s what airlines are doing to account for the winter weather:

  • By Tuesday morning, United Airlines, headquartered in Chicago, was offering four separate winter weather waivers: One in the Midwest, one for Texas, one for the East Coast and another for Central and Northwest United States.

Change fees and fare differences on United will be waived for modified bookings within the originally ticketed cabin and between the same cities within short rebooking windows this month. Find more details on each regional waiver on United’s website.

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Airlines issue travel waivers ahead of winter ‘bomb cyclone’