Snow, Wind, Disrupts Flights from Ohio Valley to Northeast – Dec 26

Flights Cancelled from Winter Storm

Flights Cancelled from Winter Storm

Euclid Creates Chaos with Snow, Blizzard Conditions and Icy Travel

Dallas got to see a white Christmas, but the day after Christmas, Blizzard Warnings are in place up the Ohio Valley and across Indiana. Winter Storm Warnings expand into Ohio, including the Cleveland area which is a hub for United Airlines.

United Airlines has pre-emptively cancelled 60% of their flights today, Wednesday, December 26, at their hub at Cleveland Hopkins Airport (CLE).

To assist passengers who are flying to/from/through airports where weather is expected to be a problem, airlines are announcing weather waivers.

Weather Waivers

United Airlines has a weather waiver in place for travel between December 25 and December 27th, 2012. Ticket change fees are being waived when rescheduled travel commences by December 31, 2012.

To qualify for the waiver, you must be flying to/from/through Akron-Canton (CAK), Albany (ALB), Bradford, PA (BFD), Burlington, VT (BVT), Buffalo (BUF), Cincinnati (CVG), Cleveland (CLE), Columbus (CMH), Dayton (DAY), Du Bois, PA (DUJ), Eire, PA (ERI), Franklin, PA (FKL), Indianapolis (IND), Ithaca, NY (ITH), Jamestown, NY (JHW), Johnstown, PA (JST), Pittsburg (PIT), Rochester, NY (ROC), Syracuse (SYR), and Wikes-Barre / Scranton (AVP) between December 25th and the 27th as outlined above.

If you don’t re-schedule travel before the 31st, a fare difference may apply.

US Airways also has a similar waiver in place. If you are traveling to/from or through Montreal (YUL), Ottawa (YOW), Quebec City (YQB), Indianapolis (IND), Bangor, ME (BGR), Portland, ME (PWM), Detroit (DTW), Manchester, NH (MHT), Albany (ALB), Binghamton, NY (BGM), Buffalo (BUF), Elmira, NY (ELM), Ithaca, NY (ITH), Rochester, NY (ROC), Syracuse (SYR), Akron-Canton (CAK), Cincinnati (CVG), Cleveland (CLE), Columbus (CHM), Dayton (DAY), Erie, PA (ERI), Pittsburg (PIT), Scranton (AVP), Willamsport, PA (IPT), and Burlington (BVT), between December 26, and December 27, 2012, US Airways will allow you to change your travel date to December 28, 29, 30, 31, 2012, or January 1, 2013, without a change fee.

While no US Airways hubs are in the bullseye of the storm, US Airways provides extensive service to the Indiana, Ohio, and the Northeast States, along with Canadian cities to be walloped.

Delta Air Lines has kept their waiver a bit more simple. If you are flying to/from or through an airport in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or Rhode Island, between December 26th and December 27, 2012, you can re-book your travel no later than January 2, 2013, with change fee-waived

While Indiana and Ohio are not on the Delta waiver list, there will be winter weather problems at Indianapolis (IND), Cleveland (CLE), and Akron-Canton (CAK), which may result in flight cancellations.

Southwest Airlines has a list of waiver cities where the possibility of a flight being delayed, diverted, and/or cancelled may happen. All day Wednesday, December 26, consumers traveling to/from/through Akron-Canton (CAK), Cleveland (CLE), Buffalo (BUF), Columbus (CMH), Dayton (DAY), Detroit (DTW), Indianapolis (IND), and Pittsburgh (PIT) may rebook their flight in the original class of service or travel standby (within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city-pairs).

Southwest has also extended a waiver to December 27th for Albany (ALB) under the same stipulations as listed above.

AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of Southwest, has a waiver in place for consumers traveling to/from or through Akron-Canton (CAK), Buffalo (BUF), Columbus (CMH), Dayton (DAY), Detroit (DTW), Indianapolis (IND), Pittsburgh (PIT), and Rochester, NY (ROC), for individuals traveling on December 26, 2012.

Travel plans may be adjusted on the AirTran website in most cases.

As our this writing at 4:30am, we have not received information from American Airlines.

Cancelled Flights

If your flight is cancelled, you can toss the waiver out the window because the airline must provide you a seat on the next available flight with no additional cost. If you choose not to travel, you are also entitled to a refund, even on non-refundable tickets.

If your flight is cancelled because of mechanical problems, the airline does have the responsibility to look after you for reasonable lodging and food.

Overbooked Flights

On a final note, we are hearing reports of passengers being denied boarding as a result of bumping. If you check-in on-time, hold a valid reservation, and appear at the gate on-time, but are denied boarding, in most cases you are entitled to cash compensation — not a travel voucher — but cash compensation.

The few exceptions – if you are on an aircraft with less than 60 seats and passengers must be off-loaded for weight/balance/fuel reasons, involuntary denied boarding comp is not due.

If you are on an aircraft that seats less than 30, it may not be due, but in general, the United States Department of Transportation has changed the rules to cover most regional airlines.

On a final note, if you encounter a complaint with an airline and you are not able to resolve it yourself, feel free to email [email protected], and we’ll see if we can assist.

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