A winter storm brewing in the northeast is set to upend weekend travel plans, with more than 4,000 U.S. flights canceled so far between Friday and Sunday.
The powerful nor’easter is expected to rip through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast starting Friday night. Airlines have so far canceled more than 1,100 Friday flights within, into, or out of the United States and delayed more than 2,500 as of 2 p.m. ET, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.
The storm has affected even more Saturday flights, with more than 2,800 U.S. flights canceled as of 2 p.m. ET. Affected airlines include JetBlue, American Airlines, United, Southwest and Delta.
Airlines suggest travelers check their flight status before heading to the airport and look into whether their flight is covered by travel waivers that will allow them to rebook without any additional charges.
“The vast majority of impacted flights have been canceled in advance so we could proactively notify and accommodate our customers and avoid last-minute disruptions at the airport,” American Airlines spokesperson Curtis Blessing told USA TODAY in an emailed statement. “We apologize to our customers whose travel plans may be affected, and want to thank our team who are working tirelessly to help us safely care for our customers.”
What happens if my flight is canceled due to weather?
Airlines have been rolling out weather waivers that allow affected passengers to change their flight without penalty.
► American Airlines: American Airlines will allow affected passengers to rebook without change fees. The waiver covers airports in Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C. and West Virginia. A full list of affected airports can be found on the airline’s website.
The waiver covers customers who had booked a ticket in any fare class, bought their original ticket by Jan. 26 and had been scheduled to travel between Friday and Sunday.
► Southwest: Southwest warned that flights to and from New York, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Washington, D.C. may be delayed, diverted or canceled between Friday and Sunday due to weather conditions.
Affected customers can rebook a flight in their original class or travel standby within 14 days of their original date of travel without paying additional charges. Passengers can rebook on their mobile app or by calling the airline’s customer service at 1-800-435-9792.
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► Delta: The airline issued a travel waiver Wednesday that covers Friday and Saturday flights to and from airports in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, South Carolina, West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.
The rebooked flight must take place on or before Feb. 1 in the same cabin originally booked for fare differences to be waived. The airline encourages customers to check their flight status on the airline’s website or app.
► United: The airline will waive any change fees and difference in fares for passengers who had planned to travel between Wednesday and Sunday, so long as they had purchased the original ticket by Jan. 25. Rebooked flights departing on or before Feb. 2 will be covered so long as the new flight is in the same fare class and between the same cities.
The waiver includes flights to and from airports in Ohio, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
► JetBlue: Jetblue on Wednesday announced that passengers flying to select destinations can rebook a flight without any change or cancellation fees and fare differences for travel between Friday and Saturday for flights booked on or before Jan. 26. Customers will be able to rebook their flight under the waiver for travel through Tuesday and can schedule their flight online on Jetblue.com. Passengers can also opt for a refund.
The JetBlue waiver applies to flights to and from airports in New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.