Airlines waive fees as spring snowstorm threatens travel


Airlines are offering free date changes for travelers affected by an early-spring nor’easter that’s threatening to dump more than a foot of snow on parts of the Northeast.

Carriers including American, Delta, United and JetBlue said travelers scheduled to fly on Tuesday or Wednesday from a dozen airports along the East Coast can change travel dates to as late as March 25 without paying a date-change fee. If travelers can only change their tickets beyond that date, travelers may have to pay a difference in fare.

The affected airports include all three major New York City-area airports, and those in the Washington area and in Boston.

Flight-tracking site FlightAware showed more than 140 flights were canceled from Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore and Boston on Tuesday, a far cry from the more than 700 flights airlines called off during last week’s storm.

Only 27 flights to or within the U.S. were canceled for Wednesday, according to FlightAware.

Airplanes can generally fly in snow without a problem, but some flights can be called off in an effort to avoid accidents if visibility is low or if runway conditions are unsafe. Airlines also cancel flights to avoid stranding crews and passengers, which can lead to a cascade of delays later on.

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