It turns out that the groundhog was correct. Winter is not over, and to prove that point, Winter Storm Olive is bringing close to 2 feet of snow and hazardous travel conditions to certain locations as it makes its frozen trek across the country.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. had already seen 4,182 flight delays and more than 1,500 flight cancellations, according to the website FlightAware. On top of that, anecdotally, TPG staffers in the air across the country today have reported flights that are noticeably turbulent, making for a bumpy day of travel all the way around.
The most impacted airports this afternoon for delays and cancellations were Denver International Airport (DEN), Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), as shown by FlightAware. As the storm moves east on Thursday, per the latest forecasts, it is expected that the western Great Lakes, New England and portions of New York will also start to be impacted.
If you’d rather be proactive in changing your travel plans than be at the mercy of Mother Nature and the airlines, many airlines do have weather waivers available for impacted areas. This should allow you to make certain changes to your flights without additional fees:
- American Airlines.
- Delta Air Lines.
- Frontier Airlines.
- JetBlue Airways.
- Spirit Airlines.
- Southwest Airlines.
- United Airlines.
As always, if an airline cancels your flight, you are eligible for a refund. You can also book alternate flights or receive a credit voucher instead of getting your money back.
If you paid for your airline ticket with a credit card that comes with some built-in travel protections, remember that you may be eligible to have some of your unexpected expenses related to delays or cancellations covered by your card’s coverage provider.
Don’t forget to also follow TPG’s tips on what to do when an airline cancels your flight if you want to avoid getting stuck longer than necessary. Consider these real-life strategies, too, to minimize your travel woes as much as possible.