Near-Record Cold in Houston, Winter Weather Force Flight Cancellations

Blizzard on the Road
Photo by MarianVejcik/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Near-record cold at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and foul winter weather are causing travel disruptions today, and elsewhere in the United States, a number of other airports are also reporting flight problems. Most major airlines have issued flight change and cancellation waivers in response to the situation. 

United Airlines is waiving the change fee and any difference in fare for customers who wish to rebook and are scheduled to fly today through IAH. New flights must depart on or before January 20. The airline has also issued a change waiver for flights departing from a number of airports in the southeast today, for new flights departing on or before January 21. 

American Airlines is allowing customers scheduled to fly today through the southeast to rebook through January 21 between the same city pair in the same cabin (or pay the difference).

On Delta, customers scheduled to fly through airports in the northeastern United States and New England today can rebook through January 20, while customers scheduled to fly through the southeast today can rebook through January 21. 

Southwest Airlines is allowing customers scheduled to fly through airports in the northeast or southeast today the chance to rebook in the original class of service or travel standby within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city pairs. 

JetBlue is offering a change waiver on flights today in the northeast. Customers can rebook through January 20. 

Finally, Frontier Airlines is letting customers scheduled to fly today in the northeast rebook, with new travel to be completed no later than January 29. The origin and destination cities may be changed.

According to the latest forecast from Accuweather, today was the coldest morning at George Bush Intercontinental Airport since January 8, 1996. It is currently 19 degrees Fahrenheit, the same temperature as it was back then. In the southeastern United States, snow and icy conditions have caused a number of travel disruptions in an area ranging from Texas through Alabama, with a state of emergency being declared in North Carolina. Over 800 flights had been canceled at IAH as of Wednesday morning, with over 200 more cancellations at Houston’s Hobby Airport. Airports in Dallas, Austin, New Orleans, Charlotte, and Raleigh are also reporting flight disruptions. 

Delta reports that it has cancelled 200 flights today, after 400 cancellations for Tuesday. Its busy Atlanta hub has seen over 1.5 inches of snow accumulation, prompting the closure of five of the airport's runways this morning. Operations have since resumed, although at a slow pace. A limited number of Delta flights have also been canceled at Boston Logan International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in New York City. 

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