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Airlines begin waiving change fees ahead of Winter Storm Gia

This file photo from January 2018 shows cancellations on a flight departure board at Boston Logan during a previous winter storm. (Photo: Scott Eisen, Getty Images)

Airlines began waiving change fees ahead of a winter storm that’s forecast to spread snow from the Rockies east through the Midwest and – eventually – the Mid-Atlantic.

By Thursday evening, United was waiving change fees for Friday travelers ticketed to fly through Denver and nine other airports in Colorado, where a half-foot of snow was possible.

Southwest rolled out its own waiver, which covered travelers ticketed to fly through St. Louis on Friday and Saturday. The same storm system was forecast to bring several inches of snow there.

More waivers were likely to come as the storm forecasts solidified. Other major airports where measurable snow is possible through Sunday include Washington Dulles, Washington Reagan National, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

Travelers flying to the central Midwest, Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic through Sunday should monitor conditions ahead of their flights.

For now, United’s waiver allows most Colorado customers flying on Friday to make one change to their itineraries without paying the standard change fee of $200 or more.

Southwest is unique among U.S. airlines in that it doesn’t charge change fees. Instead, its waiver for St. Louis allows most Friday and Saturday travelers to make one change to their itineraries without paying a recalculated fare, which is standard practice at all U.S. carriers.

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