Airlines cancel flights, waive fees as new storm menaces

12:30 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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(USA TODAY) A major winter storm moving through the Great Plains is creating headaches for thousands of air travelers today, Feb. 21. With storm spawning snow to the north and thunderstorms across Texas and the Gulf Coast, threatening to disrupt flights throughout today and into Friday.

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More than 176 flights had been canceled at Kansas City International Airport as of 10:30 a.m. ET,according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.

Cancellations also are piling up at other airports in the storm's path. Among other notable cancellation tallies reported by FlightAware as of 10:30 a.m. ET: Dallas Fort/Worth (68 cancellations), Houston Bush Intercontinental (39), St. Louis (38), Chicago O'Hare (37), Denver (34), Omaha (22), Wichita (19), Minneapolis/St. Paul (18) and Dallas Love (14).

Nationwide, airlines have canceled more than 360 flights so far today. Not all are a direct result of the storm, but most of the cancellations in that number have been reported at airports being affected by the storm.

More problems are likely today, with The Weather Channel forecast "crippling" winter conditions across large parts of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa. By Friday, poor weather from the storm forecast to spread into the Great Lakes and upper Midwest

As has become common, most big airlines had issued flexible rebooking policies for fliers with flights to, from or through the central United States.

The fine print varies by airline, but most allow customers to make one change within a certain rebooking window without paying additional fare or change fees. Most carriers' winter-weather waivers cover a large chuck of geography - including airports from Utah to Illinois and most places in between. Some carriers' waivers extend as far as Wyoming and Arizona to the west and Ohio to the East.

Scroll down for links to each airline's winter-weather policy.

AIRLINES' WINTER WEATHER WEATHER POLICIESAirTran | American | Delta |Southwest | United | US Airways

Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY