Flights across the country are slowly returning to normal after a Federal Aviation Administration computer outage sparked a massive wave of delays and cancellations on Wednesday morning, but that is little comfort to travelers whose plans have already been destroyed for the day.
More than 7,300 US flights were delayed and more than 1,100 others were canceled by noon ET Wednesday, according to FlightAware, which tracks flight status in real time.
Anyone whose flight has been canceled is entitled to a full refund, in accordance with Department of Transport guidelines. Several airlines also offer customers various waivers for rebooking flights, but they must act quickly.
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Alaska Airlines told USA TODAY it had minimal cancellations or delays related to the FAA outage. “We are working to get our customers where they need to go today in the safest and most efficient way possible,” the airline said in a statement, without further details.
American Airlines also did not release specific details, but told USA TODAY, “To support our customers whose travel has been impacted by the FAA system issue, we are providing additional flexibility to rebook their flight plans. travel today and tomorrow at no additional cost.” Customers are advised to check the airline’s website.
All Delta customers with flights scheduled for Wednesday can rebook their flights for travel no later than January 13, in their original class of service, without having to pay a fare difference.
If unable to travel by Jan. 13, customers can cancel their flights for flight credit that can be used for up to a year, but they would then be responsible for any fare difference. Details can be found on Delta’s website.
South West Airlines
All customers with flights scheduled for Wednesday can rebook or fly on hold within 14 days of their original travel dates without paying an additional fee. Trips are limited to the cities originally booked. Details can be found on the Southwest website.
Customers who had flights scheduled to or from the following airports on Wednesday can book flights without paying any fees or fare differences, provided they fly no later than January 16, via their home cities and in their original class of service. Details can be found on United’s website.
- Boston Logan International (BOS)
- Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)
- Cleveland Hopkins International (CLE)
- Denver International (DEN)
- Antonio B. Won Pat International in Guam (GUM)
- Daniel K. Inouye International in Honolulu (HNL)
- George Bush International in Houston (IAH)
- Los Angeles International (LAX)
- Newark Liberty International (EWR)
- San Francisco International (SFO)
- Washington Dulles International (DIA)
USA TODAY has reached out to all major US airlines to see what they offer travelers affected by the FAA failure. While not specifically related to outages, travelers can find airline policies regarding cancellations and disruptions in general on the Department of Transportation’s Airline Customer Service Dashboard.