(Originally posted on Oct 29, 2012)
On Sunday evening, October 28, we began cancelling selected flights to and from mid-Atlantic and northeast airports, including at our Newark and Washington Dulles hubs as severe weather approached the eastern United States. Cancellations to and from Cleveland began on Monday afternoon, October 29.
Note: Please view our FAQs at the end of this article.
In coastal areas, storm surges and flooding are possible. Meteorologists expect Sandy's collision with a cold front to result in heavy snowfall in an area from eastern Pennsylvania through Virginia, West Virginia and the eastern sections of Kentucky and Tennessee.
The impact on travel across the U.S.
We put the safety of our customers and coworkers above all else. Canceling some flights in advance and positioning our aircraft out of the path of the storm helps to minimize further disruption for our customers.
"We keep as many aircraft as possible from being damaged by the storm, and we control the schedule impact and customer connection issues in other parts of our system," said Alex Marren, our Senior Vice President, Network Operations and United Express. "By being proactive, we give more advanced notice to customers and can position ourselves for a quicker recovery once the storm clears."
But bad weather in one region can sometimes have a ripple effect on our operations even in places where the weather is good. For example, a particular San Francisco-Houston flight might depend on an aircraft and crew first being routed from Newark to San Francisco. If that first flight is cancelled due to weather conditions in the East, we may not be able to find a suitable replacement crew and aircraft to operate the second flight. We try to minimize these effects as much as possible.
Once it’s safe to resume regular operations, we'll begin the process of bringing aircraft back to impacted areas on the East Coast. It may take a few days to return to normal operations, but we'll focus on getting all of our customers to their destinations safely and as quickly as possible.
Flights that are directly affected by Sandy include those to, from or through airports throughout the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. We have cancelled flights at the following hubs and at other airports in the region: Chicago, IL (ORD), Cleveland, OH (CLE), Newark, NJ (EWR), New York (JFK) and LaGuardia (LGA), Washington Dulles (IAD) and Washington National (DCA).
For frequent updates from United, keep an eye on united.com, our Facebook
pages and unitedhub.com.
Check your flight status
We’ll do everything practical to ensure we provide the most accurate flight status information at all times. Be sure to check your flight status
and sign up for Flight Reminders before you head to the airport.
Note that weather conditions can change quickly and many factors affect our scheduled operations. A flight that’s listed as "Delayed" may, depending on the circumstances, depart on time. We strongly recommend you always arrive at the airport for the original scheduled departure time of your flight.
Help with changing your travel plans
Update: If you’re ticketed on flights to, from or through the New York metropolitan area from October 30 through November 3, you may reschedule your itineraries for travel beginning no later than November 9 and we'll waive the change fees and fare differences. You may request a refund to the original form of payment. View our exception policies.
Note: For all other dates and ticket uses, the change fee will be waived, but a difference in fare may apply. Also, these policies also apply to consolidator, Internet tickets and MileagePlus® award tickets.
For all other affected airports
on our list, if you’re ticketed on flights to, from or through these airports from October 28 through November 1, you may reschedule your itineraries for travel beginning no later than November 7 and we will waive the change fees. You may request a refund
to the original form of payment for flights that are canceled or that are delayed at least two hours. View our exception policies
. For all other dates and ticket uses, the change fee will be waived, but a difference in fare may apply.
Note: Arrangements and costs for ground transportation to and from alternate airports will be the responsibility of the customer.
We’re working hard to respond to all customer inquiries, but if you don't have immediate travel needs, you may wish to call at a later date. We appreciate your patience.
Find complete details, eligible travel dates and updates on united.com
Frequently asked questions
Why are you canceling some flights between cities that aren’t affected by the storm?
Bad weather in one region can sometimes affect our operations in places where the weather is good. This is because a particular flight in an area far away from the path of the storm might depend on an aircraft and crew first being routed from one of the airports that’s in the storm’s path. If that first flight is canceled due to weather conditions in one city, we may not be able to find a suitable replacement crew and aircraft to operate the next flight from another city. We try to minimize these effects as much as possible.
How do I find out which flight I’ll be rebooked on?
We have an automated messaging system that notifies you by email, phone, text or voicemail (as long as you’ve included your email address with your reservation or MileagePlus account) or you’ve signed up to receive phone, text and/or email notifications. View our FAQs for flight status notification subscriptions
You can also go to the Manage Reservations page
(on the Reservations tab, under Change/View Existing Reservations) and enter your flight confirmation number to view your reservation and rebooked flight. If we haven’t rebooked you yet, you can add your contact information to your reservation so that when we do rebook you, we can notify you automatically. Instructions are provided on the Flight Status & Information page
How do I change the flight United has rebooked me on?
We rebook our customers based on the next available flight. To accommodate you, we look at any flights with available seats. You can view re-accommodation options and change your flight on united.com. If you’re not eligible to check in for your flight at this time, you can go to the Manage Reservations page
(on the Reservations tab, under Change/View Existing Reservations) and enter your flight confirmation number to view your reservation and start the rebooking process.
If you’re eligible to check in for your flight, go to the Flight Check-in page
(on the Reservations tab, under Check-in for Flight) to view alternate flights. If you don’t see any available flights that you can book, you can see if standby is available on a flight.
Why is the first flight I can be rebooked on several days away?
In advance of a major storm like Superstorm Sandy, we pre-cancel flights and position aircraft out of the path of the storm to help minimize further disruption for our customers. With a storm of this magnitude, it may take several days for our operations to return to normal and for us to re-accommodate all customers whose travel has been impacted. You can see if flying standby is an option by going to the Flight Check-in page
(on the Reservations tab, under Check-in for Flight).
What should I do if I’m unable to rebook my flight on united.com?
First try accessing the Manage Reservation page or, if you’re eligible to check in, the Flight Check-in page. If you’re unable to access these pages, you may call our customer service number, but please be aware that we’re experiencing extremely high call volume due to the impact of Superstorm Sandy. We’re working hard to respond to all customer inquiries but if you don’t have immediate travel needs, you may wish to call at a later date.
The airport I’m flying from has reopened after the storm. What should I do now?
Before you go to the airport, check your flight status on united.com to find out if you’ve been auto-rebooked or to check in and view your standby options.
Please be aware that, in many cases, our employees who work at airports that were closed were also affected by the storm. We’re now in the process of transferring employees from other parts of the country to the East Coast to help out. Please be patient as we may be short-staffed and you may find long lines at previously closed airports.
If you can’t confirm a seat on a flight or join a standby list, you should not go to the airport.