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Travel Waiver: IAH Severe Weather 17-20 Sept 2019 (* IAH is re-opened *)

Travel Waiver: IAH Severe Weather 17-20 Sept 2019 (* IAH is re-opened *)

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Old Sep 19, 19, 9:59 am   -   Wikipost
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The waiver has been extended to Sept. 20, with rebooking through 23rd.







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Old Sep 17, 19, 4:05 pm
  #1  
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Travel Waiver: IAH Severe Weather 17-20 Sept 2019 (* IAH is re-opened *)

So, my sister is taking her first big points trip tomorrow in biz from Houston to Sydney on Flight 101. United just sent an email saying the flight might not go due to the tropical storm. It leaves at 7:30 PM. It's her 30th anniversary and they fly out of BWI tomorrow arriving at 5:30 PM. She wants to know if 1) Houston folks think there is a problem 2) What proactive changes to her schedule can she make? The whole trip is with United and she has excellent travel insurance plus. she has CSR, but the flights are on points. She doesn't mind flying to another city or anything she has to do except give up her flat seats!
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Old Sep 17, 19, 4:15 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Pavane View Post
So, my sister is taking her first big points trip tomorrow in biz from Houston to Sydney on Flight 101. United just sent an email saying the flight might not go due to the tropical storm. It leaves at 7:30 PM. It's her 30th anniversary and they fly out of BWI tomorrow arriving at 5:30 PM. She wants to know if 1) Houston folks think there is a problem 2) What proactive changes to her schedule can she make? The whole trip is with United and she has excellent travel insurance plus. she has CSR, but the flights are on points. She doesn't mind flying to another city or anything she has to do except give up her flat seats!
They've issued a travel waiver, meaning that she can change flights for free. Unfortunately, the only other flights operating to SYD tomorrow are via SFO, which has issues of its own due to runway construction.

Unfortunately, the only earlier nonstop flight from BWI to IAH tomorrow is a 6:15 AM departure. So, her choices are:

(a) travel through SFO, with the BWI-SFO flight in Economy
(b) add an extra stop somewhere
(c) move up her departure by 8 hours
(d) keep her flights as-is and cross her fingers.

If it becomes apparent that her flight will be affected, they'd be willing to move her to a DCA or IAD departure if she prefers; that'd give her more options to get to IAH. They generally won't do that in advance, though.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 4:17 pm
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Brilliant. Just what she needs. All good.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 4:35 pm
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Or in the alternative, ask for IAD-SFO. I believe IAD is still a co-airport for BWI.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 4:50 pm
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Can we assume that BWI-IAH is on the same ticket and same PNR as IAH-SYD?

It's a tough call and what UA will do could be limited if none of her flights is cancelled yet.

IMO it's a risk that IAH might be getting wide body and longhaul flights in and out roughly on time while smaller domestic planes are delayed. Two hours there isn't much time if there are severe weather problems. OTOH a 6 am departure would be miserable even with lounge access. If she can get to IAD relatively easily, I'd try have the tickets changed to depart from IAD nonstop to IAH on a relatively large airplane with some additional hours cushion at IAH. Otherwise, look for something similar from DCA or even PHL/EWR (since those airports are easy to reach by train). Remember too that space is very dynamic in these situations and flights into IAH that are full might have seats available if one asks again a few hours later.

I assume that if the IAH-SYD flight is cancelled, there's no way to get to Australia without losing a day (too late to fly to SFO and catch that flight) and moreover space will be limited. You might want to try finding some alternative *A routings through Asia or NZ to be prepared with Plan B, C, D......
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Old Sep 17, 19, 8:48 pm
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I would be surprised if there were any cancelled long-haul flights out of IAH the next few days. The weather is forecast to be rainy, nothing more.

The domestic flights may be more prone to challenges, but these would be related to staffing/operations. For example, if roadways become flooded and employee canít get to work, delays and cancellations could happen for some less critical flights.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 9:04 pm
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doesn't UA101 depart at 10:45 pm?
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Old Sep 17, 19, 9:13 pm
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The storm is already downgraded to a tropical depression, it's over land and after dark. I am hoping it abates more, as I am due to arrive at IAH tomorrow evening. Flight still showing as on time.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 9:15 pm
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I decided to re-book my itinerary that was originally scheduled through IAH tomorrow evening to connect in DEN instead. Grateful for the options.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 8:18 am
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Here's the most recent update from the only weather site to trust in Houston: https://spacecityweather.com/imelda-...pared-for-now/

Still iffy but tonight is supposed to be the worst of the rain.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
If it becomes apparent that her flight will be affected, they'd be willing to move her to a DCA or IAD departure if she prefers; that'd give her more options to get to IAH. They generally won't do that in advance, though.
This is the best advice. But I note that pax's BWI-IAH flight is listed as on schedule, and the inbound plane is flying IAH-BWI and is listed as in the air and expected in early. So sticking with original flights seems the best choice.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 9:10 am
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I hope the OP reports back on what was decided and the outcome. I would still be very nervous about being scheduled to arrive at IAH today with only two hours for a once a day international connection.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by mikeyf View Post
doesn't UA101 depart at 10:45 pm?
Yes, it does, so there's something amiss in the original message. Either the OP's sister really has a five-hour transfer at IAH, in which case everything will be fine, or she's actually on the 5:45 PM departure out of BWI, which was scheduled to arrive at 7:58 PM, and there was a miscommunication somewhere.

If she's on the earlier flight, she seems to be fine so far. If she's on the later flight, I'd be a bit nervous at this point, because the inbound from IAH is delayed. If the situation gets worse, that's definitely a flight that could be in trouble.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 1:22 pm
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Most of the afternoon updates show the storm drifting east towards Beaumont and Houston getting less than 5" of rain over the next 24-48 hours.

The airport impact should be minimal tonight.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 1:38 pm
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I phoned United today trying to change a flight out of DCA (9/19) via IAH to LBB to one going a different route.
But the flight I wanted (from IAD via DEN) only had one seat and I needed two.
I asked the customer rep. the status of flights today, and she said all the flights so far from DCA to IAH had been on time, and one flight from IAH to LBB had been delayed.
So, for now I'm staying with my original schedule, with fingers crossed...
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