Airlines Issue Travel Waivers, Alerts for California Amid Brutal Storms — What to Know If You're Flying

JetBlue, American Airlines, and more have issued travel waivers.

San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport. Photo:

Getty Images

California has been hit by a punishing combination of thunderstorms, snow, and wind, disrupting travel and forcing several airlines to issue waivers.

The poor weather has forced airlines to issue travel waivers for cities up and down the California coast. American Airlines, for example, issued two different travel advisories for both southern California as well as central and northern California. Similarly, United Airlines issued an advisory for several airports in the San Francisco area as well as for the Santa Barbara Airport, which had closed Monday due to flooding but has since reopened, according to the airport's Facebook post.

JetBlue issued a travel alert for northern California, covering San Francisco and Sacramento, as did Southwest Airlines, which has been recovering from a Christmas week meltdown in which thousands of flights were canceled.

Another weather system entering the area on Wednesday is expected to bring even more precipitation and snow to areas that have already been saturated, according to the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center. Almost the entire state of California has seen above average rainfall totals over the past several weeks, resulting in “nearly saturated soils and increasingly high river levels.”

"Unlike the recent atmospheric river events, this upcoming event is forecast to impact areas
farther north from northern California and up the coast of the Pacific Northwest through the next few days, the NWS wrote Wednesday morning. "The heaviest rains are expected to impact northwestern California through the next couple of days with a few inches of rain possible.

On Monday, President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for 17 counties in California, “resulting from successive and severe winter storms, flooding, and mudslides.”

Thousands of people have been told to evacuate the coastal community of Montecito, with over 100,000 under an evacuation statewide, over a dozen have died since the severe weather began in late December, The New York Times reported.

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