Airlines waive change fees because of Hurricane Irene

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PHOENIX -- With the threat of Hurricane Irene, it will no doubt be a mess at many East Coast airports this weekend. That usually leads to a ripple effect to airports across the nation. Because of that, major airlines are offering travel waivers and encouraging folks to change their flight plans or postpone their trips if they're heading to or from the East Coast.

As of Friday morning,  there were no delays or cancellations at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, but that could change as the massive storm system inches closer to the Eastern seaboard.

Normally, travelers have to pay a fee to make a change to their ticket, but major airlines are waiving those extra charges so you can rebook your ticket for free. Some companies, like Delta Airlines, are even offering refunds if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed.

The airlines have different rules, so it's best to contact your airline directly.

One traveler we found at Sky Harbor who's heading back to Washington D.C. is glad to hear that airlines are offering the service for free.

"I think that's a great idea," Lilya Wagner said.  "Usually it's a real hassle to do that, so I appreciate it it."

Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, U.S. Airways, American Airlines and Jet Blue are all offering fee waivers for changes to flights that may be affected by Hurricane Irene.