Looks like a “monster” storm is fast approaching the Boston area. Turns out, I am in New Hampshire this week (1 hour north of Boston), so I am quite interested in the AMS-BOS Delta operations. This time of year Delta only serves Amsterdam nonstop once daily from Boston-Logan.
With expectations of the storm beginning on Monday night and most airport operations shut down on Tuesday Delta has proactively cancelled the Monday and Tuesday flights to Amsterdam.
Not certain why they are cancelling Monday, but perhaps Delta is concerned operationally that they will not be able to get equipment back to Boston right after the storm. My guess, it is just easier to leave the daily A330 grounded at Boston and ready to return to Amsterdam right after the weather event, which will most likely be on Wednesday the 28th of January.
The Boston Globe is reporting that this might very well be an historic weather “event.”
State officials are urging people to stay off the roads tomorrow, with a major blizzard due to hit that is drawing comparisons with the Blizzard of ’78 and could dump more than two feet of windblown snow across the region over 24 hours.
“The National Weather Service is throwing out words like ‘historic’ and ‘monstrous,’ ” said Peter Judge of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. “Potentially they’re talking 2 to 3 feet of snow anywhere and everywhere across the state, strong, strong winds along the coast with potential for major flooding and widespread power outages, There doesn’t appear to be any outlier here. We don’t want to scare people, just take it seriously.”
MassDOT spokesman Michael Verseckes said, “We do want to emphasize that if folks can avoid travel during the storm, we ask them to please do so.”
Tonight’s commute could be slow, but not a major problem, Judge said, “It will be snowing, but we’re talking an inch, maybe 2 inches.”
Trouble arrives overnight. Up to 18 inches of snow is expected to fall between 1 a.m. and 10 a.m. alone, with thunderstorms.
“The snow will be in full force,” Judge said. “I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of hard decisions to make relative to school and work.”
Boston-Logan has a most impressive ability to plow and prepare the airport grounds and runways. This video is just a glimpse of some of those operations. Another big factor during these storms is overall visibility, which also weighs heavily on the cancellation of many flights.
At this point (prior to 06:00AM Eastern Time Monday, 26th January 2015), the Wednesday flight (if you believe ExpertFlyer) based on the KLM code-share for Delta 124 BOS-AMS is wide open in economy class, but almost full in BusinessElite. [From my “tests” and observations the KLM code-share data from ExpertFlyer is relatively accurate, ExpertFlyer is no longer allowed to display the actual Delta data-points.]
I assume many will become aware of the cancellations later this morning. Delta does have a weather waiver already in place, so there are no issues with rebooking flights. I do believe this was the case for most of Sunday.
These pro-active waivers make it much easier for those traveling since you have the opportunity to change to a multitude of flights. There is no requirement that you rebook on a specific fare bucket (or the same bucket as originally purchased) so you can grab a seat on an early or later flight (or later date) as long as there is revenue space available for sale. This “no questions asked” policy is usually limited to a range of dates. Delta will also often allow you to choose a flight on another SkyTeam partner if you cannot be accommodated on Delta-metal. Of course, they are not under any obligation to rebook on another carrier or provide compensation during a weather event. These are the times when being a Delta Medallion can be helpful, since more exceptions will be provided for elite members. In this instance, Delta will waive the change fee if you desire to travel after the 30th of January but you would have to pay any applicable fare differences.
I will definitely be following this storm closely, especially since I depart Boston for Amsterdam at the end of the week. Should be interesting to see how full the flights become for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It is probably also questionable if Wednesday’s departure will go as scheduled, but I am going to assume that even if Delta has to limit operations from Boston-Logan they will give priority to their Amsterdam and London long-haul transatlantic flights. Should be a very interesting week, on many levels, in the Boston area.
Have you ever had a flight scheduled in the middle of a major snowstorm?
BOS : Boston Logan International Airport
AMS : Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Skyteam : One of the three major global airline partnerships that includes Delta, KLM, Air France and a number of other carriers.
Delta SkyMiles : Frequent Flyer program for Delta (Elite level is called Medallion, and includes Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond Medallion)
Medallion : The Delta Airlines (SkyMile) Elite program
Delta-metal : An actual flight operated by a Delta owned and operated plane. (For example, sometimes a codeshare, like a KLM JFK-AMS flight will be listed with a Delta flight number but actually be operated by KLM on a KLM aircraft).
A330 : A popular Airbus wide-body plane Delta flies on many transatlantic routes.
BusinessElite : Delta’s premium international class of service, and their business class brand.
ExpertFlyer : Popular tool to view flight schedules, fare classes, airfares and many other details of commercial flights