American Airlines & The Red Cross Partner To Aid Storm Victims

American Airlines has activated its long-standing relationship with the Red Cross. Savage winter storms are covering 70% of the United States continental landmass in snow. This has left hundreds of thousands of Americans without power and clean water. As a result, American Airlines is swinging into action.

American Airlines is lending the Red Cross a hand this week. Photo: Vincenzo Pace / Simple Flying

American Airlines steps in to give the Red Cross a hand

The Dallas-based airline is a Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program member. The airline donates at least $1 million annually. American Airlines is among about 20 big businesses that do so. Their donations provide practical relief to Americans impacted by events like winter storms.

While aid can come in many shapes and forms, American Airlines is urging its regular and not-so-regular flyers to donate money.

“Monetary donations are the best way to assist those currently in need to help provide shelter, food, relief supplies, and health services,” said American Airlines in a media release earlier today.

And American Airlines is throwing in a sweetener to encourage donations. AAdvantage members can earn 10 miles for every dollar donated to the Red Cross with a minimum $25 donation. Donations can be made via the Red Cross website. At the time of writing, American Airlines AAdvantage members had donated nearly $4000.

American Airlines is encouraging its customers to donate to the Red Cross. Photo: Dallas Fort Worth Airport

It’s assistance the Red Cross needs this week

It’s money the Red Cross needs this week. On Thursday, the not-for-profit organization was operating more than 150 shelters and warming centers open across six states (Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia). On Wednesday evening, nearly 3,000 Texans slept in a Red Cross shelter.

In addition to being safe and warm, the Red Cross furnishes these centers with cots, blankets, volunteers, water, and ready-to-eat meals. The Red Cross relies on the generosity of corporate donors like American Airlines. Millions of smaller donations from individual Americans also keep the Red Cross ticking over.

Travel waivers in place for many American Airlines passengers

Meanwhile, as winter storms continue to batter the United States, American Airlines has travel alerts for around 60 airports in place. Those alerts cover American Airlines airports impacted by Winter Storms Viola and Uri. You can see the list of affected airports on the American Airlines website. 

American Airlines says when bad weather impacts your flight and travel dates, you may be able to change your trip with no change fee. The terms and conditions of this offer vary slightly between airports.

A Red Cross shelter in Houston this week. Photo: Scott Dalton / Red Cross

If you are scheduled to travel in or out of one of the 37 airports affected by Winter Storm Viola between February 18 – 20, you can change flights for free. This is subject to a few provisos. First, you must be booked on an American Airlines flight (in any fare class, including discount economy). Second, you need to have purchased your ticket on or before February 16. Third, you cannot change your origin or destination. If this applies to you, American Airlines will let you change your booking for free to fly between February 16 -25.

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The second travel alert is for Winter Storm Uri. This covers around 21 airports.  Most of these airports are in Texas. American Airlines will waive change fees for all ticket types for passengers traveling in or out of these airports between February 14 -19. Again, this is subject to certain conditions. First, travel must be booked on or before February 17. Second, you were scheduled to travel between February 14 -19. Third, you can travel up to February 28. Finally, you can stick to your original routing and cabin class.

Refunds available if flight canceled or “excessively delayed”

American Airlines also notes that if a flight has been canceled or excessively delayed, passengers may cancel their itinerary and request a refund via the airline website. This doesn’t apply to passengers who booked via a brick-and-mortar or online travel agent. They will need to process their refund request through the travel agency.