Delta adds 5,000 seats, cancels flights in path of Irma

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed September 8, 2017 14:53

Delta adds 5,000 seats, cancels flights in path of Irma

As Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of up to 150 miles an hour, churns closer to the U.S., Delta continues to add seats and flights throughout Florida to help customers leave. Since Wednesday, more than 5,000 extra seats and 24 extra flights have been added in Florida, the Caribbean and Bahamas.

Delta has cancelled 350 flights from Friday evening through Monday in the region as airports close along the path of the storm. Additional cancellations are expected for airports along the Gulf Coast. The airline plans to restart operations in south Florida Monday, pending an evaluation of airport facilities.

Based on current models as of 10 a.m. ET Friday, Delta meteorologists expect the storm to make landfall just west of Miami International Airport overnight Saturday with gusts up to 110 knots. By midnight Sunday, the storm will become a Category 2 near Orlando. Delta expects airports on both coasts of Florida to close beginning Friday through the weekend. Given the revised storm track, Delta is evaluating potential flight disruptions at its Atlanta hub Monday.

Delta’s Strategic Planning Team in the airline’s Operations and Customer Center, along with the airline’s meteorologists and other operational leaders are keeping a close eye on the storm’s forecasted path.

Delta has capped one-way fares in all cabins at $399 for flights to and from southern Florida through Sept. 13. Delta has been examining and adjusting fares in Florida since early this week, when Irma’s path became apparent and demand to fly out of the area surged.

In addition, Delta is waiving all baggage and pet-in-cabin fees for customers traveling to or from the cities covered by a weather waiver issued for the region this week. Delta is also waiving fees associated with flying unaccompanied minors from airports affected by Hurricane Irma.

Airports in Irma’s wake, including St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana (SXM), Santiago (STI), St. Thomas (STT) and San Juan (SJU) international received damage from hurricane force winds and storm surge.

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed September 8, 2017 14:53