Airports getting back to normal with Hurricane Irma's exit
Sep 12 2017 by Lorena Waters
Hundreds of flights have been canceled between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Columbia Metropolitan Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The carrier aims to resumenormal operations there on Tuesday. But at least one Florida gateway will resume service today-Palm Beach has a Deltaflight scheduled to depart for Atlanta at 5:45 p.m. -and other airports plan to open on Tuesday.
Delta and Southwest account for 81 percent of the flying in Atlanta, which sees 104 million passengers annually.
Airlines were racing against the clock to clear as many customers as possible from the likely Florida path of Hurricane Irma, as social and political pressure mounted for carriers to play a bigger role in aiding evacuations. Flight tracking service FlightAware.com estimated that more than 4,000 US flights were canceled Monday, on top of 3,200 on Sunday and 2,300 on Saturday.
The 900 Delta cancellations include a portion of the airline's flights at its massive hub in Atlanta, as well as continuing cancellations in Florida and the Caribbean.
Roughly 175 of those workers were American Airlines employees, a group known as the "Storm Riders".
Atlanta would be the third major airport hub to be hit by a major storm in a month.
Flights from Miami, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale - the 12th, 13th and 21st largest airports in the country - went largely dormant Saturday ahead of the extreme weather.
More than 3,345 flights had already been canceled through Sunday just to or from Florida.
According to meteorologists, HurricaneIrma is expected to make landfall on Saturday night bringing with it gusts of winds with speeds of up to 127 miles per hour. Service will resume on Wednesday at the earliest.
"The damage is in the gate areas, where water leaked in from jet bridges and the roof".
Hurricane Irma's attack comes few weeks after hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, Texas.
Despite wind gusts visibly bending trees and blowing rain sideways, some airlines continued to send planes up as late as 2:30 p.m.
Airlines were already paying a higher price for fuel after Harvey, which significantly damaged refinery capacity in Houston.
The airport hasn't detailed the extent of the damage it suffered.