Delta Air Lines Sunday warned customers using Atlanta megahub to expect delays and and asked them to modify travel as the world’s busiest airport braces for wind and rain from Hurricane Irma.
The hurricane was downgraded Sunday evening to Category 2 with 110mph (177kmh) sustained winds after cutting a swathe of destruction through the Caribbean and battering southern Florida.
The hurricane made landfall near the west coast Florida city of Naples, robbing it of the power to gain intensity from the nearby warm waters.
However, it remained a strong storm with the ability to affect states north of Florida.
Delta on Sunday night recommended that customers transiting Atlanta take advantage of waivers to modify their travel. Along with other airlines, Delta is waiving change fees for airports across US several states and the Caribbean.
“With operations ceased at nearly all Florida airports, Delta teams are monitoring conditions and fine-tuning forecasts to determine potential impact at Delta’s Atlanta (ATL) hub for Monday, as well as understand when flying will resume at airports affected by Hurricane Irma,’’ Delta said in a statement
“With strong winds and extended rain expected in Georgia on Monday, Delta is advising customers who are transiting through the airline’s Atlanta hub Monday modify their itineraries around ATL on delta.com.”
Delta said it was flying an extra service on Sunday between Atlanta and San Juan, Puerto Rico, to assist Caribbean recovery efforts.
American Airlines, which has a travel alert for more than 50 airports, has capped prices at $US99 for the main cabin and $US199 for people returning to Florida by Sepetember 17.
The caps also apply to the South Carolina cities of Charleston,Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, as well as d Savannah, Georgia.
United Airlines is also waiving fees on first and second checked bags for travellers to and from affected destinations.