Delta has canceled roughly 1,350 flights for the weekend in cities stretching from Charlotte through the Washington, D.C., area and north to New York, as a powerful Nor'easter makes it way up the East Coast. The storm is expected to dump several inches to feet of snow across the region, prompting the shutdown of the D.C. and Philadelphia transit systems and a winter weather emergency in New York City.
While the storm tracks northward combining moisture from the Gulf of Mexico with moisture from the Atlantic, Delta’s busiest hub in Atlanta will also see a mix of frozen precipitation tonight through the early morning hours due to a wrap-around effect common with Nor’easters. De-ice teams will be in place by 5 p.m. ET Friday night during what is one of the busiest departure pushes of the day at ATL.
With cancellations in place, Delta’s frontline employees from across the system are working to reaccommodate customers and make sure Sunday’s anticipated operational reset is a smooth one. The airline is issuing waivers on change fees for affected customers, who should see delta.com for details.
Employees from unaffected airports including Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Detroit are flying into the storm’s path as part of Delta’s De-ice Go Team to help their colleagues keep airplanes operating safely.
"There's nothing Delta people love more than helping each other," said Bill Lentsch, Senior Vice President - Airport Customer Service. "This event is no exception. We have a total of 30 de-ice staff who are flying to Atlanta and the Northeast to help their colleagues with de-icing efforts."
Delta’s team of meteorologists, dispatchers, operational decision-makers and others at the airline’s Operations and Customer Center have been preparing for the winter Nor’easter for the better part of a week, evaluating the storm’s impact along the Eastern Seaboard and building a plan of proactive cancellations to keep customers out of airports expected to be hardest hit.
Elsewhere, Friday morning all-hands-on-deck for Reservation Sales teams, with increased staffing in place. With call volumes high, Customer Experience Specialists assisted customers and team members at the Reservations Operations Center and Reservations Network Operations Center to help customers through the reaccommodation process. Delta’s @DeltaAssist Twitter team was busily working to stay connected with customers who use social media as their preferred channel of communication throughout their travels.
Pilot and flight attendants are being strategically positioned across the system to operate flights as soon as the weather passes.
Delta is set to carry the NFL’s New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals this weekend to their respective games in Denver and Charlotte. As the primary carrier of NBA teams, Delta Charter Ops is coordinating closely with the teams and league officials as weather along the mid-Atlantic and Northeast may affect games and team travel this weekend.
As the storm heads northward, here’s what Delta's team expects:
- CLT (Charlotte Douglas International Airport): A strong wave of freezing rain continues to blanket the city with snow throughout the day. Delta has canceled its operation at CLT through Saturday morning. Similar operational impact has been seen in Richmond, Raleigh-Durham, Roanoke, Knoxville and other airports in the Southeast’s Piedmont region.
- Washington D.C. (including Reagan, Dulles and Baltimore-Washington): D.C. airports are expecting 15 to 20 inches of snow along with more than 30 mph wind gusts overnight and into Saturday. Delta has canceled flights into and out of all three airports ahead of the storm’s arrival. Snow accumulation and strong winds prompted D.C.’s Metro transit system to shut down its Saturday and Sunday operation, an unprecedented move in the system’s 40-year history.
- New York/Philadelphia (including JFK, LaGuardia, Philadelphia and outlying airports): Snowfall is expected to begin in the New York and Philadelphia area around 11 p.m. Friday with growing intensity throughout Saturday along with significant wind gusts topping 40 knots (46 miles per hour). Delta has implemented cancellations, including most of its international operation, for Saturday but will operate select flights where possible. Delta anticipates operating some flights Saturday evening as the storm tracks northward out of the area.
As always, customers are advised to check Delta.com and the Fly Delta Mobile App for up to the minute flight status.
Stay with Delta News Hub for updates throughout the weekend.