A winter storm expected to bring up to 4 inches of snow to Delta’s largest hub in Atlanta - and more to other Southeastern cities - will affect flight operations and prompt pre-emptive cancellations, operations leaders said Thursday.
Delta issued a winter weather waiver Thursday afternoon to allow customers to adjust travel plans around the storm. A National Weather Service winter storm warning was issued and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency told Atlanta-area residents to prepare to stay home through the weekend.
Teams at the airline’s Operations and Customer Center were heads down, working to route crews and aircraft around the storm and minimize the impact while keeping the airline running safely. Delta’s team of meteorologists is keeping a close eye on the progression of the storm, providing up-to-the-minute details to flight dispatchers, flight crews and operational decision-makers.
Delta teams in Atlanta were preparing for the winter storm, including calling in 240 trained de-icers to be on duty beginning at 1 p.m. ET Thursday to keep aircraft clear of snow and ice. The airline also called in its de-ice go-team from Minneapolis to support the operation Friday and Saturday.
Elsewhere at the Atlanta airport - the world’s most traveled - Delta’s customer service agents were preparing to weather the storm, many planning to remain overnight at the airport to assist customers and be available first thing Saturday morning to welcome inbound flights.
Rick Parrish, Operation Service Manager in Atlanta and 28-year Delta veteran, will be helping to ensure the de-icing operation runs smoothly. He knows winter storms well—during the last snowfall in Atlanta, he Parrish spent 36 hours helping to get the operation back on track.
“My job is to make sure the pads stay up and running and our aircraft are properly treated for the frozen precipitation. I’ll also be making sure the de-icing trucks stay serviced and are full of deice and anti-ice fluid. We’re here to work through a variety of scenarios so that we’re prepared to beat the weather and get our customers where they need to be safely. The whole Delta team steps up in an event like this.”
Delta’s Reservations Sales teams have called in extra staffing to help re-accommodate customers whose travel plans need to be changed. Delta’s Social Media team will stay connected with customers who use social media as their preferred channel of communication throughout their travel.
5 p.m. Thursday forecast from Delta Meteorology
The storm has been building across the southern plains states after dumping several feet of snow over the Rockies and will bring snow and other freezing precipitation to Dallas and Oklahoma City Thursday night. Current forecast models show the storm has grown in intensity as it picks up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. By 4 p.m. ET Friday, Delta expects a rain/ice mix to begin falling in Atlanta, transitioning to snow around 8 p.m. That snow will continue into the early morning hours, tapering off between 4 and 9 a.m. ET Saturday morning as the storm continues eastward.
Airports in Greenville, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., could see 4-9 inches of snow.
As always, customers are advised to check Delta.com and the Fly Delta Mobile App for up to the minute flight status.
Return to Delta News Hub for news updates throughout the weekend.