UPDATED: Delta cancels 1,100 flights as Irma strikes Atlanta

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UPDATED: Delta cancels 1,100 flights as Irma strikes Atlanta

Delta Air Lines canceled 1,100 flights on Monday due to Irma, now a tropical storm blowing through Atlanta.

Atlanta-based Delta also diverted more than 65 flights.

Southwest Airlines, the second-largest carrier at Hartsfield-Jackson, canceled all of its Atlanta flights after 1 p.m., amounting to 60 to 70 percent of its Atlanta flights scheduled for Monday.

Delta said the expected north-south winds of 40 mph or greater run perpendicular to the five parallel runways at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which can potentially threaten the safety of landings.

Planes are best suited to takeoff and land into the wind, according to the airline. The strong crosswinds could exceed the operating limits of some of Delta’s mainline and regional jets.

The 1,100 Delta cancellations Monday include hundreds of flights at the airline’s massive hub in Atlanta, as well as continuing cancellations in Florida and the Caribbean. Delta has also canceled some of its flights into Brunswick, Ga.

Even more flights could be canceled due to wind shear, lightning and other weather.

Delta operates the world’s largest airline hub at Hartsfield-Jackson, and flight cancellations can disrupt travel plans of tens of thousands of people from around the country and the world.

The airline recommended that those scheduled to connect through Atlanta on Monday or Tuesday change their flight schedules on delta.com.

Southwest said it plans to resume operations in Atlanta Tuesday.

Delta said it expects residual flight cancellations Tuesday morning.

And some flight cancellations to airports in Florida and the Caribbean continue.

Those with flights booked for Monday or Tuesday should check their flight status before heading to the airport. Delta and Southwest are both waiving certain charges for travelers who want to alter their travel plans that could be affected by Irma.

Delta said its catering may also be affected by the storm, affecting in-flight meal and beverage service. That’s because it may not be safe for catering trucks to be out on the tarmac during high winds. The airline may replace hot meals with grab-and-go food on some flights.

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