North Carolina impacted by Hurricane Dorian Friday morning.

Airlines resume flights after Hurricane Dorian

Airlines canceled thousands of flights this week as airports temporarily closed due to Hurricane Dorian.

Delta Air Lines canceled 117 flights Thursday and Friday in the Carolinas. Since the hurricane began, the airline canceled a total of more than 570 flights due to airport closures and operational issues in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Delta said it resumed flights in Charleston, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and in New Bern, Jacksonville and Wilmington, N.C. on Friday, and planned normal operations Saturday.

The airline restarted flights to Melbourne, Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Fla. and Brunswick and Savannah, Ga. Thursday.

After extensive damage to infrastructure in the Bahamas,  Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island and Freeport airports in the Bahamas will remain closed until December 2019, according to Delta.

Delta  is suspending its flights during the closure and extended its waiver of flight change fees for passengers with flights booked to the Bahamas during affected periods.

However, it said it is continuing its flights to Georgetown and Nassau.

Delta temporarily capped fares for flights to Newport News and Norfolk, Virg. at $286 to $586 in the main cabin and $486 to $786 in first class, but warned that fares may be higher on connecting itineraries.

The airline is also waiving certain change fees for those with flights booked to, from or through the Virginia coast for Sept. 6 and 7.

Fort Lauderdale’s airport reopened Tuesday afternoon, while Orlando International reopened Wednesday and Delta also resumed flights at West Palm Beach Wednesday.

Charleston International Airport said it was ceasing operations at 3 p.m. Wednesday, and expected to resume operations Friday.

Southwest Airlines, the second-largest airline in Atlanta, said it canceled nearly 600 departures throughout its network from Sunday through Saturday.

Dallas-based Southwest said it suspended its flights in Jacksonville until mid-morning Thursday and suspended its flights in Charleston until mid-day Friday. Its flights at Norfolk are suspended until mid-morning Saturday.

The Nassau airport said Tuesday it had opened for operations, but there are “significant flight cancellations” and travelers should check for flight updates.

American Airlines, a major carrier in the Caribbean, said it had canceled 350 flights Tuesday, 220 flights for Wednesday, 220 flights for Thursday, 165 flights for Friday and 25 flights for Saturday.

Airlines are also waiving certain change fees for passengers who need to change their travel plans.

Atlanta-based Delta is allowing passengers with flights booked to, from or through airports in Georgia and the Carolinas Sept. 1-7 to alter their travel plans without paying certain change fees.

The airports included in that change fee waiver are Brunswick and Savannah, Ga.; Charleston, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Fayetteville, Jacksonville, New Bern and Wilmington, N.C.

Delta previously announced it was capping certain fares on some flights from areas in the path of Hurricane Dorian and increased its flight capacity between Florida and Atlanta as people looked to escape the path of the storm.

The airline also waived fees for baggage and pets in the cabin for a limited time on certain flights in the southeast and the Bahamas and restricting unaccompanied minors on flights in some Florida cities Sept. 1-3. Pets must still be able to fit in a carrier under the seat and cannot roam around the cabin.

Delta earlier capped fares at $299-$399 in the main cabin for passengers whose flights begin or end in Punta Cana, Santiago and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Lucia; Georgetown, Marsh Harbour; Nassau; North Eleuthera and Freeport in the Bahamas; or Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Fares on those flights in first class were capped at $499 to $599, according to Delta.

For flights to and from Brunswick, and Valdosta, Ga.; Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Melbourne, Miami, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Sarasota/Bradenton and Tampa, Fla., Delta capped certain fares at $299 to $599 in the main cabin and $499 to $799 in first class depending on the length of flight. However, the airline also said fares may be higher for connecting flights through Sept. 4.

The airline said it added thousands of seats on flights from the region, for those looking to leave areas that could be in the hurricane’s path.

And the company is sending supplies to airports that could be affected.

Delta previously announced it is allowing travelers with flights booked to, from or through Brunswick, and Valdosta, Ga.; Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Melbourne, Miami, Orlando, and West Palm Beach, Key West, Fort Myers, Sarasota/Bradenton, Tallahassee and Tampa, Fla. and certain cities in the Bahamas and the Caribbean during affected time periods to make a change to their travel plans without paying a change fee.

The airline continues to monitor the storm.

About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.
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