Airlines canceling flights due to winter storm

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport conducted a winter weather exercise in early December to prepare for the possibility of snow this winter. Source: Hartsfield-Jackson

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Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport conducted a winter weather exercise in early December to prepare for the possibility of snow this winter. Source: Hartsfield-Jackson

Airlines are canceling flights scheduled for Sunday in Atlanta due to the winter storm hitting the Southeast.

More than 300 Atlanta flights scheduled for Sunday in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on multiple airlines were canceled, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.com.

Delta Air Lines warned travelers Friday that the storm expected this weekend could disrupt its flights in Atlanta and around the Southeast.

Atlanta-based Delta, which has its largest hub at Hartsfield-Jackson, positioned hundreds of employees at nearby hotels and at the airport overnight to be ready for Sunday. According to Delta, some employees at the airport were to sleep on cots or on planes to be in place and avoid the risk of commuting on icy Atlanta roads Sunday morning.

Hartsfield-Jackson prepared for the storm, after conducting a winter weather exercise with snow sweepers last month. Airport spokesman Andrew Gobeil said the airport was prepared to mobilize additional staff. Workers will be on 12-hour shifts and the airport has 95,000 gallons of liquid de-icer, 13,000 gallons of liquid brine, 360 bags of solid de-icer, 8 snow brooms, 13 de-icing trucks and 6 de-icing spreaders.

Airport and airline officials recommend travelers check their flight status before heading to the airport and monitor for updates. Travelers should also get to the airport at least two hours before their flight.

Delta in 2020 discontinued change fees for bookings on flights originating in North America in main cabin and above. It is also waiving certain fare increases for customers who have Jan. 16 or 17 flights to, from or through certain airports in the Southeast and want to change their travel plans to avoid the storm.

Customers who rebook in the same cabin of service for travel by Jan. 20 can do so with no increase. The waiver applies to people with flights booked to, from or through Atlanta and Augusta; Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Raleigh and Greensboro, North Carolina.; Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina; Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis and Tri-Cities, Tennessee; and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Delta also expected its hubs at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and in the Northeast to be hit with storms. The airline sends updates to passengers who have provided contact information during booking or added their contact information to their itinerary online.

The airline said it was working to adjust flight schedules and position equipment to prepare for storm impact, and aims to cancel flights far enough in advance to notify customers before they get to the airport and automatically rebook them on the next best available itinerary to their destination.

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