As Delta's operations resume to normal in the Carolina's, the airline continues to provide support to the areas affected by Hurricane Florence.
Delta began shipping supplies such as non-perishable food, hygiene products, portable chargers, satellite phones and generators before the storm hit the North Carolina coast last week in an effort to help those on the ground ahead of the dangerous storm. The airline's largest hub in Atlanta sent nearly 1,000 bottles of water - weighing over 30,000 pounds on flights to the affected stations.
Nomad handheld devices were sent to provide employees the ability to assist customers from beyond the desk in the event that airports in the region were without power. The airline's Go Team, assembled of ground service equipment mechanics, were ready on standby and dispatched to assist power crews at the Jacksonville, N.C. Airport in restoring generator power on Monday.
Other temporary duty-assigned employees were dispatched to stations around the region to lend a helping hand to their colleagues.
'Everyone at GSO appreciated the extra hands from our colleagues who flew in,' said Bryan Street, Station Manager - Greensboro. 'It felt good to know Delta had our backs during the hurricane.'
Even after Florence, teams in the airline's Operations and Customer Center (OCC) remained in close contact with employees in impacted areas and local authorities for anything they may need following the storm.
'Delta people across the region and around the globe banded together to coordinate preparations ahead of a record-breaking hurricane, and as soon as it passed, jumped right back in to support those most impacted,' said Sandy Gordon, Senior Vice President of Domestic Airport Customer Service. 'I'm humbled by the empathetic care Delta teams demonstrate everyday - but especially during times of need.'
In addition to these efforts, Delta is contributing $500,000 to the American Red Cross to provide further aid to those affected by Florence.
Ahead of the storm, Delta issued waivers for travel, baggage and pet fees, in addition to capping fare from cities in the region to help customers looking to evacuate.
Sept. 18 at noon ET
With the help of Delta's Ground Service Equipment mechanics, crews onsite at the Jacksonville, N.C. (OAJ) airport are working to restore power to the facility on Tuesday, following a loss of generator power. The airline has four Delta Connection regional flights scheduled to operate Tuesday, pending the restoration of power. Elsewhere in the coastal Carolinas, Delta has resumed normal operations.
Delta continues to support the affected airports, sending food, water, generators and other equipment to aid recovery efforts.
A travel waiver remains in effect for Jacksonville, N.C., New Bern, N.C. (EWN) and Wilmington, N.C. (ILM) through Wednesday, Sept. 19, allowing customers traveling to, from or through the affected cities the ability to make a one-time change to their travel itinerary without a fee.
Fare caps also remain in place as well as waivers for baggage and pet in cabin fees as teams work around the clock to return the North Carolina cities back to normal operations.
Customers are encouraged to check Delta.com or the Fly Delta Mobile App for the most up-to-date flight status information.
Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. ET
Delta has extended its fare cap, waivers for ticket changes, overweight and oversized baggage fees, pet-in-cabin fees and some restrictions in select cities due to continued infrastructure challenges caused by Hurricane Florence.
The airline continues to work closely with airport authorities and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide any assistance, including restoration of power to airport facilities, as teams on the ground work to provide customers with a restart to regularly scheduled flights.
Of the airports originally impacted by Florence, two continue to be challenged - Wilmington, N.C. (ILM) and Jacksonville, N.C. (OAJ). Power was restored to ILM Monday afternoon and flights to the coastal cities are scheduled to resume Tuesday. A waiver remains in effect as infrastructure remains a concern for several cities following the storm's reign over the region. Unaccompanied minor embargos remain in effect for those traveling to or through EWN, ILM and OAJ until Wednesday, Sept. 19. Waivers for baggage and pet-in-cabin fees also remain in effect for several parts of the region as residents begin traveling back to coastal cities in Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas through Wednesday.
Flights to Charleston, S.C. began operating Saturday with Fayetteville, N.C. restarting Sunday and New Bern, N.C. on Monday. Flights in Charlotte, N.C. and Raleigh/Durham, N.C. were not affected and continued throughout Florence's impact.
'I am extremely proud of all Delta people across the system who continue to put safety at the core of everything we do, especially during circumstances like these,' said Gil West, Delta's Chief Operating Officer. 'Our frontline teams did a stellar job taking care of our customers and each other throughout this challenging hurricane. It's a testament to everyone's hard work and commitment to being there for one another and putting safety above all else.'
While keeping Delta people and customers out of harm's way, the airline was able to maintain its strong completion factor relative to the industry. Delta canceled approximately 275 mainline and Delta Connection flights as a result of the storm.
Preparing for impact and helping those in need
Almost a week ahead of Hurricane Florence making landfall on the Carolina coast, Delta announced that teams in the airline's Operations and Customer Center were keeping an eye on the storm and areas in the projected path. As the forecasted track of the storm shifted in the days leading up to the arrival of Florence, Delta's Meteorology Team kept a vigilant eye on cities that were likely to be impacted.
A waiver followed just a day later allowing customers the opportunity to adjust their travel through the affected airports. The airline also waived checked baggage fees and pet-in-cabin fees in addition to capping fares on several markets in the storm's path to help those looking to get out ahead of the storm.
Delta's Meteorology team worked alongside operations teams to expand the scope of airports included in the days leading up to landfall and worked closely with partners in the region to keep operations running safely as much as possible.
Florence's devastation over the Carolina region remains days after the storm made landfall, with flooding still a primary concern from record-breaking rainfall. To help people affected by the storm and to give back to the communities in need, Delta's continued partnership with the American Red Cross provides several ways to get involved.