Delta Air Lines had begun canceling flights Tuesday, mostly at airports in Florida, where some airports closed in advance of the hurricane. Other airlines also canceled flights.
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On Wednesday, Delta canceled more flights and expanded its waiver of change fees to Brunswick, Columbus and Savannah, Ga. and Columbia, South Carolina, in addition to Albany, Augusta, Dothan, Fort Walton Beach, Mobile, Panama City, Pensacola, Tallahassee and Valdosta. The waiver allows passengers with flights booked to, from or through to those cities to make a change in their travel plans without paying certain change fees.
For areas of Florida heavily hit by the hurricane, the effects on flights is significant. In addition to flight cancellations, the Federal Aviation Administration also said flights that are not canceled may be delayed. Travelers should check with their airline for flight status before heading to the airport.
"Once Hurricane Michael makes ground fall, airports may be listed as open but flooding on local roadways may limit access to airports for passengers, as well as the employees who work for the airlines or at the airport," the FAA said in a written statement. "As a result, every aspect of your trip to the airport, including parking, checking in, getting through security and boarding may take longer than usual.
The FAA said it closely monitors hurricanes and prepares its facilities and equipment to withstand storms. When winds reach the maximum wind sustainability of a control tower, controllers evacuate to a lower level.
“We prepare and protect air traffic control facilities along the projected storm path so we can quickly resume operations after the hurricane passes,” according to the FAA. “Enabling flights to resume quickly is critical to support disaster relief efforts.”