United Airlines, which took a substantial financial hit when Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas last week, said it had suspended operations out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, a US territory that was being raked by the very powerful Category 5 hurricane on Wednesday afternoon, and had extended a travel waiver to include cities in south Florida. All passengers made it safely to their destinations.
NOAA's GOES-16 captured this geocolor image of Hurricane Irma approaching Anguilla at about 7 a.m. (EDT). She is anxious of what the aftermath for Irma will look like.
Twitter user Jason Rabinowitz, @AirlineFlyer, tracked the flight using FlightRadar24.
Once the plane landed in San Juan at 12:41 p.m., Rabinowitz's audience watched the updates as the flight crew worked to quickly turn the flight back around to NY.
In fact, three jets, two from JetBlue and one from American, tried to sneak into the nation's capital, San Juan, before the storm but were forced to turn back.More news: Pakistan Should Back New US Strategy in Region - Afghan Chief Executive Office
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"You really want to fly into SJU during a category 5 hurricane, DL431?" It was carrying 173 people out of the way of the storm and managed to get to NY safely at 4:22 p.m.
The plane flew through the outer edges of the storm, eventually arriving back in NY almost 30 minutes ahead of time.
Harp said many businesses are closed because they don't have power while others are running on generators.
"Our meteorology team is the best in the business", said Delta vice president Erik Snell, as reported by The Guardian. Delta has to get the passengers off, ready the aircraft for departure, and board the next wave of passengers, all before the impending hurricane makes a safe takeoff impossible.
So far Hurricane Irma has had winds that reach up to 185 miles per hour, and has caused serious chaos, wreckage and flooding from Barbuda to Puerto Rico.
"Where others have turned back, Delta #DL431 presses on", tweeted the Flightrada22, which tracks air traffic in real time.