Hermine threatens flight schedules into next week

Flight headaches from the remnants of Hurricane Hermine could bedevil fliers all along the Atlantic Seaboard throughout the Labor Day weekend and into next week.

The remnants of Hermine – which made landfall in Florida overnight as a category 1 hurricane – were disrupting flights in the Southeast on Friday. Further disruptions were likely into Saturday.

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And, in an ominous sign for holiday travelers, the storm was forecast to move toward the mid-Atlantic coast by Sunday, where it could snarl flights at delay-prone hubs in New York and Philadelphia -- possibly through Wednesday.

On Friday, about 110 flights had been canceled nationwide as of 8:20 a.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. Nationally, that’s a relatively modest number, though the figures could tick up by afternoon as Hermine tracks across the Southeast as a tropical storm.

At Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport, about three dozen flights – roughly 20% of the day’s schedule – had been canceled as of 8:30 a.m. ET, according to FlightAware. A handful of other airports in Hermine’s path were seeing minor to moderate delay and cancellation tallies. Among those were airports in Savannah, Ga.; Gainesville, Fla.; and Charleston, S.C.

All four of the nation’s biggest airlines – America, Delta, United, Southwest – had issued flexible rebooking policies related to the storm. JetBlue, Silver and Spirit also had enacted storm-related waivers.

Looking ahead, Hermine could create headaches for fliers throughout the Labor Day weekend and beyond.

The latest storm-track projection from the National Hurricane Center showed Hermine’s remnants tracking across airports in east Georgia and the coastal areas of the Carolinas through Saturday evening.

By Sunday, forecasts show the storm moving offshore the mid-Atlantic, where it could send wind and unsettled weather across the New York and Philadelphia metro areas at least through Monday.

The degree of certainty for the storm's track into early next week decreases over time. But, if the projections hold and the storm nears the mid-Atlantic's I-95 corridor, it could affect the New York and Philadelphia airports -- which are especially prone to weather delays. That means even a glancing pass-by of the storm could create major backups at New York JFK, New York LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and Philadelphia.

American, Delta, United and JetBlue each operate at least one hub at those airports.


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