Delta cancels 275 more flights days after ATL storm

Associated Press

Atlanta — Delta Air Lines is still canceling flights three days after severe thunderstorms caused big disruptions at its hub airport in Atlanta.

Delta said in a statement on its website that it canceled about 275 flights Saturday morning “with some additional cancellations possible.” That’s on top of roughly 3,000 flight cancellations earlier in the week.

The trouble started Wednesday as powerful thunderstorms moved across Georgia and other states in the Southeast, grounding many flights. About 60 percent of Delta’s planes use the Atlanta airport on an average day, and the airline says it’s still getting planes and crews into position to resume their normal flight schedule.

Delta Chief Operating Officer Gil West apologized to frustrated customers Thursday, saying the midweek storms had been “unprecedented” and tough to forecast.

On Twitter, Delta told people who were expecting to fly to check their flight’s status before going to the airport.

Delta was having trouble rebooking passengers because there weren’t many empty seats on later flights. In March, the average Delta flight was about 85 percent full.

Most leading U.S. airlines have tried to limit empty seats by reducing the growth of flights. That has helped boost the airlines’ profits but makes it harder to rebook passengers when flights are canceled.

Delta travelers whose flights are canceled can get a refund. The airline also offered to waive change fees for those who rebooked their plans.

The 3,000-plus cancellations, which included Delta and Delta Connection flights, topped the 2,300 that were canceled last August after a fire and power outage at a Delta data center in Atlanta. That airline later estimated that breakdown, which lasted four days, cost it $150 million.