Airports in Florida have all closed except for Miami International Airport.
Irma is not expected to impact New Jersey.
But with Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida, Delta added 24 new flights to help evacuate people in the path of the monster storm. "Unfortunately, most could not be rebooked at the time". But the agency ultimately remained committed to screenings until Thursday evening, allowing Delta Airlines to send three flights out of the airport, all bound for Atlanta.
However, it will likely be extremely hard to fly in or out of Miami after Friday evening because some carriers are suspending service. American has a hub at Miami International, and Southwest has a large operation at Fort Lauderdale's airport.
Flight 2517 lifted off from Detroit at 12:46 p.m. local time for the nearly three-hour trip, its progress marked in real time on social media by aviation enthusiasts and flight-tracking sites such as Flightradar24.
Experts praised the airline's forecasters, dispatchers and flight and ground crews for the successful flight after it returned from San Juan. American Airlines said late last week that any timeline for resumption of flights will be governed by not only airport conditions, but also the ability of airport and airline staff to get to work. Commercial airline flights had already been halted in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, among others. The wind speeds were down slightly from the day before but only by 5 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.
Mandatory evacuations have been issued in two Florida counties: Monroe County and Miami-Dade County's Zones A and B. Monroe covers the Florida Keys, while Miami-Dade's Zones A and B include Miami Beach and Key Biscayne. The nonstop flights are going fast, however, as many people are hurrying to escape the Category 5 hurricane. "It may miss Florida but at least give people a chance to get out". "We want to make sure that what they don't do is come to port and then unload all those passengers, bring them to the airport when we don't have the aircraft to take them home". The carrier will cancel flights in Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville starting Saturday.
A security situation complicated matters further: "Security incident involving a single suspect & @MiamiDadePD has occurred at MIA".
American accounts for 38% of the flying in the Miami-Ft. More details were not released.