Hurricane Irma has amassed a reputation since it was first discovered. Now dubbed as the Atlantic's deadliest storm to be recorded, states in the U.S. have been given mandatory evacuation orders.
Air traffic has significantly lessened when the destination is miles within Irma's reach. However, recent reports have revealed that a Delta flight quite literally flew to where Irma is and made it back in the nick of time.
"Our meteorology team is the best in the business," said Delta vice president Erik Snell, as reported by The Guardian. "They took a hard look at the weather data and the track of the storm and worked with the flight crew and dispatcher to agree it was safe to operate the flight. And our flight and ground crews were incredible in their effort to turn the aircraft quickly and safely so the flight could depart well before the hurricane threat."
Flight 431 reportedly left New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport at 8:12 a.m. before taking off 27 minutes later. Its destination was for San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Category 5 Irma was expected to make landfall. Considering its winds were recorded to be at 185 miles per hour, many flights going to the same destination was canceled.
The Delta plane was in the air for three hours and 49 minutes, before making it to San Juan at 12:01 p.m. Upon arrival, the airline company checked for safety guidelines and discovered that with light rains and nine miles of visibility, the plane was cleared for taking off, despite the daunting image of Irma on their monitors.
Return flight 302 left San Juan 24 minutes earlier than scheduled and raced its way back to JFK, after 40 minutes of being on a Puerto Rican land. It was carrying 173 people out of the way of the storm and managed to get to New York safely at 4:22 p.m.