Real Answers from Real Pilots

Hurricane Impacts on Flight Ops

How do the airlines adjust their flight schedules with approaching storms and what impacts do those changes have on a pilot’s line schedule for the month?


At United the company is very proactive about getting airplanes out of harm’s way. We would usually discontinue service to a city that is going to be affected about twelve hours before the significant parts of the storm hit. If it is a hub city that is going to be affected they will fly all of the airplanes out of the area, they are just too darn expensive to leave sitting in a storm’s path.

A pilot could very easily have his/her trip affected by this and end up being reassigned to fly something completely different than they expected to. Or, a trip could be completely cancelled. In the case of a cancellation the pilot receives the full pay for the trip, at least at United.