This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Delta just pulled off a gutsy move. With Category 5 Hurricane Irma barreling down on Puerto Rico, airlines have been wary of sending flights into San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU). Some flights even got as close as circling the airport before deciding to bail, i.e. divert:

Image by FlightRadar24.

Only Delta flight #431 from New York’s JFK, a Boeing 737-900ER, continued unfazed toward San Juan.

With the outer bands of Irma starting to lash the airport, Delta flight #431 touched down at SJU just after noon local time, and just 40 minutes later, it took off as Delta flight #302 to return to JFK:

Delta 302, Boeing B737-900ER taking off from San Juan, hours before Hurricane Irma. Wind 35025G35KT

Posted by Wladimir Castro on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The flight had to turn sharply after takeoff and weave through gaps in Hurricane Irma’s bands to escape unharmed.

While SJU airport isn’t yet closed as of publishing, no other commercial flights are inbound. There are plenty of last-minute flights still scrambling to and from the Dominican Republic, but none are currently flirting with the massive storm like Delta did.

Image from FlightRadar24 captured at 2:11pm Eastern.

So, it seems that both Delta’s inbound and outbound flights will go into the records as the last in and out of SJU before Hurricane Irma hits. And, second place wasn’t even close. The second-to-last arrival and departure was a JetBlue flight from and back to Newark (EWR) nearly 2.5 hours prior:

SJU arrivals and departure board before Irma

The 737-900ER that made the flights bore the registration N840DN, a 2015 build delivered new to Delta. According to a Delta spokesperson, the inbound flight carried just 30 passengers — but the outbound was packed solid, likely with people fleeing Puerto Rico. Two pilots and four flight attendants worked both flights.

“Flight 431 from New York-JFK arrived at 12:01 p.m. to nine miles of visibility and light rain. Winds were around 24 knots with gusts up to 31 knots,” Delta said in a statement posted on its site. Those numbers are “all well below operating limits for the 737-900ER to safely operate,” the airline said.

Bravo to the Delta pilots, flight attendants, ground crew, gate agents, dispatchers, meteorologists and all of the air traffic controllers along the way for pulling off this incredible feat.

Featured image by FlightRadar24.

This post has been updated to include a statement from Delta Airlines.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

LIMITED TIME OFFER. Aside from the 100,000 points welcome bonus (available until 8/8/18), Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.