DALLAS – Sue White was standing in baggage claim, holding a handmade welcome sign.
She switches between checking her phone and the door, looking for her brother who was one of the lucky few who made it on American Airlines’ final flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“As Irma got closer, we were getting worried,” she said. “We are happy to have them home.”
Fort Worth-based American Airlines was scrambling this week trying to get flights out of several Caribbean destinations ahead of Hurricane Irma.
American did resume full operations Wednesday at both Houston airports since Hurricane Harvey.
Meanwhile, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines – which also flies to several locations in Irma’s path – had to cancel several upcoming flights including San Juan and Havana.
Relieved passengers like Jose Acevedo began arriving from San Juan Wednesday afternoon.
Acevedo was in Puerto Rico for his sister’s wedding last Saturday. He said leaving the island was bittersweet.
“Relief for me and my family and my kid, but at the same time a lot of concern for my mother and my sister,” he said. “It’s a sweet and sour feeling because I got out, and my family is still down there, so I am praying that they are okay, it’s scary.”
Not far behind Acevedo was Sue’s brother, Jay Wheaton. He and his wife, Cindy, had been trying to get home since Saturday after a 7-day cruise from San Juan.
Although it’s been a vacation they won’t forget, Wheaton said he’s happy to be stateside.
“Got back [to San Juan] and our flight was cancelled, so we got to spend an extra four days over there, four days we didn’t count on,” he said. “It’s good to be home.”