Traveling on Thanksgiving weekend — annually billed as the “busiest travel weekend of the year” — can be detrimental to the soul as it is, especially when bad weather causes a slew of flight cancellations and delays, as a winter storm did this year.
Now imagine that you’re trying to get home and you’re told by your airline that the plane you were supposed to fly on has been grounded for “mechanical difficulty,” only to later see that same plane boarded by a college basketball team. Yeah, you’d be pretty damn pissed.
As were the passengers scheduled to fly out of Gainesville, Florida to Atlanta on Sunday on Delta Flight 5059. They were bumped by Delta so the University of Florida basketball team could fly to Connecticut for a game they were playing on Monday night.
Reports the Gainesville Sun:
A passenger who was supposed to be on the flight to Atlanta before it was canceled and did not want to be identified told The Sun passengers were told there was a mechanical difficulty, but some of them noticed the Gators basketball team boarding the plane meant for them out the window.
People were upset as they scrambled to rearrange their travel schedules and some had to be driven to airports in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa to catch other flights, she said. A passenger who was moving from Salt Lake City to New Jersey was going to miss the moving truck, so he had to find someone else to meet the driver instead. A student’s father had to drive her to Atlanta so she wouldn’t miss an event she needed to make. Another passenger missed a funeral.
But hey, don’t worry, you guys — Delta is really sorry…
Delta spokesman Michael Thomas told The Sun in an email that the passengers from flight 5059 were accommodated on other flights and given vouchers valid for use through Delta for future trips.
“Delta apologizes to those customers on Delta Connection flight 5059, operated by ExpressJet, who were impacted by the resulting cancellation of their flight,” he stated.