About 50 passengers were told that their fully booked flight had been canceled because of a mechanical problem. That's when they noticed the Gators basketball team boarding.
Consider this your daily reminder that airlines could not possibly give less of a crap about you. Delta Connection 5059 from Gainesville to Atlanta on Sunday afternoon was converted to a charter flight for the Florida team, whose charter plane was taken out of service for maintenance, reports the Gainesville Sun. The Gators had a game at UConn Monday night. That left passengers, many of who had important business in Atlanta and beyond, shit out of luck.
Delta offered a typical non-explanation. Flight 5059 was canceled "due to operational need and aircraft routing requirements as a result of the busy travel holiday," according to a spokesman. The airline said all affected passengers were booked on other flights, but if you've ever been bumped you know how inconvenient that can be. Many had to drive to airports in Tampa, Orlando, or Jacksonville. Some passengers' rescheduled flights didn't leave until the next day. One person missed meeting his moving van after a cross-country trip; another missed a funeral.
The Gators? They made it to Storrs with 24 hours to spare. And lost on a Shabazz Napier buzzer-beater.
Delta bumps passengers for UF basketball team [Gainesville Sun]