Delta passengers get bumped for Gators basketball team
UPDATED WITH STATEMENT FROM DELTA AIRLINES
If you've ever flown on Delta Airlines, you know there's an excellent chance you won't make it through the trip without some kind of drama.
But the airline took that to a new level on Sunday, when it cancelled an Atlanta-bound commercial flight from Gainesville Regional Airport to accommodate the University of Florida men's basketball team.
According to the Gainesville Sun, the Gators' charter flight was grounded due to maintenance issues, so Delta hooked the Gators up - by taking another plane and bumping its passengers.
The airline said an internal review is underway to determine the specific circumstances of what happened.
The Gators were on their way to Storrs, Conn., for Monday night's game at UConn. Florida lost 65-64 on a last second shot.
Here is the Delta statement with its explanation of what occurred.
Many of you have expressed concern about accounts of an Atlanta-bound Delta Connection flight that was delayed and eventually canceled after the aircraft required unscheduled engine maintenance while a charter flight carrying the Florida Gators Basketball Team departed on-time.
Delta Connection partner ExpressJet, which operated both the charter as well as the regularly scheduled flight, made the operational decision to swap aircraft as the maintenance work was expected to be done quickly. Unfortunately, it was not and Delta flight 5059 was cancelled. Delta made every effort to reaccommodate those customers on alternate flights and we apologize to the 50 customers who were inconvenienced.
An internal review is underway to understand the specific circumstances around this aircraft substitution but it is clear that the University of Florida in no way participated in the decision-making process. Our efforts to better serve our customers are constant and a well-intentioned operational decision unfortunately did not work as planned. We continually look for ways to improve the customer experience and again, we apologize to those customers who were inconvenienced.