Delta airlines ended up screwing passengers at the Gainesville Regional Airport on Sunday so that the Florida Gators men's basketball team could get to their game in Connecticut with plenty of time to spare (their game wasn't until Monday night).
Problem is, Delta lied to the passengers, telling them that a technical problem was forcing them to take other flights, because that's how airlines roll.
As a result, people's lives were interrupted, and inconvenienced just so that the Gators could stay on schedule with their itinerary. Again, with plenty of time to spare.
According to The Gainesville Sun, Delta Connection 5059 to Atlanta was converted to a charter flight for the basketball team.
A spokesman for the airline explained in an email that the original passengers were "accommodated on other flights," and given vouchers valid for use through Delta for any future flights.
In other words, they were put on stand-by.
And, as any of us who have been put on stand-by knows, stand-by is a pain in the ass and a huge inconvenience.
The Gators had to commandeer Delta flight 5059 because the team's plane needed maintenance.
Though Delta said it was "due to operational need and aircraft routing requirements as a result of the busy travel holiday."
Meanwhile, the original passengers, who actually saw the basketball team boarding the plane as they were being told said plane couldn't take off, had no choice but to take Delta's vouchers and wait.
One passenger missed attending a funeral in the process. Another had to drive his daughter to Atlanta so that she wouldn't miss a school event.
In all, 50 passengers had to put their lives on hold or otherwise make other arrangements so that the Gators could have their own plane to Connecticut.
It's not much solace, and it doesn't fix how Delta totally screwed their customers, but the Gators did end up losing to the University of Connecticut on a last-second buzzer beater.
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