GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – On one of the busiest flying days of the year, Delta Air Lines canceled an Atlanta-bound commercial flight from Gainesville Regional Airport to accommodate the University of Florida men's basketball team.
The Gainesville Sun reports the team's charter plane was grounded Sunday afternoon by maintenance issues. The team was heading to Storrs, Conn., for a Monday night game against the University of Connecticut.
A Delta spokesman told the newspaper passengers on Delta Connection flight 5059 were either placed on other flights or given vouchers valid for use on future trips.
Team spokesman Denver Parler told the Sun he wasn't aware passengers were displaced. He said about 35 people affiliated with the team were on the 50-seat plane.
“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,” Morgan Durrant, a Delta corporate communications representative, said in a statement. “Our efforts to better serve our customers are constant and a well-intentioned operational decision unfortunately did not work as planned.”
Florida ended up losing its games against Connecticut.