Delta flew 41 fifth-graders after a canceled flight left group stranded in Oklahoma
Delta Air Lines came to the rescue of a group of Oklahoma elementary-school students who were left stranded at an airport after American Airlines canceled their flight to Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Delta chartered a spare plane to take 41 fifth-graders and their adult chaperones from James L. Dennis Elementary School in Oklahoma City to Virginia after they got stuck at Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport, Delta spokesperson Drake Castañeda confirmed to USA TODAY Tuesday.
Not only was the Richmond flight special since Delta doesn’t have a regular route to the Virginia state capital, the group also got the aircraft to themselves.
One of the chaperones, Shantell Barbour, took to Twitter to thank the Delta agents for their help.
“@Delta THANK YOU for getting this group of 5th graders out of OKC and onto Richmond Virginia on a private flight when @AmericanAir wanted to leave us stranded!” she tweeted along with a photo of some of the kids. “Most amazing corporation to work with at 3:00am.”
@Delta THANK YOU for getting this group of 5th graders out of OKC and onto Richmond Virginia on a private flight when @AmericanAir wanted to leave us stranded! Most amazing corporation to work with at 3:00am. #flyDeltapic.twitter.com/plDwghRusI
Castañeda added the heartwarming story is a testament to the company’s culture.
“Seeing people for who they are, and not just customers of one carrier or another, is what really made this story possible,” the statement read. “While we are in the travel business, we see ourselves as in the people business first and we couldn’t be happier that these students were able to make their trip.”
In a statement to USA TODAY Tuesday, American Airlines spokesperson Ross Feinstein said the cancellation was due to weather.
“We do apologize for the cancellation, which was the result of inclement weather that was out of our control,” the statement read. “That weekend, we canceled more than 300 flights due to the weather.”
Weather was a major issue this past weekend as well, as storms battered Dallas, where American has a major hub. Heading into Monday – one of the busiest travel days of the week, the airline canceled more than 200 flights. It had mostly caught up by Tuesday morning.
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