MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than 50 high school football players have returned to South Florida after what they say flight frustrations forced them to spend the night at the airport.
“We just got home from the game and are very tired,” said tenth grader Carlos Dossantos. “We think we’re going, you know, to our homes.”
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He plays football with Miramar United Elite FC. His team traveled to Virginia for a football presentation over Memorial Day weekend.
What started as a dream opportunity to showcase your skills in front of college scouts turned into a travel nightmare upon returning.
“It was stressful,” he said. “Because back then we needed to learn and we didn’t know if we could do it.
They were scheduled to take a United flight from Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. to FLL at 10:08 p.m. Monday.
However, only six of the 57 high school students were given seats on their originally scheduled flight. The rest had to wait until 13:00 the next day for United’s flight to MIA.
“Most of them had to sleep on the luggage conveyor belt, on the floor or on chairs,” said attorney Stefano Lopez, representing Miramar United Elite FC.
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“Some had to miss the final. We have to work it out with the school teachers,” he continued.
Lopez said they have an agreement with the travel company and United Airlines.
They said United told them that the flight appeared to have been changed on the system.
“We have not received any flight changes alerts,” said Miramar United coach Michael Ramsammi.
He said they were never given room or food stamps. He also said that they could not return on another airline due to a prearranged agreement.
He said it is still unclear what exactly caused the problem.
“After that, find out who is wrong,” he said. “But don’t leave 57 kids at the airport without food, water and nowhere to sleep.”
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On Monday, according to tracking website FlightAware, 400 U.S. flights across the country were canceled and 2,400 delayed.