The rumor spread via Twitter that the British boy band would be stopping at the Tampa International Airport Saturday while making its way to Los Angeles for the MTV Video Music Awards, Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times reported.
Janet Zink, an airport spokeswoman, said the band touched down in Tampa at 5:45 p.m., but quickly went through customs, then took a van to Landmark General Aviation near International Plaza mall to board a private jet.
It took airport officials more than two hours to convince fans that the band wouldn't be making an appearance in the main terminal, Zink said, adding that airport employees made announcements about the situation over the intercom every five minutes.
"This was a much larger crowd challenge than the Republican National Convention," Zink said.
The band touched down in Los Angeles around 7 p.m., and a short while later, disappointed fans finally cleared out of the airport in Tampa.