Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A plane full of passengers bound from Gainesville to Atlanta was bumped for the University of Florida's basketball team when the team's original plane had to be pulled out of service for maintenance Sunday.
Delta canceled flight 5059 scheduled to depart Gainesville Sunday afternoon and instead used the plane to fly the players and staff to Storrs, Conn., for the Monday night game versus the University of Connecticut.
"Delta apologizes to those customers on Delta Connection flight 5059, operated by ExpressJet, who were impacted by the resulting cancellation of their flight," he said, explaining the unusual solution was "due to operational need and aircraft routing requirements as a result of the busy travel holiday."
Team spokesman Denver Paler said he was not aware of the special accommodation given to the team.
One passenger who was supposed to be aboard the canceled flight to Atlanta said they were told the plane had mechanical problems, and were upset to see the team boarding the plane.
Another said he missed a moving truck appointment, while another missed a funeral.
"It just felt like the wrong decision made by somebody who didn't think it through," said a passenger, who did not want to be identified. It was just an inconvenience for her, she said, "but for some people, it was an important inconvenience."