Drexel students stuck in San Diego

Students Elizabeth Bratton, left, and Juliana DeMarici on a Delta flight.

Twenty student athletes from Drexel University are spending a few extra days in San Diego due to the mass cancellations of flights from Southwest Airlines.

The university’s rowing team and three coaches finished up racing at the San Diego Crew Classic on Sunday afternoon to find their flight had been canceled. Overall, 600 flights from Southwest were canceled over the weekend in order for the planes to be inspected after a Boeing 737-300 jet that formed a five-foot hole in the roof resulted in an emergency landing on Friday. Three planes were found to have similar cracks.

“I thought coach was kidding when he told us, like a late April Fool’s joke,” junior Julia Jackson said in a phone interview. “I was like ‘oh what a shame we’ll have to spend two more days in beautiful, sunny San Diego.’”

Although it was a delight to some of the rowers, others had commitments in Philadelphia. Four were able to secure an earlier flight home yesterday afternoon with Delta airlines.  

“I was supposed to start my internship on Monday, but this is the earliest flight we could get,” said junior Juliana DeMarici, a biomedical engineering major.  “Flights seem really overbooked so I am glad we were able to get this flight.”

The rest of the team is scheduled to fly back to Philadelphia on Tuesday night. While they wait the team is continuing to practice on Mission Bay in San Diego.  

Victoria Lupica, spokeswoman for the Philadelphia International Airport, reported that there were no overnight travelers in Philadelphia and that the impact has been minimal.


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