After flight canceled, Utah high school team drives to California for tourney

Dec 27, 2022, 8:00 PM

Members of a Utah high school basketball team were among the thousands of travelers, who have had t...

A Utah high school basketball team had to find another way to California after its Monday morning flight was canceled. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of a Utah high school basketball team were among the thousands of travelers, who have had their Southwest Airlines flight canceled recently.

The Summit Academy Bears were traveling to California to participate in a holiday tournament. Summit Academy was scheduled to leave Monday morning at 5 a.m. However, their flight was canceled.

“When I got to the counter,” said Summit Academy coach Curtis Condie told KSL NewsRadio. “I was amazed at their arrogance, his arrogance. There was no customer service.”

Condie was told the airline could get the entire team there on Dec. 29 at the earliest. 

“I was like we play tonight at 8:30 Utah time, 7:30 Pacific time,” Condie said. “We’ve got to be there. We’ve made a commitment.” 

Condie says he is disappointed in this experience with the airline.

“I was really saddened,” he said. “You know you would think there would been (some customer service training). All he had to do was show a little bit of positivity.”

Utah high school team finds another way

Condie says with the help of the parents, they were able to find a solution.

“The parents were so supportive,” he said. “‘Hey, we’re going to make this happen,'”

The group approached Avis Car Rental about renting a van and were told all they had were mini-vans and trucks.

“We’ll take two,” Condie said. 

Condie says the employee with Avis was a former basketball player at Copper Hills High School and knew exactly what they were dealing with. 

Condie says they got so much insurance on the vans, that it’s costing more than the airfare. 

Even still, Summit Academy made it to California in time for its first game. And despite nearly a 10-hour drive, the Utah high school team won its game 80-30 to advance in the tournament this weekend.

Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News can be heard on weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

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After flight canceled, Utah high school team drives to California for tourney