MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Seventy-four Munford High School band students on their way to a parade appearance in California had to spend over 24 hours in an airport after flights were delayed from Dallas-Fort Worth.
The Munford High School band is set to perform in the Tournament of Roses parade, one of only five schools across the country to participate. It's a trip of a lifetime that took nearly two years to plan, but it's been anything but a great travel experience over the last 24 hours.
"These students have basically been up for 72 hours," said band director Barry Trobaugh. "They've had only the minimum amount to eat. We've fed them the best we can, but you can imagine eating in the airport is not the best."
The students and staff were supposed to be in California on Thursday afternoon but after flying from Memphis to their connection in Dallas, 12 chaperones and 74 kids ages 14 to 18 were all stranded at DFW airport, waiting for a flight they say had been canceled several times due to weather conditions.
"I was worried and to be honest, a bit angry," said Robin Price, a grandfather who was in a panic thinking of his child sleeping in an airport over 400 miles away.
"Any hours of rest they've gotten they have done that on the floor," Trobaugh said.
The band says American Airlines told them they may not be able to leave until Sunday. That would hinder their plans for performances in California.
"I didn't want my granddaughter to have to spend three nights in an airport." Price said.
But with numerous complaints, and faith on their side, the entire team and staff finally made it.
"We have not got any reports of any kids are upset or even daunted by this. In fact, the report we got was that the kids were doing better than the adults were."
Whether it'll be a good one or bad one, it'll be a long-lasting memory for all involved. But whether they'll fly the same airline again is debatable.
"I can tell you one person that will never book a flight on American Airlines," Price said.
There were two other flights with students and staff on it. They had a different connections so they made it to California at their scheduled arrival time.
The band director says he's proud of the way his staff and students handled this situation.