A Texas Tech fan travels 25 hours to see the bowl game
After three flight cancellations and being stuck in Manhattan, New York, a Texas Tech fan and his family boarded a bus back home to make it in time to watch the Red Raiders take on the University of Michigan Rebels. Mississippi.
Carter Dixon, a first-year construction management student at Tech, said the original plan was to fly back to Houston, his hometown, and fly in with his girlfriend and surprise her with two tickets to the TaxAct Texas game Bowl.
However, Southwest Airlines and the weather had other plans.
“When we were boarding to come home – basically – our flight got cancelled. This is the first time that’s ever happened, so we didn’t really know what to do,” he said.
So he and his family rushed back to the Southwest Airlines desk at the New York airport and were told they weren’t the only Southwest flight affected.
According to USA Today, as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, more than 2,500 flights were canceled. Before that, a total of 5,600 flights were canceled on Monday and Tuesday.
In a statement released by Southwest, the company blamed the polar vortex for the extreme weather conditions in part for the network-wide cancellations.
The rest – flight crew scheduling issues.
“Southwest said tons of flights are being canceled all over the place for Southwest because all the pilots reached their maximum flying hours,” Dixon said. “They literally didn’t have any pilots, or they didn’t have like any flight attendants or anything like that.”
Then an unusual solution presented itself to Dixon and his family: a 25-hour bus ride to Houston.
“I don’t think people should be able to sit for that long,” Dixon said, laughing.
With an expected arrival time of 1 a.m. Wednesday in Houston, he said he was still very excited to see the Red Raiders later that night. All thanks to Tech Athletics for sparking his interest in sports.
Coming from a family of Texas A&M graduates and his brother a sophomore at the school, Dixon said he wanted to be different from the rest of his family and decided to choose Texas Tech.
Dixon said this is the first time he has shown interest in sports because of the culture that athletics cultivates with students.
“The student sections were so cool, they loved being involved and like all the cheers and all the just different things that keep the students involved in the games,” he said. “It’s not just going to a football game and watching the game; like the actual things you do in the crowd make it fun.”
He said his girlfriend’s flight was also canceled, and she won’t be able to make it – so he’s taking his dad instead.
During his drive back home to attend the bowl game, Dixon said everything happens for a reason.
“To be honest, it’s Christmas time. So enjoy the time with your family,” he said. “It might seem like everything is spiraling out of control, but honestly the family is still there and you just have to enjoy the little things.”