BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Some die-hard Buffalo Sabres fans looking to make the trip overseas for the "Sabres European Vacation" got sidetracked Sunday in Philadelphia.
They finally left for Germany around 4 p.m. on Monday, but 42 Sabres fans are missing out on part of the trip they paid hundreds of dollars for. Their connecting flight out of Buffalo was pushed back Sunday because of strong winds at the Philadelphia International Airport. Even though they made it to the terminal just before the plane took off, they weren't allowed to board.
AAA Horizon Tours general manager Barbara Hughes said, "I think people were disappointed, but from my standpoint, I was glad I was with them. I mean, this is what I'm here for. I'm here to assist when any issues like this come up."
AAA, which organized the trip, has helped to make things right, one of the stranded travelers told us on Monday. The agency put them up in a hotel Sunday night, and got them on the next available flight out Monday afternoon.
Traveler Marc Deschamps said, "Everybody's morale kind of improved a little bit after that, once we were settled in with the hotel. And you know, it was -- to put a positive spin on it -- honestly, it was a pretty good bonding experience for the tour group."
They've been told that the Sabres may try to make special arrangements for them once they arrive in Europe, so that they can still enjoy some face time with the players. The Sabres, meanwhile, have spent Monday visiting injured American soldiers at two hospitals in Germany.
Monday afternoon, pictures of players and owner Terry Pegula chatting with and signing autographs for patients at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center -- the largest American hospital overseas -- and the USO Wounded Warrior Center were placed on Sabres.com. Sabres PR staffer Kevin Snow blogged about the experience, calling it "two incredibly humbling and inspiring hours."
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