Bengals fans with tickets to game stranded after they weren't allowed on connecting flight

Fans miss AFC Championship after flight troubles
Bengals fans stranded
Posted at 12:32 AM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 23:44:02-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the Bengals took control of the AFC Championship, some fans with coveted tickets to the big game, were stuck on a plane.

Michelle Jones and her sister Suzy Dorward tried to leave for the big game Saturday, but American Airlines canceled their flight. They got seats on a flight out of CVG Sunday with more than a dozen game-bound passengers, but faced even more problems.

"We said, 'Well what's going on?' and she said the crew didn't show up," Dorward said.

Instead of catching a connecting flight in Charlotte like planned, the fans were booked on another flight with a stop in Philadelphia. However, lots of time on the tarmac meant the passengers had little time to get to their gate in Philly. Jones said they asked for someone to alert the other flight, but no such luck.

The fans sprinted to their gate, arriving minutes before their flight was supposed to leave, but the door was shut. Jones said an employee told them it was against policy to allow them on the plane.

"The jetway was still there, the plane was still there," Dorward said.

RELATED | WATCH: Bengals fans celebrate game-winning field goal, AFC Championship

They were sent to customer service and given the option to arrive in Kansas City after the game or fly back to Cincinnati for $400.

"Literally everybody was crying and upset," Jones said. "I mean, they offered us nothing."

American Airlines said in a statement boarding ends 15 minutes before departure, but said "we are looking into the matter and a member of our team will reach out to customers."

Jones and Dorward said about 15 people - both Bengals and Chiefs fans - were stuck in the skies while their seats at Arrowhead sat empty.

"I think they need to look at customer service policies and have a little more heart," Dorward said. "They were not willing to work with us at all."

WCPO 9 has reached out to American Airlines to get more information on its policies for connecting flights.

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