A high school track team asked Delta for help on Twitter after their flight was canceled — and the airline sent a private jet to collect them

The girls' varsity team won second place, racing only a few hours after landing in Orlando.

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The girls’ varsity team won second place, racing only a few hours after landing in Orlando.
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Ocean City Track and Field Twitter

  • Members of Ocean City High School’s track-and-field team were left stranded in Philadelphia airport after their Frontier flight to Orlando was canceled.
  • They took to Twitter, asking Delta to help them get to Florida for the Disney Cross Country Classic the following day.
  • In the middle of the night, Delta responded to the tweets and organized a private plane to fly to the entire team to Orlando.
  • The track-and-field team went on to win first and second place in their races.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When a high school track-and-field team ended up stranded in Philadelphia airport following a canceled flight, Delta came to the rescue – chartering a private jet to get them to a Florida race on time.

The team from Ocean City High School in New Jersey was scheduled to fly to Orlando to compete in the Disney Cross Country Classic on Saturday, but their Frontier Airlines flight faced continuous delays before it was eventually canceled, said Geoff Haines, the school’s athletic director.

As Haines, who was at home, and the other coaches scrambled to find a bus to rescue the team, their coaches, and family members – 79 people in total – the teen athletes took to Twitter.

They began tweeting with the hashtag #getocxctoDisney and tagging accounts including “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and Delta Air Lines.

“Super excited to fly down to Disney to run, but our flight got cancelled!!! @Delta can you help,” read one of the tweets from the Ocean City Track and Field Twitter account.

Another tweet half-joked, “Anyone have a private jet for us?! We want to race tomorrow in Disney but our flight got cancelled!!”

They posted photos showing the team dressed in their uniforms while sitting on the floor of the airport.

Despite it being the middle of the night, the team behind Delta’s account was ready to help. Delta does not routinely serve flights from Philadelphia to Orlando, so the airline had to pull some strings.

The team waited hours in the airport with no solution.

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The team waited hours in the airport with no solution.
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Ocean City Track and Field Twitter

According to Haines, Delta used a plane that is usually reserved for politicians. While the plane, which was on stand-by in Atlanta, has previously flown professional sports teams that need to make a connection or are stuck due to inclement weather, Haines said Delta has “never dealt with high-school athletes before.”

Once the plan was finalized, Frontier Airlines officials quickly worked with Delta to transfer the team’s tickets, making sure not to charge the group any additional fees.

Then, the plane flew to meet the team in Philadelphia and whisked them off to Florida.

“My phone went off around 6 a.m. with the news that they landed thanks to a private plane,” Haines said. In disbelief, he responded, “A private plane?”

The team was able to check in to their hotel around 8 a.m., and the runners were on the racetrack by noon.

The track-and-field team no doubt made Delta proud: The boys’ varsity and junior varsity teams won first place, and the girls’ varsity team took second. After the races, the student athletes celebrated their wins with free time to explore the Disney park.

The boys' varsity and junior varsity won first place.

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The boys’ varsity and junior varsity won first place.
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Ocean City Track and Field Twitter

Haines said he was impressed by the team’s resilience and ingenuity. The students seemed to know exactly what to do and used social media in the best way possible, he said.

But the team is already focusing on its next challenge.

While the school is still buzzing over the exciting weekend, “County Championships are this Thursday,” Haines said.