Utah fans catch new flights, hit the road to make Rose Bowl amid cancellations

Dec 29, 2022, 1:29 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — A lot of Utah football fans planning to travel to California for the Rose Bowl are switching gears in their travel plans following major airline cancellations over the past week.

Most flights canceled in Salt Lake City and across the U.S. have been with Southwest Airlines.

Many passengers at the SLC airport on Thursday said the flights they are catching are new flights or rescheduled flights that were originally supposed to leave Wednesday or several days ago.

While excited for the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California, first things first: getting there, which seems to be easier said than done amid back-to-back flight delays and cancellations.

“I think we’ll pull it through. For sure,” said Zoe and Aja Vigil.

The Vigils are flying to see the Utes take on the Nittany Lions in the Rose Bowl Game this Monday.

They are also pulling for their flight — that they and their luggage — make it on time.

“It’s a lot busier this year… Our flight got delayed like 20 minutes so far. It’s better than getting canceled,” said Zoe and Aja Vigil.

Southwest cancellations continue as airline deals with ‘meltdown’ fallout

For others, red — not the game day kind — was all they saw Thursday.

This comes as hundreds of departing and arriving airline flights read “canceled” this week in Salt Lake City and across the country.

The Memmotts are also flying to see the Utes play.

“Little crazy. It’s crazy! We’re glad we’re not flying Southwest. What a nightmare!” said Korey and Todd Memmott.

To avoid the airport altogether, some Utes fans decided they’d rather drive the 10-plus hour road to Pasadena versus risk watching the game from an airport screen.

“You’ve got to see them win… I was still getting emails from Southwest saying, ‘Get ready for your flight to LA. It’s going to be super awesome!’ Deep down inside, we were all like, ‘It’s probably not going to happen,’” said Mattew Berrett.

Utah Football ‘Excited To Be Here Again’

Back at the airport, fingers are crossed.

“Yep. Nothing yet. Got my wife and daughter and we’ve already got friends who are there and friends who are coming,” said Kyle Ariotti.

Many continue holding their breath for no major delays or cancellations.

“All four of us last year missed last year, so we’re so excited,” said the Memmotts.

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Utah fans catch new flights, hit the road to make Rose Bowl amid cancellations