Euro Blog: Jayhawks' European Arrival Delayed
Aug. 6, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Zurich, Switzerland, will have to wait for the Kansas men’s basketball team as travel was delayed due to weather and plane mechanical issues on day one of Kansas Europe 2012.
Three different planes carrying Williams Education Fund donors, KU fans and the team contingent left Kansas City during the morning Aug. 5 for Kansas Europe 2012, a 10-day excursion to Switzerland and Paris that will include four exhibition games for the Kansas men’s basketball team. Two-thirds of the group made it to Zurich, Switzerland, and will begin sightseeing today ahead of the first scheduled game on Aug. 7. But for the KU team, Zurich will have to wait 24 hours.
Shortly before its scheduled landing at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., the pilot informed the KU team that weather was preventing flights from entering or leaving the airport. The plane was diverted to Pittsburgh, Pa. Upon arrival, the pilots announced that a leak in the cockpit needed to be fixed. The group had to deplane, and it soon became evident that it would miss its connecting flight to Zurich from Washington, D.C.
Once back on the plane, KU team administrators worked with the travel agent to attempt to get on the final flight of the evening, which could get the team to Zurich through Munich, Germany. This led to what was described as an Amazing Race experience, rushing from gate to gate through trams and escalators at Dulles Airport. It ended, unfortunately, with no luck for the just more than 40 in the team travel party.
All was not lost at the Dulles Airport. Freshman guard Andrew White III’s family came to see the team off for Zurich and was able to have an extended visit due to the circumstances. The family followed the team to the Dulles Airport Marriott.
Now the plan is for the KU team to catch a late afternoon flight and join the remaining travel party on what will be the morning of the Jayhawks’ first game, Aug. 7, against the Swiss National Team. Start time will be 7 p.m. local, which is noon in Kansas.
The Dulles Airport Marriott did bring some memories to the veterans on the team; it’s where the team stayed when it came for the funeral of Lisa Robinson, mother of KU 2012 Consensus All-American Thomas Robinson, in January 2011.