A senior trip to the Dominican Republic turned into an ordeal for about 200 students and chaperones from Lake Forest High School.
The vacation was great, they said, but the trip home was nothing short of brutal. Hours of delays for United Airlines flight 545 turned into a Sunday cancellation due to a mechanical issue, the Chicago-based company said.
A flight scheduled for earlier Monday was delayed so the crew could meet mandatory rest requirements.
But for the travelers, it wasn't just a matter of delays.
"I felt like we weren't even treated like human beings," said Eva Svigos. "We were basically abandoned on a plane for four and a half hours without anybody sitting in the cockpit."
Passengers complained of a lack of air conditioning, a lack of food, and uncomfortable delays on the tarmac. Federal Department of Transportation rules restrict tarmac delays to four hours for international flights.
"It felt like we weren't even American citizens. We tried to call the embassy," said Dead Svigos.
In a statement, United said it had apologized to the customers and offered each of them vouchers for future travel.