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Tampa travelers sent scrambling after ground stop of 737 Max 8 planes

Posted: 10:03 PM, Mar 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-14 10:24:01Z
Tampa International Airport

Some travelers were just minutes away from boarding their flight, only to get the news every traveler hates to hear.

Boeing temporarily grounds its 737 Max jets in U.S. after Trump declares emergency order

Three flights were canceled at Tampa International Airport because of President Donald Trump’s order to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft in the wake of a crash of an Ethiopian Airliner that killed 157 people.

“if we ever get through this line, we are going to get our luggage back. We are going to go rent a car and drive to Orlando,” Olivia Crumbley said. Crumbley and a group of friends were booked on an American Airlines flight with a final destination to Dublin, Ireland. The ground stops turning their international plans into a giant mess.

"We don’t even have a flight yet cause they couldn’t do it over the phone, so we gotta go over there and book a flight,” Crumbley said.

We talked to passengers headed to Ireland, Spain, and Toronto. They were frustrated about the changes but understanding.

How is President Trump's order to ground Boeing 737 Max 8, 9 jets impacting Tampa travel?

“I think safety is most important. I think just circumstances flying with a toddler, anyone can relate. I just think we are trying to keep tantrums at bay,” Stephanie Walker said.

Walker is flying to Toronto with her 2-year-old son and husband. They were about 30 minutes away from boarding when they learned their flight was canceled.

“We found out that Canada had grounded all the planes that we were about to be on so we were asked to come and check with ticketing at WestJet and they would put us on another flight,” Walker said. She is rebooked on a flight Thursday morning.

Southwest, American Airlines, and WestJet all told passengers to be diligent and check their flights before heading to the airport.