Canceled flight grounds Fiesta Bowl fans

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

COLUMBUS (AP) — A tour group canceled its game-day flight to the Fiesta Bowl, leaving about 140 people looking for other ways to get to the game between Ohio State and Notre Dame or stuck watching it on television at home.

Tour Management Group of Oklahoma City, Okla., told customers by e-mail Friday that the trip was canceled because the charter company it contracted with for the flight failed to supply a crew, Vice President David Patterson said.

‘‘This has never happened to us before,’’ Patterson said. The company has been in business for five years.

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The fans were set to fly from Columbus Monday morning to Phoenix for Monday afternoon’s game. The $845 round-trip ticket included the flight and transportation to and from Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., but did not include game tickets.

Patterson said customers have been given refunds, but that it might take a few days for the money to show up in their accounts.

Michael Baehr, 48, of Blacklick, said the package gave him a way to watch the Buckeyes without missing work. He planned to use two bowl tickets that he won from the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

‘‘I was very disappointed, a little angry,’’ Baehr said Saturday.