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Due to a flight delay, soldier and his family drove all night to attend his daughter's graduation

By: April Carson

A US soldier was compelled to drive overnight to ensure that he did not miss his eldest daughter's college graduation after a delayed Delta flight prevented him from connecting.

Thousands of passengers, like Rashad T. Ross, have been impacted by this summer's travel turmoil. Airlines are struggling to keep up with demand as a result of delays in baggage delivery and cancellations of numerous flights, as well as the separation of families when rebooking them. Two cats were flown without their owner by Air Canada, whereas Qantas booked a 13-month-old kid on a separate flight away from his or her family.

On June 2, Kayser was flying from El Paso to Jacksonville with a connection in Atlanta, according to the Department of Defense. The flight from El Paso was scheduled to depart at 6 a.m., but mechanical issues forced it to be postponed until the afternoon.

"There was a six-hour delay, and when we arrived in Atlanta, our rebooked connecting flight to Jacksonville was about to depart," said Ross. "There was no way to reschedule for the same day, so we were forced to terminate the rest of our trip."

The family drove all night and arrived in Jacksonville at 4 a.m., just in time to see their daughter graduate.

"It was a very long day, but it was worth it to see our daughter walk across that stage," said Ross. "We are so proud of her."

After phoning Delta's customer care, Ross and his family had no choice but to hire a car and drive 10 hours from Atlanta to Jacksonville in order to ensure they arrive on time for his oldest daughter's graduation.

Insider viewed a Delta ticket, a Hertz invoice for $950, and screen shots of an exchange with Delta customer support.

"I've never driven that long in my life," Ross told Insider. "But I would do it again for my daughter."

In an emailed statement to Insider, a spokesperson for Delta said, "We are in touch with the Ross family and have apologized for the inconvenience."

"The safety and well-being of our customers is always our top priority," they added.

"I know it might seem little, but we've used up all of our money in an attempt to get to Jacksonville on time," said Melina. "We had no clue we'd be charged for a rental vehicle on this excursion."

For the ceremony, he drove from Atlanta to the University of South Florida in Tampa, a trip of about 450 miles, before returning to Jacksonville International Airport. Delta did not reply to Insider's request for comment.

Ross is a staff sergeant in the United States Army. He told Insider that he was supposed to fly from Atlanta to Jacksonville on Friday night, but his flight was delayed.

"My daughter's graduation was at 10 a.m. on Saturday," Ross said. "I was trying to make it for that."

According to Delta's compensation claims, he was told to wait 30 days before asking for reimbursement for the missed flight, car rental expenses, and interest charges on his credit card. nOnce that time had passed,Rosscontacted Deltaagainbut wasrequestedto resubmitthe claim. "To state we are furious is an understatement," says what Ross said about receiving such a demand.

He sent an email to Delta's CEO and customer service once more, but received an auto reply stating that he should go to the Delta website and fill it out again.

"I don't think it's right," Ross said of the request. "I'm a military service member. I've been in for 20 years. I've never had any problems like this."

He made it to his daughter's graduation, but he remarked, "At this point, we just want some form of acknowledgment that what happened to us was meaningless."

This story was published on

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About the Blogger:

April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on

To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav



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