2023 March Madness: Joe Biden’s visit on Air Force One delays San Diego State’s flight to NCAA Tournament game

2023 March Madness: Joe Biden’s visit on Air Force One delays San Diego State’s flight to NCAA Tournament game

USATSI

With 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament and most of them traveling by plane to get to their final destination, there is always a story or two each year that emerges about delays, inconveniences or general odd-ball occurrences like gear not being in tow and causing a frenzy. But we have a new travel delay reason that may take the cake as the best story of them all.

That belongs to San Diego State, which was delayed Tuesday because President Joe Biden and Air Force One were present in California. SDSU’s charter was roughly two hours late arriving because of the president’s plane, which caused disruptions in flight patterns that affected the team’s charter, school spokesman Richard Stern told ESPN.

“We left San Diego at 5 [p.m.], landed at 12 or 12:30 [a.m.],” he said. “Like I said, I wasn’t joking, I was eating chicken wings at 2 a.m. They were good. They tasted really good and we were happy to have them, and we’re happy to be here.”

Because of the presence of Air Force One, standard protocol can often cause delays, access issues, flight cancellations and diverted treks at nearby airports. San Diego State managed to persevere through the delay and arrived in the wee hours Wednesday morning to Orlando, Florida, where it will face Charleston at 3:10 p.m. in a first-round game Thursday 

Biden was on the West Coast this week to meet with the prime ministers of Australia and the United Kingdom to discuss plans of a security partnership. Before leaving he also made an appearance at a Boys and Girls Club in Monterey Park, California, on Tuesday.

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