Veteran seniors came home from front, couldn’t leave Dulles

\'\'We\'re very, very worn out and tired,\'\' says Eldon Wright, a member of the group. (WTOP/Hank Silverberg)

WASHINGTON – What was supposed to be a one-day tour in D.C. turned into a nightmare for a group of veteran seniors.

The World War II-era veterans from St. Petersburg, Fla., all in their 80s and 90s, sat in their Allegiant Airlines plane for three hours Tuesday evening until it was eventually canceled at midnight. The airline first said the delays were because of fuel, and then due to a scratch on the plane.

The group was put up in a hotel and returned to the airport Wednesday morning. They were greeted with similar news.

“We have no one here that can get us out of here. They’re still stalling,” says Eldon Wright, a member of the group. “Even though they printed up boarding passes this morning, got us out of the hotel and said the flight would leave here at 9:30.”

“We’re very, very worn out and tired,” he says.

The flight eventually took off mid afternoon Wednesday.

The group had planned only a one-day trip to visit the World War II and Iwo Jima memorials in D.C. and Virginia.

Calls to Allegiant Air have not been returned.

Wright says his compatriots are patient men, but they were very tired of the run-around.

“We have a number of veterans here that are in wheelchairs,” he says. “Some of them with health issues.”

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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