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Boeing jet grounding cancels flights at Reagan National

A flight to Miami from DC Reagan National is canceled due to the grounding of Boeing 737 Max jets. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Eighty school children from Miami and their chaperones were among the passengers caught up in the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft.

The middle-school students who had been visiting Washington since Sunday had been scheduled to return home on a Wednesday, 7 p.m. American Airlines flight from Reagan National Airport that was among those canceled.

The kids, many sporting newly purchased Washington, D.C. sweatshirts and hoodies and red Make America Great Again hats could be seen sitting on the terminal floor, waiting patiently. Some thumbed through their digital devices, while others chatted.

Chaperone Otilia Gallo said that the group heard about the Ethiopian Airlines crash and looked up the type of plane they would be in on their way home — it was a 737.

“We’re kind of relieved,” Gallo said.

Chaperones were in talks with American Airlines personnel who were attempting to either rebook the students on a flight Wednesday evening or provide them hotel rooms for the night.

American Airlines has 24 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in its fleet and of its 6,700 daily flights, the airline said 85 daily flights had been flown on the new Boeing models subject to the grounding.

Other flights canceled included a Wednesday afternoon United Airlines flight to Denver and an evening American Airlines flight to Dallas-Fort Worth.

The airline said it was working with all customers affected by flight cancellations in an effort to rebook them.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano reported from Arlington, Virginia.

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