U.S. Olympic Curling Team Denied Airline Upgrade After Winning Gold

With five straight wins, the U.S. men’s curling team won gold in Pyeongchang and cemented their place in Olympic history. But despite that incredible feat, it appears their seating arrangements on the flight back to the U.S. were also set in stone. (Get it? ‘Cause they use stones? Curling puns are fun.)

The team’s Twitter account tweeted a request to Delta Air Lines on Saturday asking if they could score some extra legroom for the long flight home from South Korea:

“Delta our Olympic #curling champions are flying home on Monday. Upgrades?!?” the tweet asked, tagging the airline’s account. Phill Drobnick, the team’s coach, tweeted out his own request.

Seems like a reasonable request for a special occasion, right? Remember, these aren’t rich athletes used to flying charter jets. The team’s captain, John Shuster, still works at a Dick’s Sporting Goods, so you can’t blame the team for trying to capitalize on their gold medals to experience first class.

Unfortunately, Delta didn’t quite give them the response they wanted:

“Hi, there. Congratulations, gold medal champions! We are honored to be your ride back home! While we don’t have any upgrades to offer, we look forward to seeing you on board. Thanks for flying with us!” the airline tweeted.

Oof. What a bummer. I mean, they already had to suffer through almost getting the wrong medals. Curlers, getting no respect around here!

The curling team handled it in stride. It also appears that thanks to a good Samaritan who switched his seat, Shuster wound up in first class anyway:

It has been a rough year for airlines in the PR department, and Delta was no different. They had to apologize for forcing a family off a flight and then got yelled at by Ann Coulter.

So yeah, maybe Delta could have scored some PR points, but I’m not sure how much they could have done, since you can’t just kick other people out of first class for Olympians. Even when the Olympians are as cool as these guys.

As it turns out, their flight home included a champagne toast and they got to meet the pilots:

Not bad!

And hey, remember, when it comes to tight seating arrangements, just think: You could be the bobsled team.

I don’t think they even have tray tables in there. One of our writers got to ride a real Olympic bobsled in Park City, Utah:

(Oh, and just in case, here’s a guide on how to upgrade to first class without a gold medal!)