Boy Band Fans "Larger Crowd Challenge" for TIA Than RNC

Sep 2, 2012

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Tampa International Airport officials faced a major challenge Saturday--not a huge number of people leaving town after the Republican National Convention, but fans of the boy band One Direction.

Rumors spread quickly on Twitter that the boy band would have a two-hour layover in Tampa on its way to Los Angeles for the MTV Video Music Awards. More than 200 fans formed a welcoming committee that clogged the main gate area and forced airport police to put up stanchions to control the crowd.

The band did touch down at 5:45 p.m. at TIA on one of British Airways' daily nonstop flights to Tampa, said Janet Zink, an airport spokeswoman. But the band went through customs and took a van to Landmark General Aviation near International Plaza mall to board a private jet. 

The Times reports there were both continual announcements on the airport intercom as well as tweets on the airport's Twitter account saying the band wasn't coming to the main terminal. Zink also told the Times, "This was a much larger crowd challenge than the Republican National Convention."