Texas women travel to Washington, but miss inauguration



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Posted on January 21, 2013 at 11:34 PM

D/FW AIRPORT -- They flew in from D.C. to D/FW Monday.

Their suitcases were stuffed full of souvenirs. And they were still adorned in all-things Obama. But among the baggage being dragged by a small group of women, were some bitter memories of an inauguration they didn’t get to see, because they came home before the ceremony.

“We missed everything," Iesha Godfrey said. "This was an awful trip. I’m upset. I’m disappointed I missed it.”

Godfrey explained that she and four of her friends made their way from Houston to Dallas, where they boarded a chartered bus Saturday before dawn. Six coaches, loaded with hundreds of people, set out for Washington.

“And then it just went downhill from there,” Godfrey complained.

She said there was no Wi-Fi on the bus, as promised, that stops on the itinerary didn’t happen as planned, that the bus bathroom was overflowing, and that the road trip lasted nine agonizing hours longer than it was supposed to. Godfrey claims that when she and her group complained to the organizer, “She kicked us off the bus."

She said they were told to find their own way home; and it was far cheaper to fly out before the swearing-in ceremony they had gone to Washington to witness.

By phone, the trip organizer said she couldn’t really make an official statement, because she wasn’t on the same bus with the women. Still, she stated that their grievances simply weren’t true, and that she had no idea why they left early.

The organizer added that an internal review is now underway. But she said there will be no refunds for the privately-chartered trip.

The women who came back early vow they will sue to recover all their costs. But they say the biggest loss — of historic memories — is something they have no way to get back.

E-mail jwheeler@wfaa.com