Family rents car to drive from Phoenix to Boston for NHL Winter Classic due to delayed Southwest flight

Tim Maher and his family have plans to attend the 2023 NHL Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park Jan. 2. 

When his Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix continued to be delayed, Maher didn’t panic. Instead, he and his family sprung to action and did something not many would do. 

He rented a car, and now he and his family are driving from Phoenix to Boston, a 39-hour trek, to fulfill his 17-year-old son’s wish of going to the Winter Classic.

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The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic build-out continues at Fenway Park Dec. 27, 2022 in Boston.

The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic build-out continues at Fenway Park Dec. 27, 2022 in Boston.
(Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

“He said, ‘The one gift I want is I want to go back to Boston for the Classic,'” Maher, who bought tickets for the entire family, told WCVB-TV Boston.

Not many would make this their Plan B, but the Maher family doesn’t have to rush it to Boston. The game takes place Jan. 2, which gives them enough time to drive there. 

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The Maher family sat on the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport floor listening to announcements that their flight was repeatedly delayed. 

“I said, ‘It’s not happening. Like, nothing’s happening,'” Maher said. 

The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic build-out continues at Fenway Park Dec. 27, 2022 in Boston.

The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic build-out continues at Fenway Park Dec. 27, 2022 in Boston.
(Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

So they hit the Enterprise lot, returned home with a rental car, caught a few hours of sleep and packed extra clothes before making their journey east.

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The Maher family is surely in for a good game. The Bruins own the best record in the NHL, and the Penguins, at 19-9-5, are right in the playoff race and have won eight of their last 10 games entering Tuesday. 

It’s the second time the Classic will be played at Fenway Park. The Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 at the famous ballpark. 

The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic build-out continues at Fenway Park Dec. 27, 2022, in Boston.

The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic build-out continues at Fenway Park Dec. 27, 2022, in Boston.
(Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Safe travels to Beantown. 

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