4 strangers drove to Ohio from Florida after their flight was cancelled

  • A group of strangers rented a car and drove from Tampa, Florida to Cleveland, Ohio.
  • They hired a vehicle after their flight was canceled Thursday due to a severe winter storm.
  • A traveler named Bridget Schuster documented the trip on TikTok and received more than 11 million views.

Four strangers joined forces and drove more than 16 hours from Florida to Ohio after a severe winter storm derailed their plans.

WTSP reports that a winter storm prompted the flight cancellation, and according to WEWS, which interviewed one of the travelers, the trip ultimately took 18 to 19 hours instead of the estimated 16.

A winter storm hit parts of the US this weekend – with more than 4,500 flights canceled through Friday afternoon and nearly 2,000 flights so far canceled on Christmas Eve.

A woman documented her travels on TikTok, which went viral

On Friday, TikTok user Bridget Schuster uploaded the first of nine videos documenting the unexpected journey with fellow travelers Greg Henry, Shobi Maynard and a woman named Abby.

According to Schuster’s first video, which had 8.2 million views as of Saturday, the group decided to rent a car after their flight from Tampa, Fla. to Cleveland, Ohio, was canceled Thursday.

“The earliest flight they could get us was Christmas Eve at 6pm so here we are,” Schuster wrote.

Schuster later shared updates on TikTok as the four traveled in the rental car, including a pit stop at Chipotle halfway through the trip. In a third video, Schuster told her followers that they made it to Virginia, but bad weather was raging.

“ETA 6:28 am,” Schuster wrote. “6.2 hours to go but this storm doesn’t look too good for us.”

The next video, released at 3:31 a.m. Friday, showed the group driving through the storm with three hours and five minutes left before their journey. At this point, the group was “almost” out of West Virginia and slowly approaching Ohio.

The group appeared to take the brunt of the storm in the sixth video as they officially crossed Ohio. One of the passengers was filmed making snow angels in a gas station parking lot while others shopped inside. Cleveland.com reported bad weather hit the area Friday morning.

“Update: in Ohio! Stopped for gas and coffee. ETA: 7:25 am,” Schuster wrote. “2 hours and 6 minutes left.”

During a 7:20 a.m. update, Schuster told her followers that the “roads aren’t great” and her ETA was up by more than an hour.

In her most recent update, Schuster revealed that the group made it to Cleveland at 8:45 a.m. Friday.

“Thank you everyone for making the trip. Reading all the comments and seeing everyone rooting for us was the highlight of this trip,” she captioned the post.

Schuster did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. As of Saturday, her videos have garnered over 11 million views.

The group were initially “skeptical” about traveling together, but couldn’t think of a better option

In an interview with WJW, Henry said he checked various airline counters after his flight was canceled and met Maynard. The two men later ran into Schuster and Abby, who were also trying to get to Cleveland.

“They were a little suspicious,” Henry told the outlet, referring to his traveling companions. “I say, ‘I don’t think they’re going to come with me,’ because we don’t know each other.”

One of the passengers told Insiders they almost booked another flight but wanted to experience the “wild adventure.”

Maynard told Insider that he was initially “depressed” after his flight was canceled, but his spirits lifted because the group had “so many memories.” Maynard said he also enjoyed seeing how TikTok users reacted to their journey.

“It was fun to see all the comments people made and it was encouraging to see so many people cheering that we’re getting home safe!” Maynard said.

Maynard said that before the trip began, his father managed to find another flight.

“My dad actually found me a flight that might have gotten me home earlier,” Maynard said, adding that they didn’t want to risk a second canceled flight. “I got to a moment where I was like, ‘Driving with complete strangers sounds like a wild adventure and I’m ready for it!’ So let’s go!”

He added: We are so thankful to be back home and for the adventure we got to experience!

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