Houston study-abroad student has chaotic journey back home from Spain

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Many passengers have been experiencing chaos at airports across the U.S. as they rushed to come home from Europe because of the recent travel ban.

The CDC has been emphasizing social distancing to delay the spread of coronavirus, but passengers at airports had to wait in long, crowded lines to have their temperature checked.

ABC13 photojournalist Willie Dixon's daughter, Sydney, was one of those passengers.

Sydney, a student at the University of Indiana, returned home Sunday night from her study abroad in Spain.

"We knew going abroad the coronavirus was starting to gain momentum all over the world, but it was still a very minor problem for a lot of study abroad students," Sydney said.

Her college and study abroad program sent messages to all students studying abroad to take hygiene precautions, such as washing hands and disinfecting surfaces, against the outbreak.

On Friday, Pres. Trump made an announcement restricting travel from 26 countries in Europe for at least 30 days.

SEE ALSO: Coronavirus in US: Trump clamps limits on travel from Europe to US for 30 days

"Trying to get back to Houston was very difficult," Sydney said. "Unexpectedly, United decided to cancel my flight home because the CDC was saying certain airports in the U.S. were not capable of handling international screening."

SEE ALSO: Houston not on list of US airports under new travel restrictions

Passengers had to wait in lines to get their temperatures checked for about two hours. Many missed their flights.

"I only had an hour and a half layover before my next flight," Sydney said. "It was crazy!"

Ultimately, Sydney made it home where she will then have to self-quarantine for 14 days.

RELATED: Houston moms fear for sons stuck in airport lines awaiting COVID-19 health screening
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