A family of six must surely be looking forward to some sound rest on their mattresses after enduring a six-day ordeal at Salt Lake City International Airport. For once, it wasn't the fault of their airline: the Saxton family had turned up hoping to get a discounted "buddy pass" back home, a system where un-booked flights are sold cheap at last minute. However, there were no such passes available for days on end, and the six were forced to bed down on metal benches for five nights - even resorting to eating out of vending machines when they couldn't afford to buy food from the airport restaurants. The Saxtons ended up appearing on local TV station KTVX, whereupon a good Samaritan paid $2,400 (£1,500) to buy the stranded family tickets home. Speaking to the New York Daily News, Mrs Saxton said: "We were sleeping with rats. We had laundry we had to do in the airport bathroom and wash it in the sink and dry it in the driers. I spent hours in the bathroom in the middle of the night. That's what we were reduced to." In a statement, airline JetBlue said buddy passes are a privilege usually offered to airline industry staff and their families, and do not guarantee a seat in the way a traditional ticket would.