Amid the hundreds of Southwest flight cancellations, frustrations are mounting for stranded travelers who are demanding they be paid, and they’re not the only ones. Federal officials say they should be reimbursed as well.
More than 2,500 Southwest flights were canceled nationwide as of Wednesday morning, according to flight tracker Flight Aware. There are 150 inbound and outbound Southwest flights canceled on Wednesday at Hobby. There’s also still a massive backlog of luggage.
Many passengers are stranded in other cities while their luggage is sitting at Hobby. Southwest said it is trying to do what it can to keep passengers moving, so charter buses are now being used.
This is all happening as we saw Southwest passengers arriving to Hobby not by plane, but by bus. Overnight, one bus drove 24 hours from La Guardia Airport in New York and arrived at Hobby Airport. Another bus carrying 52 passengers drove 16 hours from Denver and arrived at about 5 a.m. Wednesday.
“We took bathroom breaks, got food, did what we could to make them comfortable,” Eric Miller, who drove 21 hours from Denver, said.
“They say keep your receipts. What receipts? I’ve been sleep deprived for five days and expect me to figure out how to get some money back? And I’m still not home,” one frustrated passenger said.
Southwest Airlines promised to reimburse passengers for some expenses they may have incurred during the chaos of the last several days. If you had to book a hotel room, rent a car, or buy food, save your receipts.
In order to qualify, your Southwest flight must have been canceled or delayed between Dec. 24 and Jan. 2, 2023. You can submit those receipts on the Southwest Airlines website.
Expect a wait to get your refunds due to the volume of reimbursements that will be submitted.