Kathy Demko was due to get married in Belize on December 30.
However, she told Insider that she missed the wedding after Southwest canceled her Dec. 27 flight.
Thousands of people are stranded in the United States due to cancellations related to Southwest vacations.
One bride said she “cried all morning” on her wedding day after missing the event due to a canceled Southwest flight.
St. Louis-based bride Katie Demko and her fiance Michael have planned to tie the knot in Belize on Dec. 30, Insider has learned.
She left for Belize before Demko, who planned to take a Southwest flight to join her and their children on Dec. 27, Insider said. He also said he flies Southwest frequently and goes to the airline almost every week for work.
But just before Demko’s flight, the captain announced that the flight had been cancelled. Demko told Insider that passengers were told the flight was short three flight attendants.
She was unable to find another plane for herself and her children to get to Belize in time for the wedding.
“I had seven travel agents and my whole family sat for 18 hours trying to find a way to get us there,” he said. “We even looked into flying to Cancun and getting a bus to take us to Belize. Nothing.”
He also tried to switch tickets with friends flying on Dec. 28, but Southwest was unable to make the switch.
“I cried all morning on December 30,” Demko said.
Southwest refunded Demko’s flights and she was able to postpone many of the services she received for the wedding, such as photography and decor, although she was not fully reimbursed. He will have to get married in Belize in the future to cover the expenses.
But the resort where she and her guests planned to stay, Victoria House, can’t postpone or refund reservations, meaning Demko, her fiancé and their guests are out thousands in the cancellation.
“In total, more than $70,000 was lost in the rooms at Victoria House,” the Insider said.
Demko is just one of thousands of Americans whose Southwest flights were canceled amid the Christmas weekend storms and the airline’s operational collapse, as described by the company’s CEO, Bob Jordan. On December 26, Southwest accounted for 50% of canceled flights worldwide, leaving customers stranded in the United States.
The chaos led to countless stories like Demko’s, including a couple who missed out on a $4,000 honeymoon and a family who lost $7,000 and a trip to Tokyo due to canceled flights.
After the cancellations, Southwest issued a statement that the company was “fully staffed and prepared” for the surge in holiday traffic until the winter storm “forced daily changes to our flight schedule.”
“We admit we made a mistake and we sincerely apologize,” the statement added.
But airline experts told Insider that Southwest’s staffing and dated scheduling systems also contributed to the chaos.
When contacted by Insider for this story, a Southwest representative said in a statement, “We appreciate the continued patience and support of our valued customers and apologize for the inconvenience last week.”
The statement directed customers to the travel cancellation support page and baggage information page on Southwest’s website if they need help, and will work to “return to our previous level of Southwest hospitality and reliability” in the coming days. .
Demko told Insider that Southwest did not contact him even after the appearance CNN To discuss his experience on December 29.
“Southwest never once tried to contact me to apologize,” she said, adding that she was particularly surprised by the lack of communication because she flies Southwest so often. “I know they must be dealing with a ton because of all the confusion, but not a single person from this company has been in touch.”
Demko and her fiancé spent New Year’s Eve separately and single.
“On New Year’s Eve, I sat at home and spoke to Michael, who was in Belize, and we said Happy New Year knowing we won’t be ringing in 2023 as husband and wife as we had hoped,” she said.
Read the original article at Insider