LUBBOCK, Texas- Amid mass flight cancellations, several passengers at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport expressed frustration while seeking relief on Wednesday.
Southwest Airlines has had the most cancellations out of all major airlines in recent days. On Wednesday, the company cancelled more than 2,500 flights — 62% of their daily operations.
Deborah Henely told KLBK News that she expected her daughter home in Lubbock for Christmas, but she has been stranded in Denver for seven days.
“I haven’t had any time with her in over three years. I was so ready to see my kid,” she shared.
Her daughter will not make it to Lubbock this year, she explained, but her bags have already arrived.
“I’m going to go to the FedEx and send her luggage,” she said, adding that it will likely cost her a hundred bucks — something Southwest Airlines has already attempted to rectify.
“They were so gracious, and they were able to help me find it and deliver it to me,” Henely said. “They gave me a voucher.”
Another Southwest customer, James Cameron along with his family, had a flight scheduled from Houston to Amarillo yesterday, but that was cancelled. The airline promised him a flight to Lubbock, only to later say it would no longer be possible.
“They’d already put our bags on the plane and so they said, ‘but your bags are going to Lubbock,'” Cameron began. “We don’t actually live in Lubbock. They refused to offload the bags and there were people there that didn’t have their medication because their medication was in their bags, and it got kind of ugly.”
He said the Houston airport had to call nine security officers to their gate to settle the problem.
While people across the country have struggled to find rental cars because of the cancellations, Cameron’s family said they were “lucky” to find one.
“We drove as far as Abilene and slept there because that was as far as we [could] make it. We got about four or five hours of sleep, got up this morning and finished driving the rest of the way [to] Lubbock– and just now got our bags,” he cheered.
Now, his family must drive a couple more hours to get back to their home in Amarillo.
Another woman who declined to identify herself citing her job said her flight from Dallas to D.C. was cancelled yesterday.
“I was able to get [a new flight] for about $1,000 before the prices went up to two thousand and four thousand, which is just absolutely insane.”
Travelers nationwide trying to rebook with other airlines have seen price increases alongside the cancellations, which is why both United and American Airlines announced on Wednesday that they would cap prices on travel to select cities.
The woman also mentioned, “I’m not able to get on the phone with anyone from Southwest. I have been sitting on hold for a very long time. So, I said, ‘You know what, let’s just come to the airport and try to talk to a live person,” which she found very helpful.