The Department of Transportation continues to investigate Southwest Airlines’ travel nightmare.
Thousands of passengers have been stranded at airports across the country.
Within a month of the collapse, Southwest opened a website where passengers can submit expense claims. Some of them are starting to see those checks coming into their bank accounts.
But Southwest is not the only airline affected. Dozens of other airlines have also been caught up in this winter mess.
READ: Winter weather cancels flights and leads to death in Texas
Emily Nagle, who Channel 9 first approached at Orlando International Airport on New Years Eve, last month tried with varying degrees of success to recover some of the money that she had lost.
Nagle was the last of her group of 20 to gather in Port Canaveral to board the Christmas Eve cruise, but wintry weather meant her American Airlines flight to OIA never took off, and she was stranded in Dallas for 36 hours.
Nagle said she spent more than $3,800 on multiple canceled flights, hotels and meals to make up for the cruise she missed. She was finally reunited with her family five days into the trip.
READ: Southwest offers apologies to customers, loyalty points
In the month since she returned home, she said it has been nothing short of an ordeal to try and recover the lost money.
“I’m really shocked at how this was handled,” Nagle said.
She said she must have spent hours compiling receipts, writing customer service reps, and tracking it all in Excel.
READ: US investigates Southwest December flight cancellations
A month later, Southwest reimbursed her $2,700 for flights and other expenses. However, American Airlines, which canceled its original flight, said due to weather conditions it was not offering compensation for out-of-pocket expenses. Therefore, Nagles is still $500 short, and that doesn’t include more than 2,000 lost cruise days.
“There’s no protection on us,” Nagle said. “It doesn’t make me want to travel.
READ: Cancellations in the South West: What to do if the flight is cancelled?
Southwest policy states that it generally does not cover weather costs, but a letter from Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the company should because there were things it could have done to avoid weather issues. trip last month.
The Department for Transport has released a new tool to help consumers determine what is owed to them when an airline cancels or delays a trip. You can see what each airline has promised here.
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