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Family stuck in Tampa as flights keep getting canceled

WKBW 7 News Buffalo
WKBW 7 News Buffalo
 2021-07-01
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It was the Meyer’s first family vacation in more than ten years.

“We wanted to take my daughter on her first family vacation,” said Brianne Meyer.

When the sun and fun was over in Tampa, Florida, the family of seven says they checked in for their flight home, and that’s when the trouble began.

“Cody realized that my Dad and Danielle were on a separate flight than us because back in May, the original flight got canceled, so they put us on a different flight.”

The family says they got to the airport one hour before takeoff, and got a message from Southwest that their flight had been canceled.

Since Tuesday, they have been trying to get home to Buffalo and have been delayed and canceled a number of times since. They say Southwest is telling them it is “weather related” and any other flights that take off are booked full.

The Meyer’s say they even tried getting flights to Rochester, and at one point checked in for a flight to Rochester but that too was canceled. They say eventually their luggage got to Rochester, including the baby car seat. Their belongings are now with Southwest in Rochester.

“All they say is ‘sorry our hands are tied it’s weather related,” Meyer said.

The family says they’ve now stayed in four hotels, have spent more than $1,000 in addition to the cost of their trip, had other family members rent a car and drive home for $700, are paying for parking at the Buffalo Airport and two dogs to be taken care of in a kennel.

Southwest Airlines sent us a statement saying, “While the flights the Customers were booked on were ultimately canceled because of weather and air traffic control initiatives, we deeply apologize for the less-than-perfect travel experience. Over the past several days, we’ve experienced weather related delays and cancellations throughout the nation including places like Denver, Chicago, and throughout Florida- all places with some of our busiest schedules. When cancellations occur, our Teams do everything they can to re-accommodate affected travelers on other flights as quickly as possible.”

The family says Southwest has offered them $200 each in vouchers, but say that is not enough. They say after this experience, if you’re planning a trip post-pandemic, make sure you prepare for the unexpected.

AAA says travelers insurance would cover up to $200 per day, per person. The Meyer’s say they did not have travelers insurance.

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