Michelle Singletary, a reporter for The Washington Post, had planned to be married on Saturday, but she and her fiance missed out on the event when Southwest Airlines canceled her entire family’s flights and canceled the engagement flight they had planned.
In late December 2018, Singletary and her fiance were scheduled to fly from New Orleans to Denver International Airport. When they arrived in the middle of the night at the airport, they were told by Southwest that their scheduled morning flight to Denver had been canceled and they would have to cancel their travel plans and take an earlier flight. After giving the airline more information, the couple discovered that the flight they wanted had already been sold out and needed additional connections in Chicago or Philadelphia. They ended up leaving the airport, but not before trying unsuccessfully to get a refund for the $276 flight they had already paid for. They then said they were told their travel insurance would not cover the lost two hours and the $253 penalty fee.
“The way Southwest rolled out this cancellation… was with a certain degree of malice and without any dignity at all,” Singletary told USA Today. “They must not have a ton of finesse, because they just took a photograph of our refund agreement and put a ‘refund denied’ stamp on it,” she added. When Singletary asked a representative of the airline to discuss the incident, the rep also hung up on her. “I had a cocktail waitress sobbing on the side of the road. Her niece was in a wheelchair. I had a guy that was running,” she said.
Singletary’s older sister Jessica called the airport but was unable to get any helpful information about how to reschedule their family’s flights. “Because we were from the Southeast, we didn’t know a lot of the city and was not familiar with the downtown area,” Jessica told USA Today. “So I was brought to a hotel and it was around 4 p.m. We didn’t know what we were doing.”
Since December, the Singletarys have worked with an attorney to get their money back from Southwest. Singletary is currently engaged to her boyfriend of ten years, Joshua Sales. The two skipped the wedding part of the celebration because she thought it would be too stressful.
Singletary’s family gets to see her married, and the rest of the ceremony was still planned for Saturday. “While I was so upset and angry, I don’t think that had any part of it,” she said. “I think the most important thing was we were united as a family for the most important day of our lives.”
Read the full story at USA Today.
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