This year’s Christmas 2022 was particularly noteworthy. Akeem Mair, Wesley Mair, and Chelsea Starr Carroll were on their way to see Queen Douglas, their mother, who was spending the holidays in San Jose with their grandma Earlene Dye. They had no idea that a significant winter storm known as Elliot, a once-in-a-generation blizzard, had grounded Southwest Airlines’ planes. Flooding, snowfall, ice, strong winds, and subfreezing temperatures all played a role in the statewide “flight panic.” Even Southwest’s crew scheduling software needed help to handle the burden of the airline’s personnel changes, forcing employees to manually match crew and aircraft, resulting in long wait times for pilots and cabin crew.
More than 12,000 flights were canceled nationwide from Wednesday, August 22, to Saturday, August 24. We traveled on Christmas Eve because the tickets were cheap, but his family spent five hours at the airport waiting for their luggage before canceling their flights. They were obliged to rearrange their tickets for tomorrow so that they could go on Christmas. Akeem and his family waited at the Hollywood Burbank Airport for more than ten hours this time! Why? Numerous flights to San Jose have been canceled or delayed. When Queen FaceTimed her son Akeem about Flight 3019, she realized it was leaving at 6:32 p.m. for Oakland. As a result, Akeem and his family chose to depart from San Jose.
Akeem, Wesley, Chelsea, and Earlene arrived at Oakland around 7:20 p.m. and discovered that they were the only aircraft arriving. All evening flights at Oakland International Airport were canceled. Passengers’ baggage was scattered across the floor and around the conveyor belt, making the scene chaotic. When it was time to return to Pasadena, the Queen picked up her family after spending Christmas Eve with them. Our tickets had a December 27 departure date. Southwest canceled around 150 flights at Mineta San Jose International Airport, contrary to their hopes that flight delays and cancellations would decrease substantially. At Oakland International Airport, 137 cancellations were made, while at San Francisco International Airport, 38 were made. As a result, Akeem, Wesley, Chelsea, and Earlene found themselves stranded and compelled to return their tickets.
While next in line, Akeem prepared to approach one of the Airport Administrative Assistants. However, NBC Bay Area News News Reporter Stephanie Magallon saw his frustration and assisted. Akeem said, “It’s been a very long day; I’ve been in the airport for about 10 hours,” when she questioned his health. “I got my little sister calling every rental company in town to figure out how we can go from here back to Pasadena,” traveler Akeem Mair says. Unfortunately, other people thought the same, and all car rental companies were out of vehicles. Even if they did, the wait list was frequently 40 people long and exceedingly long.
“Oh gosh, you’re going to be famous at the airport now!” one of the Attendants exclaimed when he was eventually directed to the front desk. As they laughed, she apologized for the inconvenience caused by canceling his and his family’s flights. She reported that some passengers angrily attacked him as if she had initiated this dreadful scenario. She complimented him for his patience and surprised him with four $200 Southwest gift cards. Southwest CEO Bob Jordan did everything he could to alleviate the issue. They also paid me $126 for each of our plane tickets. I was grateful for what they accomplished.
Stephanie questioned Akeem’s happiness with the payments once he was finished. In addition to the refunds, he surprised her with coupons. “That was a difficult scenario, and now I get to see my mom on Thanksgiving for free and get my money back,” traveler Akeem Mair told Stephanie Magallon. The fundamental issue, however, still needed to be fixed even after he received his money back. Akeem and his family were informed that they would only be able to book flights to Burbank or Los Angeles after December 30. Reservations for trips heading north toward Seattle are now available until January 2, 20023! Because of this issue, Akeem and his family boarded the Amtrak 710 Train.
Akeem, Wesley, Chelsea, and Earlene took the 3910 Bus from Diridon Station to Stockton to catch the train. The trip from Stockton to Bakersfield took 7 hours. Akeem’s family had to take Bus 5410 from Bakersfield to Pasadena. His uncle Nick Dye Jr. was waiting for them at the Pasadena Bus stop in Los Robles, outside the Hilton Hotel, in his white BMW 6 Series GT. Everyone laughed about the strangest Christmas they’d ever had in the car. Without a doubt, life is like a box of chocolates since you never know what you’ll get!
MSN and NBC Bay Area
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