Southwest flights finally touch down at Eppley

Some families that have been stranded for nearly a week finally make it to their destination
Southwest's epidemic of cancellations and delays caused one family to miss Christmas Day plans.
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 5:52 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It was a nightmare before Christmas for many. But now that some Southwest flights are taking off and landing in Omaha, at least one family can wake up.

“We’re just glad to be here,” said Dan Hall of Salt Lake City. Hall, Stephanie Kent, and their two sons started their travels to Omaha five days ago, on Christmas Eve.

“It’s been hell. It’s been sucky,” said Kent. “The earliest flight we could get was today for the 29th. So we’ve missed Christmas completely and it just sucks.”

They spent Christmas Day with their two boys, Bentley and Oliver, at the Phoenix Airport holding onto a thread of hope they’d unite with Hall’s two daughters in Omaha. But their trip was canceled.

After delays and cancelled flights, an Omaha family made it back home for a delayed Christmas Day gathering.

“They wouldn’t do anything for us, no voucher, no hotel. ‘Good luck.’ Wouldn’t let us get our bags where our Christmas presents were, so we’re just glad to be here,” he said. “We probably spent an extra thousand dollars staying in Phoenix.”

Lucretia Hall, Dan’s mom, had to explain why her grandchildren’s father wasn’t there for Christmas.

“It’s just really hard trying to, like, I don’t know it was really difficult to try to explain to little kids what was happening and why,” she said.

But Thursday, that nightmare ended.

“Today’s another Christmas Day. It’s not going to be the same. But we’re just happy that they made it,” said Hall’s mom.

In what hopefully is an end to their eight-day disaster, Southwest officials say that normal operations should resume Friday. They’ve set up a dedicated page for customers to submit a ticket for a refund.